Extreme Makeover, Blog edition

So if anyone of my regular blog readers came here late Friday afternoon, you probably noticed some fairly significant changes to the format of and content at my blog site.  After a few months at one format and a few more with a default, almost “blank” format from the blog platform upgrade, it was time to get serious about making my blog site the resource for IT Pro’s that it should be.  The initial blog format I used when I created this blog was the standard “TechNet” blog template that was up for a few months at the beginning of the year.  It did some minor customizations to make the site somewhat personalized, but it was basically a default template with a picture I chose.  I believe in the May timeframe, the blog platform we’ve been running on was updated from a few versions back to the latest version of the blog platform.  The admins of our blog sites were unable to migrate the blog templates we had all used and we were given a somewhat “blank” format with all of our migrated content.  I used this blank format for a few months during the craziness of the enf of Microsoft’s fiscal year and last week finally decided the time had come to put some more useful customizations in place.

Friday afternoon seemed like the perfect time for some major blog site construction.  An IM to a colleague lead to a phone call and eventually a desktop share where we did the site reconstruction on the fly.  I spent literally hours going through what I’ll call this first phase of choosing what I hope is a useful blog format and adding in relevant to the blog home page. The site went live around 5 PM on Friday I couldn’t have done this without the fantastical help from my colleague Peter Laudati (@jrzyshr) who helped me traverse the dev tweaks necessary to get the site going in the format I was looking for.  Thanks Peter!  The blog platform that we use is very flexible and complete, but not being a developer myself made it a bit difficult to add in all the content (i.e. Twitter updates) and get the formatting (i.e. column widths, etc.) that made the site look fresh and relevant. 

While the site is probably more than half complete, there are still some customizations in progress as well as some more fit and finish that will take place in the upcoming weeks and months.  Let me know what you think!