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Freshening up

You’ll be noticing a few changes on the site in the next week or two. In fact, there’s already a significant change. After nearly two years of neglect (damn those day jobs), InterstateQ.com is getting a face lift, and, in case you haven’t already noticed, a better commitment from me to keep it updated with new commentaries and news several times a week.

And, years after WordPress finally debuted the nested comment feature (you can reply directly to a user’s comment and your comment will appear directly under theirs), InterstateQ.com has joined the fold.

I’m guessing this is a good thing this blog isn’t a child. For all the neglect it’s suffered, I’d have been arrested, booked and charged, and convicted and sentenced already.

And, in case you’re wondering or curious, I’ve only got two significant items yet completed on the list of site redesign to-do’s:¬†Custom tag, category, search and archive pages, and¬†Twitter/Facebook integration. Not too shabby.

If you notice any problems, shoot me an email (matt ‘at’ interstateq ‘dot’ com) or comment below.

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InterstateQ has changed…

Notice something different? Yeah, well… InterstateQ has changed; as if that weren’t obvious enough.

This change will be more than just a redesign, though. Gone are the days of multiple posts each day (unless I’m feeling generous). As my life gets more and more busy and hectic and as I pick up more and more responsibilities at the day job, I’m finding it harder to come up with content multiple times a day for InterstateQ.

So, anticipating that more tasks will pile up on the desk at work and my intention to start school again in the fall, InterstateQ is changing formats.

From here on out, I’ll post less frequently but with greater insight and depth. Expect, on average, two-three posts per week, one of which will be extended commentary or research.

Hope you’re digging the new logo, by the way.

Over the weekend of April 3-5 and through the week of April 6, please send me any bugs you see or experience and expect blog pages and other features to change a bit as I get the new design broken in.

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New comment features – update

On Saturday, I upgraded InterstateQ.com from WordPress 2.6 to WordPress 2.7. With the new upgrade comes new features. The best is comment reply and comment threading.

The comment templates should now be fully functional. Styling is a bit different from before, since comments are hard-coded and displayed differently after the 2.6-2.7 switch.

New features:

1. Comment replies and threading
You can now reply directly to a comment. To reply to a comment, click “reply” under a person’s comment text. You will be able to write your comment and click submit. Once the comment has processed, you’ll see your comment appear right under the comment you were replying to.

2. Gravatar support
An avatar (small icon photo) will now appear next to each comment. If you don’t have a gravatar, you can set one up at Gravatar.com. Commenters without gravatars will have a random image appear next to their comments.

If you encounter any problems or have questions, leave a comment below or, as always, email me: matt ‘at’ interstateq ‘dot’ com.

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Off to D.C., and the LGBT blogger conference

Hey all… Posts on InterstateQ will be coming shortly… there will be plenty to say once I get into the thick of this weekend’s 2008 national LGBT Blogger and Citizen Journalist Initiative conference in Washington, D.C.

By the time this post is automatically posted, I’ll (hopefully) be on my airplane headed to D.C. Regular posts might be sparse while I’m traveling, but expect plenty of info through the great and mighty Twitter. Check in here at InterstateQ.com and look at the TwitterQ sidebar or click over to twitter.com/interstateq.

Here’s to hoping for safe travels!

Oh… and if you’re in D.C., shoot me an email (matt ‘at’ interstateq ‘dot’ com). I’m already planning on meeting one of InterstateQ’s regular readers. Join us!

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Behind the scenes…

Not so many posts in the past few days. I loved having my holiday pretty much away from my computer. And, I’ve been busy behind the scenes on the website.

Before Thanksgiving, I told you I’d be working to clean up my almost 3,000-post, more than three-year-old blog. I’ve been working on converting my HUGE list categories to tags. Hopefully that’ll make the category structure less complex, and allow us here to make searching easier. You’ll be able to use tags to find specific information and we won’t have to make a new category every time we discuss a new topic.

Just remember: Category = broad topic | Tag = specific label

You’ll see a Tag Cloud in the sidebar to the right, right below the ads and above the contributor list. Use that to find tags.

But… things don’t always go without some pain. Almost 800 posts categorized as “North Carolina” didn’t switch over properly to tag format. The North Carolina tag archive is sadly thin.

I’ve also added an blog archives page. The tag cloud is there also.

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InterstateQ – What’s your opinion?

I guess everyone’s noticed I’ve taken a little holiday weekend break from almost everything work and web related. It’s awesome. This weekend’s a perfect time to get your feedback.

Since I’ve re-dedicated myself to paying more attention to InterstateQ, I’ve noticed I don’t like the theme and design. It looks rather crowded. Part of that’s my fault, I know; way too much stuff in the sidebar.

So… my dear lovely readers: I’m asking for your opinion. What should be done? What’s some of your ideas for a new design? What about content? What about, whatever? Got some feedback, suggestions, comments, criticisms — fire them away! Comment on the post or email matt ‘at’ interstateq ‘dot’ com.

Continue reading this post…

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Slightly new look, and WP 2.5

Okay, ya’ll… InterstateQ.com has a slightly new look to go along with the new and fresh feeling I have after upgrading to WordPress 2.5.

No major problems yet. Site design tested on Firefox and IE7. If you encounter any problems, take a screenshot and email it and your comment to matt ‘at’ interstateq ‘dot’ com.

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Re-design

I’m going to make people mad again. I know, I always change my design when I get bored, but really, there is a reason this time.

New design features: less bulky and large header, faster-loading pages, simpler and cleaner design, cool blue and gray colors, designated ad space outside of post content (that should make Brian smile) and more.

Report any bugs or mis-haps on our Contact Page.

UPDATE: Things left to do… work on the sidebar and configure ad, archive listing and category listing placement on home page, single pages and single posts… minor adjustments.

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Re-evaluating my web ’empire’

The little web ’empire’ of mine has steadily grown over the past few years. I am now operating and managing or contributing to numerous LGBT-oriented websites.

Some of you will remember back when I tried to do a weekly video news show. It was just something short, under 10 minutes, and put up on YouTube every Friday. I had to drawback because I didn’t have the time (a lot of editing can go into 10 minutes of video).

The same drawback is happening now. Some of my readers will remember the pumping I did for a brand new LGBT web-based news organization I was attempting to start with about 15 or so folks. OUTlet News-Media was a great idea at the time, but it has become apparent to me that it just would have been too time consuming.

I also don’t think that it would have fit into any good plan for the continued growth of my main website/blog here at InterstateQ.com… and that, right now, should be my focus as it has been for the past two years. That continued focus has meant the continued growth of my website and my influence on the web as an activist. That is one of the reasons I was first drawn to blogging: you can be active on the ground and on the web at the same time, using the web to further your voice and give LGBT people, especially LGBT youth, a place to speak out and hear about things that relate to their lives.

So… I’m going to focus on InterstateQ.com from now on.

For all those folks I worked with in the dream that was once OUTlet News, I hope that you will contact me if you want to continue working with me and InterstateQ.com. Feel free to contact me anytime and I’ll definitely be glad to have you contributing your wonderful thoughts and opinions here.

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A new link… take a peek

a guy named daveA reader of InterstateQ.com emailed asking me to put his link up in my blogroll. Of course, I did… duh.

His name is Dave, he’s a student in California and currently studying in London. He’s got a good blog going… a guy named dave.

And it doesn’t hurt that he’s a bit cute, too.

Check him out… give him lots of love and comments. His top post right now has photos and some reporting from Kensington Palace, when all the folks gathered outside with flowers and prayers on the 10th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death.