Professional Bleg!

Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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25 Responses

  1. Oscar Gordon says:

    First Impression – looks good.

    I’ll offer more thoughts when more content is up.Report

  2. aaron david says:

    Looks good Tod.

    Maybe some search tags to direct people to similar stories?Report

  3. Michael Cain says:

    Having followed the “About Tod” link, I eagerly await the premier of The Golden Mean. It sounds ambitious. In my default desktop browser window, the size of the pictures and text on the front page is… overwhelming. If I “skinny” the window down, it’s much less so. I suspect it will look good on my phone.Report

    • Miss Mary in reply to Michael Cain says:

      I agree that the text on the front page is overwhelming. I hope you put audio content on here. You’re audio stuff is some of my favorite. I don’t see a home button. I’d click on something and then I couldn’t get back to the front page. Operator error?Report

  4. Slade the Leveller says:

    A couple of notes:

    1. Right now the articles are half screen image/half screen text. Perhaps a button or link to full screen text.

    2. The about Tod page reads to me like a press release. Is it necessary to refer to yourself in the third person on a personal site?

    Otherwise it looks terrific, and I love your writing. Keep at it!Report

  5. Autolukos says:

    A few impressions:

    I find the carousel + tile grid layout a bit disorienting. I think I’d prefer a single full-width tile above the grid. Also, when I look at it on mobile, it isn’t at all obvious to me that there are multiple stories in the top section (otherwise looks really good on mobile, though).

    I would also like a larger click target on the carousel stories; my first instinct was to click the summary, not the title, and it would be closer to how the tiles work.

    When viewing a single story on desktop, I would prefer a bit wider text and a bit narrower image.Report

  6. For me, the graphics seem too heavy and over the top, and they make the site seem too busy and hard for me to focus on or find the content. This is especially true when I, for example, click on a sample article, and half the page is covered by an image and the other half has an excerpt from the article. (For the record, the article I clicked on was “Oregon’s Church for Sex Offenders.”)

    My own tastes would run something closer to Point Magazine ( ), but even there, the top graphic is way too much. I’d prefer to start seeing the list of items before seeing the graphic.

    This is all my subjective opinion, and others’ may vary. Regardless, I’ll be sure to look it over regularly when it’s finally ready for prime time. And for what it’s worth, I was only aware of a couple of these articles. I look forward to reading the others.Report

  7. CK MacLeod says:

    Overall: Seems more like an undeveloped blog than a “professional portfolio.”

    You can have an “author site” that functions as a portfolio, but that implies that either you or someone you hire is going to moderate and update it actively (especially if you’re going to invite and publish comments), and you’d still probably want to have a page for prospective employers or clients that functions as an on-line resume.

    So, as ever, the first question is “What’s is it for?” Usually, the “what” implies a “whom” in these matters. Your fans? Anybody who wanders by? People who might want to publish or hire you or invite you on their TV show to discuss Oompa-Loompaism?

    If the professional-practical is the main focus or any part of the purpose, then ease in contacting you by whatever means you prefer and ease in locating and verifying your published works or work history, etc., would be key to giving a good and professional impression. Instead, If I didn’t know how to reach you already, or if I just wanted to send R Tod Kelly a message, I’d have to leave a comment or look you up somewhere else. If I wanted to look up your work at Daily Beast or OT or NPR or wherever, I’d have to find them on my own, since they’re not linked. Even when you happen to credit OT, it’s without a link to the original post. So, again, I’d have to go searching for it. (It also does no favors to OT.)

    Even if you’re mainly trying to create an author site, and blog independently of OT, you’d still want to have contact information and links to your other joints – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, OT, Daily Beast author page or archive, etc. – where they could easily be found.

    A lot of authors these days DO get by with a site, but, if undeveloped, it will look cheap, not “professional,” and, as soon as you start developing it, you’ll either hit annoying limitations or have to start paying for things anyway. In other words, it may fill in the blank, but it’s not dressing to impress.Report

  8. Burt Likko says:

    I think the graphics-to-text ratio of the visual presentation looks much better on my iPad mini than it does on the full screen of my desktop computer.

    Like all sites, it needs more content. There is no shortage of content to mine, of course. While I’m cognizant of why it must be this way, it’s a bit distracting to start reading a piece, get interested, and then have to go to the venue where the copyright is held. Maybe there’s nothing to be done about that.

    Also, I’d quite forgotten dark amusement value of the radicalized Oompa-Loompa subversives preparing their violent revenge against the exploitative CEO Bucket and his cadre of orange-colored Quislings.Report

  9. RTod says:

    Thanks, everyone, for the feedback. Very helpful stuff.Report

  10. Mike Dwyer says:

    Got a chance to look at this today. I’ll have to echo others that the front page is a bit busy for me. I also agree with CK that your purpose isn’t clear. For me, it should be really obvious on the very front page what the site is for. Also need some contact info somewhere. Social media info, etc. Think of it more as your home-base out on the internet. It’s the one place someone should be able to go to find everything you want them to see. Not that my site is the model, but if you look here, you can see how I tried to address all of that:

    • CK MacLeod in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      Here’s how OOG Freddie does it now. Note that he also follows another Social Media Theorist recommendation by very prominently featuring an image of his handsome self, encouraging visitors to feel like they’re getting to know a “real person”:

      Indicatively, he’s moved his blog to a sub-address, and no longer hosts comments.Report

      • Tod Kelly in reply to CK MacLeod says:

        Yeah, and if I looked like Freddy I would likely do the same.Report

        • Stillwater in reply to Tod Kelly says:

          Tod, I just wanna be a Voice of the Silent … uh … McGillickuties out there who thought the “rough draft” of your site looked pretty damn cool and inviting. I liked it! I liked the drop-down feature, the tabs to scroll (laterally!) to other featured stories on the dropdown (or whatever it’s called), that scrolling down got you to secondary details for folks who are interesting in contacting you or etc whatever.

          Did you do it yourself? If so, well done!Report

        • CK MacLeod in reply to Tod Kelly says:

          Are you saying that you are not, in fact, a handsome tree?Report

      • I was going to recommend something like Freddie’s site. Not necessarily having a picture of Tod on the front page (but then, why not?), but just that Freddie’s site seems less busy and more welcoming. (I’m speaking only of the layout and look of the site. I’m not suggesting Tod must have his own blog, unless he wants to.)

        I wonder if my (and apparently, others’) concerns about the busy-ness of Tod’s site is a reflection of my age (42). Maybe if I were younger, I’d be more into something with his graphics. Also, in the non-virtual world, I tend to get overwhelmed by things–such as loud or discordant/unusual noises or really bright lighting or too many people talking….I get really distracted and tend to “shut down”–so it’s possible my preferences are too anomalous.

        tl;dr: my opinion is just my opinion.Report

        • That goes to the main who’s-it-for question. If it’s for on-the-go yelping snap-chatting younguns, then a “mobile-first” design with full-screen images and hidden or suppressed menus and so on would be what’s called for these days, as established by fashion a few years ago: It reached the point where all so-called “elegant” and “beautiful” and “contemporary” designs consisted of a full-screen image, a title treatment, and a menu icon…

          If the main folks Tod wants to reach are ancient elderly people like you and me – who sit down with large screens to do our work, and are known to look up from our smart-phones for continuous periods greater than fifteen minutes if not driving or asleep – then a more sedate, mobile-second design makes more sense, in my opinion.Report