I was invited to attend the The Middle Tennessee Blogger and Podcaster’s Group Meeting, which was held yesterday in Smyrna at Espresso Joe’s. I wasn’t really prepared to talk and in doing a little song and dance on the spot, a reoccurring idea popped up again which got me to thinking.

I didn’t know that they were going to actually record a podcast at the meeting, but that’s exactly what they did. The format of their recording was a little off-the-cuff and I didn’t have anything really prepared, so when they passed the microphone to me, I wasn’t quite sure what to say. Their podcast is centered around the cities of Smyrna and Laverne. Since I live in Antioch, I didn’t really have much to add. M. was kind enough to throw me a lifeline when she asked, “What have you been up to?”

I talked about the new podcast Simply Digital and then was reminded about NPUG and talked a little bit about that. There was a lot more that I could have talked about, but the conversation turned to something else, which was fine by me. I was happy to be off the hot seat.

What struck me though is that I do have quite a lot going on and I don’t really promote it very well. This isn’t a new thought, but it’s one that I seem to forget and then it pops up now and again. What also keeps popping up is that I’m SO tired of the design on this site.

If you’ve been a reader of this blog for awhile, you may recall that I was inspired by a cracker box a couple of years ago and I’ve even made it far enough to create a little beta site. Past that, I’ve never taken it much further and I don’t know that I will with that design. I was in love with it two years ago, but now it just feels constrained and limiting.

On top of that, I’m wanting to shake things up a bit with the content of the site as well. I’m going to move the photos to my Flickr account and I’m going to incorporate the never completed travelogues into the regular posts. What excites me about this is that I will only have one blog to manage and not three. 🙂

I also want to highlight the other activities going on with the other sites that I manage. Whenever something comes up, I could just post an article about it, but when there are long breaks between other articles, it seems a little bit much. So often times I just skip it. So I plan on adding an “Elsewhere” section to the home page. This way I can highlight things happening on other sites without having to write a whole article about it. Things that will find a home in this area will be Simply Digital, NPUG, The Ashby Group, TV.com and some other things up my sleeve.

With all the photos moving to Flickr, I think there needs to be an area on the front page to highlight recent photos that have been uploaded. For example, I just posted photos from my recent vacation to Florida. With so much copy written for each photo, I don’t see posting a article just on the photo set, so I think I’ll show the most recent photos somewhere.

I’m also toying with the idea of showing my del.icio.us links, but this re-design is more than just new or shifted content. My usual inspiration from sites such as SimpleBits and Asterisk, among others, is still strong, but my biggest inspiration points came from my morning cup of coffee. There on the mug was an image that hit me like a bolt of lighting. I’ll go into more detail once I’ve made some progress on the re-design.

So that’s kind of a brain dump of what I’ve been thinking about regarding the weblog. I want to consolidate my content, add some external content to the front page and completely change the design to something inspired from a coffee cup.