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Welcome to 2011!!

Happy New Year, everyone!! Welcome to the future - well, the year after 2010 that is. The new year has finally arrived, with all of the promise of a fresh start at life, with new challenges and opportunities to face us. With the arrival of 2011 comes a chance to make some changes to The Sunday Talk, the most obvious of which is the new template I’m using here. I’ve always liked the idea of annually refreshing web sites I run with brand new looks, and TST is no exception. Gone is the Sunday morning paper look, and in is a very stark and clean look. In addition to this obvious visual change, I’m making several changes to the underlying nature of the blog, and more specifically its content - most of which I want to outline in this post. So, without future hesitation, here’s the main changes coming to The Sunday Talk in 2011:

A renewed focus for the blog

I’ve decided to tweak the focus of what this blog discusses, partly to keep things fresh and interesting, but also partly because I want the blog to continue reflecting the person that I am - and with that, comes an occasional change in focus on what is important to me in life. As such, this blog is going to be less of a “discuss the latest news headlines”, but rather more review-focussed. I also want it to link into definite things within the real world, which means things that people can experience themselves if they read my thoughts and want to give whatever it is a go. So with that announced, the old “Television” category has become “Television & DVDs”, because I want to include reviews and thoughts on new releases as well as programs broadcasting on the box. The old “Technology” category has become “Gadgets”, as I want it to be more consumer electronics-focussed. I’ve added a few new categories as well, because I want to also start reviewing “Books” and the latest “Films” that I go and see. Lastly, I’m also broadening the blog remit out to include “Travel”, which is something I am keen to do this year. I am hoping that this year I do some exploring of the SE QLD corner, and visit places and such like. And it’ll be under this category that I discuss what I saw, and what I thought of it. I will even try to use the Photo Gallery feature of Squarespace to upload images taken from the travel location I visit. I am hopeful that going forward the blog becomes more dynamic and interesting, which it seems to be for me given this new focus - with the new focus taking pride of place as the byline for the blog heading.

Politics is dead to me

I hate to say it, but I’m turning off my coverage of all things politics. Partly because I am finding myself quite bored with it at present (2010 was a disaster year for quality policy development), but also I’ve come to the realisation that there are other people out there who can cover it a lot better than me, because they are just plain more knowledgeable about it. If you visited this blog for the politics coverage, may I suggest you visit Bernard Keane’s coverage at Crikey, which was always more consistent, in-depth, and just plain better than mine? I might come back to politics if a QLD State election is called, or a Federal election happens - but aside from those sorts of big events, I won’t be covering it. Unless, of course, the realm of politics overlaps with the aforementioned categories I’m focussing this blog around - the National Broadband Network, for example, will continue to be something I cover, because it fits into the “Gadgets” category.

iStockPhoto is onboard

For the first 6 months of this blog’s existence, I would use images scoured from the Web via a Bing Image search. While for the most part I’d credit the original source, this never felt as honest as it should - so as of 2011 I’ve decided to take out an account with iStockPhoto, and each post now will be graced by a fully paid-for image or illustration that I have the copyright on to use. All part of my desire to make this blog as legit and above-board as I can. This post’s image, for example, came from iStockPhoto. Will keep playing around with the quality of images I use, but sufficed to say I like the idea of using proper images for the blog. In addition to this, where possible for product reviews and such like I will utilise images from press packs to help illustrate the story. No more random Bing Image searches for this little blog!!

YouTube videos are go

Something else I am keen to do this year is feature more video content on the blog, streamed via YouTube. This will include, to start with, video footage linked to Travel stories I report on, but going forward I would love to be able to include interviews with people related to stories I write up - such as interviewing a writer about their new play, or something like that. This is definitely a side project for me, but it will be something to play around with, and it’ll end up being as big or as small as it needs to be, really. Will see how things go. At the very least, I would like to have posted 12 video clips by the end of the year - so about 1 a month, on average.

Well, that’s about it I think. Let me know what you think of the ideas, and if there’s anything else you think that I can do to make the blog more interesting for you, the dear reader. Would love to see reader comments take off in a big way in 2011. Thanks for coming on board for the second year of The Sunday Talk blog. It’s gonna be one hell of a ride!

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