Introducing: In Pursuit of the Trivial 2.0

The new year is as good a time as any for a new outlook here at In Pursuit of the Trivial. The site has  operated under the same scheme since launching in 2007. That’s a solid three years without major change (try to find a college student who hasn’t grown in that same period of time).

With that in mind, I took a two-month hiatus to reconsider, refocus, redesign and relaunch with a fresh start in 2011.  It’s not that blogging about irrelevant aspects of culture needed to be done away with, but some fine-tuning was necessary. Here’s a quick rundown of the major changes:

Design: Gone is the old board-game focused design. I toyed first with a full image design but free WordPress is somewhat limiting in how you can adapt to that  (you need text boxes to ensure legibility if you go with a full image background – see here – and just couldn’t find that without upgrading).

The final result is a simple graphical header and a new theme (Pilcrow) that emphasizes easy organization and ample white space. The graphical header is in line with the newly tweaked overall focus and also with my newly discovered graphical tendencies.

Content: First of all, I can’t get rid of the categories that have defined this blog. The traditional Trivial Pursuit style organization will remain. Some of the past reoccurring features will even continue (the Five Signs series, Trivial Links, CNY Music Podcasts, etc.). And, yes, the three days per week posting regiment will be reestablished.

The biggest changes come with a simple cleanout of the site’s static pages (either editing or deleting completely) and the blogroll. There will be new reoccurring features, but those will be unveiled as they’re posted.

Focus: Here comes the biggest renovation. Before, In Pursuit of the Trivial was completely unfocused under the umbrella of “general pop culture.” Having the game’s categories allowed virtually any type of content to find a space here.  In that format, individual posts found success but consistent readership was always a struggle.

Successful blogs have a specific, often-niche focus. That ensures a reader can count on a specific type of information being available on some semi-regular basis. The site’s sister blogs, Diners Without Frosted Tips or Questions for Ira Glass, achieved that and it helps increase their value. So, how do you focus a blog that wants to share general culture?

One of the big media buzzwords of ’09 and ’10: localize.

The content can still span the classic categories but with a local tie-in (whether it’s about local items, from local people or my personal news as well).  That location will change with my travels (I’m an about-to-graduate collegiate of course) but I will then archive content with city when that time comes. For now, content will encompass locale. Blogroll will encompass other local blogs I follow. Even the site design will encompass locale. The organic text currently across the top of the page is from all around Syracuse, N.Y.

Care to guess where it’s from?

T R I V I A L

All in all, it was long over due and the new scheme makes the site more mobile going forward and hopefully more relevant to whatever audience my travels take it.

-Nate, In Pursuit of the Trivial

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