<span class='p-name'>Critique and Construction of This Website</span>

Critique and Construction of This Website

This website is under construction. 🙂

I spend a lot of my time guiding others as they create and curate their digital identity. To help me think about my own advice, I continually think deeply about the content that I build and share online. As part of this process, I routinely build and break things online. One of the key linchpins of my digital identity is this website. I think it’s important to have one common, canonical address to connect all of my digital footprints together…more on that later.

As part of this review process, I’m revising this website, and moving around a couple of other pieces.

Version #1

The website hosted at this URL has changed a couple of times. Originally it served as the home for the website I built for my comprehensive exams. Review here on the WayBack Machine.

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Version #2

After completing my PhD, I decided that I wanted to use the space to host a website to document my work and blog about my experiences in literacy, technology, and education. Review here on the Wayback Machine.

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I stayed with this theme for a long period of time and received a ton of compliments on the design aesthetics. The slider on the front page looked slick, and provided a quick way for readers to see my recent posts. The challenge is that it was very difficult to scroll through my recent posts easily. The front page of my website

The challenge is that it was very difficult to scroll through my recent posts easily. The front page of my website provided a lot of eye candy, but very few ways to dig in, or make it easier for the reader. I was questioning this for a long period of time, and then Doug Belshaw pointed it out in a recent chat about online publishing.

I also was not happy with the overall layout of individual blog posts. The test for each post seemed strangled in between the two widgets on either side of the page. The posts also did not stretch out and respond to different screen sizes. I wanted a site that would allow the text to breathe while making it easier for the reader to sift and search through my content.

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Current Version

I begin with a proviso that this website is under construction. 🙂

Thankfully, I have been using WordPress for my blog and changing the theme is easy. I like the style and format of Medium and wanted a new theme that would open up the text and provide some functionality. Even though I have a Medium account, I chose to write, publish, and control my own space on the Internet.

I also wanted something that made it easier to build one hub for my digital identity, and allowed readers to access all of my posts as Doug indicated.

Finally, I wanted to keep it simple. I’m striving for minimalism while being functional. In my work, I study the habits and strategies of individuals engaged in web literacy practices. I want to make it easy for the reader to access my work while empowering them to make decisions about the value of the work. I’ll have more on that in an upcoming post.

I followed the guide presented here and rebuilt the site using the ReadMe theme. I’m still trying to tweak aspects of the website. As soon as I unearth something…about ten more things pop up. In yet another upcoming post I discuss some of the features I’m building in…and how I hope they’ll scaffold online viewers.

For now, you can review the front page for new viewers. Blog posts should all now be accessible at http://wiobyrne.com/blog/. I have a basic contact page setup with social media buttons throughout the site. I plan on adding in a video library, and all of my publications and a CV page soon.

Until then, please feel free to poke around and leave feedback. Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on my thoughts about technology, literacy, education, and making. And…please excuse any messy or loose code along the way. 🙂



Cover photo by stavos http://flickr.com/photos/stavos52093/8576281319 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license


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