AvatarSeeing as Chantelle is currently as sick as a dog and working as hard as a domestic worker should be working, I ended up spending most of my weekend tinkering about online, working mainly on the old blog again, as well as completing Ryan’s and my joint little project, more on which I will announce later.

(Oh, and I managed to go to gym, watch Constantine and play the minutest amount of games as well, but those are all pretty much unimportant – apart from Constantine which I really, really enjoyed, despite the fact that it strays so far from its comic book (Hellblazer) source material!)

Anyway, back to the results of my tinkering. As I posted a couple of posts ago, I’ve added this chunky red border around everything to give the site a more ‘tied together’ look (although now it looks too ‘busy’ to me). Also, I added some fairly unobtrusive Google-powered advertising at the bottom of each page, mainly in the hopes that the income generated from ad clicks will be enough to cover the cost of now finally hosting my work here on my own server instead of off the Commerce servers where it used to be housed. So far so good, because in the three days that I’ve run the ads, Google reports that I have already earned $20 – an amount just short of covering the hosting fees for two months. Not too bad in my book, especially considering the ease with which Google AdSense makes dropping adverts on your site in the first place (though I’ll be less cynical about the system after I receive my first paycheck – apparently I first need to earn at least $100 though!).

Now after this weekend’s work, my RSS feed finally produces valid RSS output, meaning the aggregator sites like Amatomu and Afrigator can finally spider my site correctly (and FeedBurner can finally produce something legible from my site at last)!

I’ve also added a little ‘photo strip’ to the end of the blog, which will mainly feature any pictures I deem pretty and somehow link in to previous postings (try clicking on any of the pictures and you will see what I mean). It’s kind of a pointless feature I know, but I’m hoping it might up my search engine hits just a little. I also tinkered quite a bit with the backend code, targeting in particular a lot of display issues which you probably won’t notice but that I know is there. :)

I must admit, now that I’m hosting the site on my own server, it is almost as if I have taken more ownership of it than what I did before and it looks like this is turning out into an almost full blown hobby for me now – the perfect platform for tinkering and writing all rolled up in one!