Over the past week and a half my life has been devoted mostly to studying for exams and absolutely killing the slaughterhouse my university calls "Making sure people learn shit". As a result my coding fingers have been pretty itchy, but I didn't have enough brainpower left to do anything serious.
So I decided to spend some of my study breaks doing some housekeeping around the site. This resulted in a pretty awesome super informative footer that has already produced some fine results as far as visitor behaviour goes.
Yes, it's pretty big as far as footers go, but I wanted something that's very airy and looks nice. If it doesn't look like the picture for you, please let me know so I can fix it.
The point of this footer is that it isn't just some static "Hey, I'm this guy and I do this stuff, follow me on twitter, be my friend, I'm awesome". No. The only static parts of this monster are the section titles and a sentence or two. Everything else is dynamically updated from the various social and data tracking services I use.
My current location is pulled directly from Foursquare, the last few photos are from Instagram, the latest stuff I'm working on is just a list of repositories I last pushed to on Github. The part about what I'm listening to is a last.fm widget and that awesome thing telling you that I only have about 19k more days to live is a pretty brilliant new site I randomly found ... going to blog about that later this week, because it's just super awesome.
Another important bit is the navigation linking visitors to the previous and next post. Now I dont' have any metrics yet, but ever since I added those two links activity surrounding my old posts has shot up infinitely. I say infinitely because there didn't used to be any. People probably thought there was only ever one post on the whole blog :)
Originally the idea for this footer came from Buster Benson's home page. He's the guy who made 750words.com and it seems like his home page is pulling data from some of the things he writes on and making real-time analysis of how he's feeling. I wanted to have something like that, but didn't feel like devoting my whole site to it.
The answer came when I stumbled upon Dustin Curtis' home page. Everything is just brilliantly styled there, but when I saw how his footer works, I was in love. Suddenly I knew exactly where to put the data about my life and I knew almost exactly what I wanted it to look like.
So thanks to @dcurtis and @busterbenson, you probably won't read this, but thanks for the inspiration anyway.
Also, if you have any suggestions about what I could add to the footer, do tell. I was thinking about adding a counter for the amount of tasks I've completed lately (Toggl has an API), or displaying some of my latest tweets ... perhaps the ones that get retweeted so it isn't too horrible to read.
- 750 words a day keeps the insanity away (swizec.com)
- Ten Fat Footers: How to Make Good Use of that Space at the End of the Page (blogs.sitepoint.com)
- 3 Powerful Website Toolbars for Bloggers (bloggingot.com)
- My Blog Guest - Hype or Monstrous Backlink Machine? (clickfire.com)
I write articles with real insight into the career and skills of a modern software engineer. "Raw and honest from the heart!" as one reader described them. Fueled by lessons learned over 20 years of building production code for side-projects, small businesses, and hyper growth startups. Both successful and not.
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