About Us

Baxter and Friends is a blog specifically built to showcase a variety of opinions and perspectives.  Anyone is welcome to become a contributor.  In fact, without an awesome casts of contributors, this blog will never be a success.  Thank you in advance.

  1. First I applaud your work here, but it’s too much! It’s mesmerizing / dizzying. A few suggestions.

    First, you should have a bio (I’d suggest keeping it to a single paragraph, a few short paragraphs at most) for each contributor so that if someone wants to learn more about the writer (and if they are specifically qualified to write on the topic at hand or just a Joe Schmo like the rest of us) they have that information readily available.

    The categories on the right are just too much. Really, those are keywords, which should be bunched together at the bottom like in a single block of text, with each keyword separated from the others by a comma.

    As far as categories go, I’d suggest the following organizational pattern. I think this comes from Linux programming or something related to computing. I first heard it back in my undergraduate years. Weird the things you remember, but I could tell you exactly who gave me this information and where the conversation happened. Weird. Not like it’s earth-shattering or life-changing. Well, it is life-changing in that it’s helped make my life easier to manage, but not life-changing on a spiritual level. (Patrick McWright, 1987, at 2111 Euclid Road in Huntsville, Alabama… it’s easy to remember, he was a roommate and that’s the house 4, sometimes 5, of us rented in college) Oh, yeah, it has to do with how file structures / directories should be set up. It applies there, but it applies to anything one would organize. Let me start another paragraph since I rambled so long about when I learned it and how helpful it has been to me.

    Anything one would organize (e.g., categories on a blog) should be a list no shorter than two (duh, it’s not a list if it’s just one thing) but no larger than four (yeah, 4). If it’s longer than 4 then you need to group things together under a larger heading. If under a heading you have more than 4 listed then you should come up with subheadings to group them under, and continue on until everything is organized in groups no smaller than two but no larger than four. An example from the list on the right. You have Basketball, College Football, Lakers, and Sports. Clearly the heading should be Sports with a drop list of Basketball, Football, Baseball, and Soccer (just to get to 4, but now that the World Cup is over will people be interested in soccer again? or go back to the previous apathy? I was surprised to find the TVs in a Taco Bell I visited during that time were tuned exclusively to the World Cup, surprised me) and you could have a breakdown under each of College and Professional (maybe even high school if someone is keen on Alabama high schools and you want to include that in your blog). But say you wanted to write about Tiger Woods, he doesn’t fit in those categories, and listing Golf would get you to 5. Hmmmm, how could we organize that? Ah, team and individual… If golf is the only individual sport you wish to write about then you wouldn’t list golf by itself, anyone digging that far into your organizational structure and looking at the posts would see the only individual sport you write about is golf. But say you wanted to write about the Williams sisters… then you would have enough to list two categories under Individual Sports: Golf and Tennis.

    I hope your find that helpful. I know as a reader if would help me navigate your blog and know what all you’re writing about. Organize it how you see fit, but a quick scan makes me suggest the following: Obviously Sports (and organized like the previous paragraph outlines) is a category. I see two main headings: Sports and Lifestyle. You might add a miscellany category for things you don’t think fit those categories (what does Favorite mean? what is Stupid?). You could use miscellany as the heading, or you could give it a creative name like Baxter’s Brew, Ben Baxter’s Big Bag of Bewilderment. (Don’t you just love alliteration?) Under Lifestyle would be Relationships, Finance, Medicine, and Entertainment… And you can take it from there. I think you have the idea by now….

    If you haven’t snagged Andrea (uh, Paige… I met her as Andrea) as a contributor you should. She is hilarious. Not sure why she never launch her stand-up comedy career.

    • G, I will take this into consideration. One thing I have noticed, is that what I once thought should be categories, should actually be tags. As you have mentioned, the categories seem to be endless– sidenote… most of those are subcategories actually, it just doesn’t appear that way. So either, I’ll remove the categories widget, or I’ll remove all categories. Not sure.

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