Change is Good!

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Howdy everyone, and welcome to ActiveSteve 3.0! Yup, it was time to throw the switch on the things I’ve been working on in the background for a while with respect to this website. In celebration of the fact that ActiveSteve has essentially been reborn as a result of getting the clean bill of health, I decided to get my portal re-vectored in anticipation of my future adventures 🙂 Although I’ve always been pretty happy with the site that I had, it was time to try some new things. Well, that and the fact that my server host has been sort of trying to get me to upgrade my underlying content management system (CMS), Drupal specifically. Of course I’m sure you’re not all that interested in the boring techy side of this. You’re probably just interested in finding out what exactly I’ve changed, what’s new, and what you can do here at the new ActiveSteve. I’ll keep is relatively short, but if you’d like to actually read about what’s new, rather than just messing around yourself, click the link to read more.

First and foremost, I’m sure the most striking thing that you’ll notice is that my theme has been completely revamped, with things having been moved around, and new things having been introduced. A lot of this has been prompted by my adoption of an increasing amount of Web 2.0 goodness. Yup, you’ll notice my twitter updates front and center on the front page. This is where I’ll dash off little thoughts whenever they strike me. You can subscribe to my twitter feed from there as well. Also, you’ll notice on the upper right that you can actually chat live with me if I’m online and in the mood. Also, as music is a big part of my life, I’ve decided to put up a feed of my last.fm scrobbled tunes. You can see exactly what I’m listening to when I’m ‘connected’. Of course, there’s also the obligatory Facebook block that you can click on to get to my Facebook page. Also on the right hand side is a block with links to items that I’m sharing through my Google Reader page. These are just various articles, pictures, links, etc. that I got a kick out of or had an interest in. Clicking any of those takes you to the thing in question.

Besides having all these new blocks, this theme allows some other neat things to happen. Firstly, you’ll be able to ‘close’ any block you don’t care to know about. So if you don’t want the facebook block, just click on the header bar, and it’ll minimize for you, even if you go to another page on my site. Fun eh? You’ll also notice that my menus at the top of the page have changed a bit. I’ve taken out the ‘home’ link, since you can get to that just by clicking anywhere at the top of any page on my logo. I’ve also (for now) done away with my ‘sponsors’ page, as I don’t have any, nor am I soliciting at the moment ;-). However, you’ll now see a new menu link,NZ. Yup, I finally got around to creating a full archive of my travels to New Zealand and Fiji from 2007-2008. Going to this link will bring you to a ‘book’ with pages on all my blog posts, my custom maps, as well as links to al the pictures. In the maps section, I’ve even gotten around to creating the ‘mega maps’ of the North and South islands showing all the biking I did there, along with select pictures. Sweet stuff. On my blog postings page, you can actually download a PDF of all 119 blog posts from the trip as well. Makes for great bedtime reading or a coffee table book 🙂

Besides those things, I’ve also re-vamped my Events page, which now gets all the event info directly from a few different Google calendars that I’m maintaining. I liked the way it lets me present data, as well as manage the data easily no matter what computer I’m on. It’s still not perfect, but I like it. On my Travels , I’ve also implemented a new map showing where in the world I’ve been and would like to visit. Pretty slick little graphic I think. Anyway, enough about all the changes, why don’t you just check them all out for yourself. If you find anything broken, or something looks a little fishy to you, please leave a comment here for me. It’s much easier for me to debug if people tell me problems they see. If you could mention your operating system and/or browser version, that would help too. These things have a big impact when it comes to website errors! Thanks for visiting, and enjoy 🙂

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