07 February 2010 ~ 26 Comments

200 Posts ago…

200 years ago an 8.0 earthquake in Missouri caused the mighty Mississippi River to flow backwards.

200 months ago the number one movie was about a weatherman who found himself living the same day over and over.

200 weeks ago I moved from the wasteland of Saitama Japan to the greener pastures of Yokohama,,,the grass is always greener in someone else’s yard isn’t it? lol

200 days ago I wore my first yukata.

200 hours ago (approx) I sat down and brainstormed my blogging and writing with two of the greatest marketing minds in the universe (in my universe anyway) and received some sage advice along the lines of not compromising my integrity as a writer by walking the road of least resistance and good stuff like that. I walked away from the meeting with a head full of hot ideas and a heart full of motivation.

200 posts ago I was surfing around the web reading blogs and wondering if I could do it, too…And I decided, yes I could. I had things to say and I needed a place to say it, and I found that place, 200 posts ago, right here.

I don’t remember much more planning going into starting this blog than that.

Who knew?

Well, I just want to take a moment to thank my avid readers and commentors. Without you guys I probably would have given up a long time ago. As much as I love to write, I gotta be honest, if no one was reading it and telling me how much they enjoyed it or found it entertaining or even felt strongly enough about what I’ve written to write a long soliloquy trashing it, I would not have the motivation to keep it up.

So when I say I couldn’t have done this without you guys, I’m not speaking figuratively, I’m speaking literally.

Occasionally I get a comment from a reader that says something like “I’m a long time reader but I’ve never commented until now…” I wanna thank you guys, too. But, even if only to say, “Hi” give me a shout why don’t you?

In the days to come Loco in Yokohama will be enhanced a bit. Nothing fancy, just a few enhancements to make blog enjoyment easier for you and blog management easier for me. I will try to make this transition as painless as possible, but the change process usually isn’t such a pretty sight.┬áIt may not be seamless. The changes are underway as I write this and I hope everyone will be as thrilled about the final result as I will be.

To that end, I’m inviting my readers and commenters to give me suggestions as to how Loco in Yokohama could be improved. What would you like to see? What would you like to see changed? I value your ideas and feedback, and look forward to hearing / reading them.

Thank you in advance for your suggestions. And thanks for reading Loco in Yokohama. I promise to do my best to make the next 200 posts as great as I can. I will continue to be honest and straight forward with you and give you the straight dope from here in my little corner of this island.

And, I’ll try not to forget the funny. (-;

Sincerely,

Loco

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26 Responses to “200 Posts ago…”

  1. overoften 7 February 2010 at 5:25 pm Permalink

    The only change I’d like to see, Loco, is dark text on a light background. The current vice versa arrangement strains my eyes. But that might just be me and my dodgy eyes. Aside from that, wouldn’t change a thing.
    Oh except perhaps an easier linear navigation through posts. Fiddling about with the menus down the side isn’t the user-friendliest method. Currently clicking on the top banner takes readers to the latest post. But only the latest post. Finding the one before that requires reading the whole right-hand column to find the right menu to move on (or back). Unless I’m missing something.
    Yeah, aside from THAT, nothing. ;)

    • Tom 9 February 2010 at 8:28 am Permalink

      I happen to be a fan of the light text on dark background. I know some sites (arstechnica.com) let you choose your preference. That may be more than you are looking to do however.
      The side panel is a little busy and could probably be condensed and a little more organized. However I really like how you have organized some of your posts into their own chapters, I think that is really neat. The blogroll and blogs about japan are also fantastic resources.

      Congratulations on your 200th post and keep up the good work.

    • Jeff 9 February 2010 at 1:42 pm Permalink

      I use readability for all long blog posts. Its very useful and can be used for any blog. http://lab.arc90.com/experiments/readability/. That takes the burden of formater's hell away from the blogger.

  2. Chris in Oz 7 February 2010 at 8:40 pm Permalink

    I’m selfishly glad you made it to 200 and am hoping for more!

    There are a mere handful of blogs I’m hoping will have updated when I turn on the computer and one of them is yours. I’m not fussed over layout or any of that sort of thing, to me it’s the stories that count. And I love your stories! Not just the content but the way you tell them.

  3. Mike 7 February 2010 at 11:16 pm Permalink

    Congrats on 200 and great idea for getting useful feedback on how to develop the site :)

  4. Curtis 8 February 2010 at 1:14 am Permalink

    Hey Loco Thanks for all your efforts in this great Blog! I discovered your blog about three weeks ago via Japan Soc (before the site imploded) and since then I have been working my way through your posts chronologically from the beginning. I'm happy to hear you will be continuing your writing and that you plan to update the site. My one suggestion for the site would be to make it easier to navigate from older posts to more recent ones. I know it's kind of a selfish request since that's how I'm currently reading your blog. However, I've discovered that the whole site seems to be designed around recent posts first. For instance clicking on a date several months ago brings you to the most recent post of that selected day when there are often multiple posts during a day. Currently one has to repeatedly click "previous post" to get to the beginning. Sine many of your post over time have been in "parts" or "to be continued" being able to get to the beginning would make catching up easier.

    Your writing is wonderful. keep up the good work!
    -Curtis

  5. sixmats 8 February 2010 at 1:47 am Permalink

    The inaka has its place too.

    • GoddessCarlie 7 February 2010 at 9:47 pm Permalink

      Congrats on the 200 posts!

      As for site changes, I would change the background to be light and the text darker, it’s easier to read that way.

      Looking forward to 200 more!

      – Carlie

  6. SayJapanese 8 February 2010 at 2:25 am Permalink

    Your side panel is a bit cluttered, is that the type of suggestion you wanted? your blog is very much appreciated ^_^. Personally, I have a mental block, my last post was two sentences long about my IPOD. Any suggestions??? Hold on a minute, you're gonna be busy with your blog refurbishment.

  7. Zen 8 February 2010 at 1:31 am Permalink

    Excellent Dude. There is one thing that would make this an outstanding blog and get serious comments…pay us (^_^).

    Yeah, the comments do help, keep the spirit up. I try to drop some in from time to time. Wish others did as much. Ganbatte!

    • kanjiwarrior 8 February 2010 at 4:44 am Permalink

      I don’t comment as much as I read. I enjoy your blog though, and your perspective on life and Japan.

  8. Rune 8 February 2010 at 4:06 am Permalink

    Most importantly, as I have advocated before, better archives. I know from other wordpress blogs that it supports having multiple blog entries collapsed on the same page with a small the start of the bread text showing, as seems to me to be the standard on most blogs. This makes looking through earlier posts much easier than the single blog post pr. page system used now. Having this start on the front page would also be a plus.

    Implementing a search feature would also make it a lot easier to find earlier instalments in a series or a specific post that you can remember the name of. Talking about your series, linking to the previous instalments in all new instalments would also be of great help to especially new or infrequent readers.

    The right sidebar is a great mess, it could be made less messy by collecting the links in the highlighted topics there on separate sub pages (or, if you have the skills, programming an accordion menu), by highlighted topics I mean stuff like '!0 ways NOT to go loco in Yokohama (The Series)', 'Conversations', 'Things I LOVE about Japan' etc.

    Get rid of the links just beneath the banner or make them dynamic so they change at random on page load.

    That's what I can think of off the top of my head. Good luck with the book and I hope this input was useful.

    • Rune 7 February 2010 at 9:55 pm Permalink

      making links another colour from the rest of the text also seems like a fine idea. I know that ‘accordion menu’ in the above is a link, because I wrote the HTML in my comment, but other readers won’t know unless by accident.

  9. Ebun 8 February 2010 at 5:20 am Permalink

    Well done, Loco! I don't have any suggestions but wanted to congratulate you on 200 posts of great content.

    • Jon Allen 7 February 2010 at 10:15 pm Permalink

      well done on reaching 200 and wanting to continue.
      I’ve been reading for a while and I like your style. Looking forward to the next 200.

  10. T.Holms 8 February 2010 at 5:02 am Permalink

    Hey man thank you for updating your blog as often as you do. I’m sure all your readers appreciate it. Everybody pretty much hit the nail on the head suggesting the menus to be better organized. Anyway, you are a real inspiration to me Loco, it is sort of a dream of mine to learn some languages and cultures and help people around the world. Thank you again for utilizing this blog as a window into your world. Like I always say, keep it up man.

  11. brian | No Debt Worl 8 February 2010 at 9:21 am Permalink

    Loco, it is absolutely the comments from long time readers and folks just passing through that make you want to continue writing.

    If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around, does it make a sound?
    If a blogger posts on the web and no one reads it, was it ever really written?

  12. Dana 8 February 2010 at 5:52 pm Permalink

    Great work! Keep it up. :) Good luck with the upcoming changes.

  13. greenlight 8 February 2010 at 6:06 pm Permalink

    I never post otherwise (and I mostly read through RSS so I guess you never see any hits from me either) but I'll say "Hi" :)

    • freedomwv 8 February 2010 at 11:21 am Permalink

      Way to go Loco! 200 post is a milestone for sure! I will be excited as you when I hit 200 posts.

      • Locohama 8 February 2010 at 11:34 pm Permalink

        WOW! Thanks for love everyone! I can feel it.
        And i think it's unanimous: the side bar, the dark background, and I need some sort of search system as well as an archival system that's user friendly. I'm on it!
        ! For me, the content is much easier than the maintenance, but I've just invested a few bucks into getting this work done as well as learning to do somethings myself moving forward so my blog should show significant improvement as we proceed, and not just cosmetically. Thank you so much!
        Loco

        • Michael in LA 9 February 2010 at 5:13 pm Permalink

          I think everyone mentioned the best improvements that would improve your blog. Congratulations on your 200th post. You have an excellent site that I love coming back to for updates.

          On another note, I just read Tokyo Vice by Jake Adelstein. Another take through American eyes on Japanese culture. Was wondering if you read it and what you thought.

          Have you hipped your students to Black History Month as part of your lesson plans? Would love to hear that reaction!

          Hope all is well…

  14. Zach 9 February 2010 at 1:14 am Permalink

    Dont change anything! I love it just the way it is.

    • Jamaipanese 10 February 2010 at 9:40 am Permalink

      congrats on your 200th post. Keep up the good blogs, looking forward to ready many more of your posts!

  15. sola 9 February 2010 at 5:29 am Permalink

    No Loco please do not change the black background I love it. I have your site on RSS feed and yet I still come to the site to read your posts. The main reason? The black background. To me the black background is a part of "Loco in Yokohama". If you still decide to change it though then i'll just have to adapt.

    Anyways congrats on post #200, keep on writing man cause you got a knack for it.

    From an avid reader

    -S


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