It takes a fair amount of obsessiveness to line up the elements in this photo the way I did, but the fact is I couldn't help myself. Whether this, or Shutterfinger's new look, was worth the effort is for you to judge.
I've been wanting to change the look of Shutterfinger for some time now. The width of the old content column felt too narrow. The photos seemed too small. The font and line leading lacked refinement. Rather than agonize and procrastinate over switching blog platforms from Typepad to Wordpress and all that that involves, I decided to change my Typepad design template instead. The change isn't necessarily permanant--what in this world is?--but I like it for now and I'm the boss, so there you have it. Those of you who read Shutterfinger through an RSS feed won't see much difference either way. I'm still interested in everyone's feedback though. Let me know what you think and whether you have any ideas for further improvement.
Another change that's in the works is my joining a few select affiliate programs. As most of you have noticed, Shutterfinger has been ad and affiliate-link free from its inception. This was mostly because I wanted to build an audience organically and at my own pace, without feeling compelled to do things only to build numbers and revenue. I'd say it's worked pretty well so far. The audience is building at an accellerating rate. Potential sponsors are beginning to take notice.
This doesn't mean that you can now look forward to an unending column of banner ads on my home page. Not only would they distract from my posts and the overall design, they wouldn't even be all that effective--not for me and not for the advertisers. When is the last time you clicked a banner ad on a blog? See what I mean? I also don't plan to becoming a gloried buyer's guide. If you want that you can subscribe to any one of the photography magazines on newsstands these days.
Yet the fact is that the only way I can afford to put in the time and effort it takes to make Shutterfinger worthy of your continued support is if I can leverage a few hundred dollars of revenue per month. Affiliate links seem the least onorous way to do that. Assuming things work according to plan, I'll be able to take photos more often, post more often, buy and review more equipment, share knowledge, and generally give you more of everything you like.