When deciding on the design layout for my Country Music performers blog “This Is Warren Derwent”, I visited a number of other Country Music blogs until I found one that I liked. I settled on a blog which used a theme called Natural Elegance (designed by Dan Hauk http://www.dan-hauk.com) and adapted the HTML and CSS. I customised the theme by adding a different background image with an edge gradient so that it would fade into the background colour of the page and added a personalised avatar before beginning to insert my own content.
Adapting the layout required a little tweaking and investigation into the HTML and CSS in Adobe Dreamweaver in order to determine where certain elements sat within it, as some unexpected reactions occurred when I added my custom CSS to the basic Tumblr theme I had chosen to begin with. For instance, the caption text under each post was extending outside the post container but once I had established what was causing these reactions (with assistance from web-designer and friend Andy Duncan, thanks Andy), I was able to identify, adjust and overcome issues like this in order to continue adding posts and content. It was during this developmental period however, that I managed to inadvertently lose the google analytics code that I had added previously, which has adversely affected overall statistics.
I have kept an eye on copyright regarding content posted on the blog, but as my content to this point is original musically and photographically (all songs are registered with APRA http://www.apra-amcos.com.au and the PPCA http://www.ppca.com.au under my own memberships), I have only had to seek permission from the ABC (who filmed the video for Back Of Beyond, and therefore hold the broadcast royalties), to post the video to YouTube and host it to my blog from there. I am currently awaiting a response.
Although I have had exposure to HTML and CSS during the unit Web Design and Production 8178 SEM 1 2011 and watched several internet tutorials relating to CSS and HTML coding, I know I have a great deal more to learn. For instance, I am currently investigating the CSS in my posts area, in an attempt to ensure that ‘Album Art’ uploaded in my audio posts displays correctly on my main page posts, which at present it is not. Having said that, I am encouraged by the overall design of “This Is Warren Derwent” which although a work in progress, has exceeded my initial expectations regarding layout and design. I feel the look of the blog is fresh and contemporary and will help to create interest in my music, even though Country Music has in the past been ridiculed for being cliched and old-fashioned.
I must also thank University Of Canberra Faculty of Arts and Design lecturers Dr Sam Hinton for assistance developing my “About Me” page HTML and Amelia Ghirardello for her tireless work throughout our Networked Media Production (7881) SEM 1 2012 weekly tutorials, especially the final tutorial where after consultation with Amelia and several other students, I decided to change the main title of my blog from “Inside Warren Derwent” to the current title “This Is Warren Derwent”. Which I feel is more suitable. So many thanks to you both.
My plan is to continue to develop all aspects of “This Is Warren Derwent” through the use of social media networking tools like buttons and widgets in order to create interest and build traffic to the site.