Nov 15, 2010

The Lairs They Are a-Changin'

Hello dear reader! How are you then? Hope the lady (or the mister, excuse me, but I do keep forgetting your gender and/or sexual preferences) is doing fine. As you might have noticed things have been pretty slow here at your favourite Gnome's Lair. As you also might have noticed all the ads are gone too, in what can only be described as a first step in revamping this particular (mostly) gaming blog.

Now, don't get me wrong. I really don't have anything against people making a little extra for their online contributions, but I just don't feel that roughly two euros a day are worth cluttering the design of the Lair and possibly distracting from the content. Removing them ads is after all just the first part of the blog redesign I've been postponing for quite some time now, but which will piece-by-piece soon be more apparent. After all I am a bit too busy right now and I've decided that crisis or not, advertising isn't the way to solve problems.

Anyway. Free time can be quite a problem too. Academic work -though either severely underpaid or even unpaid- can't take the backseat and I'm currently swamped with stuff that simply needs to be done, while a new blog (in Greek), a perpetually under development new site, a few game ideas and a ton of other things have more than reduced my time available for Gnome's Lair. And let's not forget the international political situation which I really feel I have absolutely no right to ignore.

So, does this mean Gnome's Lair will be ignored instead? Definitely not. It will simply have to change a bit in order to be more satisfying to me (and hopefully you). And I'm not only talking about the design... Hopefully you'll very soon start seeing what I have in mind, though I will of course remain open to suggestions. Actually, I'd really love suggestions. And ideas.

Oh, and look at the lovely picture at the top of the post. Fantastic, eh?


  1. Hi dude. Kudos to your decision of removing ads in the lair. I've long been thinking of removing ads on my blog. Your move inspired me to remove ads on my site as well - if I ever get the time to do so.

  2. Lovely hearing this. Thanks Bastich!

  3. Yay for changes!

    A) I have to admit I am not too keen on current design. I come here for content, so it does not bother me that much, but yes, something less squarey might be a step in the right direction. Having changed design recently, too, I would recommend asking some artist for a header, though.

    B) Excellent decision on the ads. I have experimented with Google Ads and frankly, I am surprised you manged to squeeze even 2EUR per day from them. It was pennies on my blog, so off with their heads.

    That said, I have kept AdTaily widget on BartsNews, because it is not too distracting and brings a little bonus every now and then.

    C) Time. Goshdarnittoheck, I feel you on that one. My blog is a little less active recently due to me writing gaming articles in Polish for money (they have priority), crapload of work (I am a corpo-rat, it figures) and ... yea, and that would be it. Even private life got squeezed because of that.

    So, to wrap it up: changes are more than welcome, their direction seems promising, good luck with finding time.

  4. I don't mind the current design - I actually like your header for its simplicity - but layout-wise I tend to miss a lot in the sidebar because I don't really scroll beyond your posts, and not because your links aren't interesting - they really are - but they do get a bit lost in the noise for me.

    The ads never bothered me, in fact I automatically turn a blind eye to ads so I would have a hard job remembering where they were on the Lair. I've never used them myself, I just don't like that approach (but I hold nothing against you or anyone for using them). I rarely click ads, so probably haven't contributed a single cent, sorry, but i'm more than happy to donate what I can to keep the blog going if need be. I'm always grateful when given the chance to support my favourite developers, or in this case, writer.

    I'm anxious to find out what new direction you're taking the Lair in. Presumably a format that will allow you to continue the blog, albeit with less frequent updates? I completely understand why though, I haven't posted on my own blog for a couple of months and i'm nowhere near as busy as you. I was telling 'the lady' about your blog just the other day and how prolific a writer you are. I couldn't keep up that kind of pace.

    I look forward to seeing the changes, and i'll make more of an effort to keep up with your writings elsewhere to supplement any lull in output here on the Lair.

  5. I feel the design is totally irrelevant to the great content. Anyone would take over this blog, just to feel how it would be to be sitting in the king's throne (myself included in anyone). I'm with whatever you're getting down to.

  6. I like the new look of the Lair! I am no fan of ads. Your current design is really interesting, lots to look at but very clean.

    I think you just need to write when you're moved to do so.

    Your content is unique and new posts are always welcomed.

    Best of luck going forward.

  7. @ Barts: a) I do agree, but first comes functionality. After I get that, I will try for something better looking. Artists do cost money you know... b)+c) Right, thanks and cheers! Good luck to you too my friend.

    @ straydogstrut: Thank you. Also I fully agree with your comment regarding the sidebar links. I'll try to fix this first. Really. Oh, and I'm not 100% settled on the lair's new direction. Thanks for the kind words (and introducing the blog to your good lady) again!

    @ Dualnames: Thanks a ton my most talented friend!

    @ Salaryn's Word: Thanks again and cheers! Oh, and good luck too!

  8. Hi Gnome. Good to hear you're not abandoning the Lair, as it's a fantastic read. Full of informative, well written, witty articles and interviews. It's no wonder I chased you up for the position on Retroaction magazine. I look forward to the changes you will make and I'm sure they will make the website even better than it is - if that's possible.

  9. Thank you so much for the extremely kind words Neil. Wish we had the time to start Retroaction anew. Then again, who knows?

  10. I will remain an interested reader of the site, even after the removal of advertising ;)

    Good luck with your changes, friend Gnome!

  11. Thank you for being so considerate dear Ben. I knew you loved them ads. Oh, and thanks in general too!

  12. Tried ads on our game to see if we could at least pay a fraction of the server costs. Fraction is right... I think they could have paid for a very, very, very small cup of weak espresso in a heavily subsidized state cafeteria. We decided that the space was better used to let players know about special events or things like that.

    Interested to see how you change the site. I think your posts could be more central and get more space, but the content is the thing, so hope you have time for that in future.

  13. A brilliant point in favour of finally subsidizing cafeterias. Thank you oh Dave! And you are absolutely right too. The posts will get more space and hopefully become more central. As for the time available -provided things don't go horribly- it should soon be, well, available.

  14. I have been following your blog for quite some time now, always enjoyed the content which allowed me to discover new horizons in gaming , good luck on all those changes !

  15. Thank you so much Vince.

  16. Any chance you could give the lair a transparent background? You know, so I can see my desktop.