August 30, 2014

Text in images: how much is too much?

Bloggers many times put text inside images with different things in mind. At times it works to their advantage while many times it makes the blog look childish.

Take the example of small sayings or ‘mantras’ superimposed tastefully on images. In such cases, the entire piece looks like a piece of art and gives the text an iconic identity. You can see some examples of this in these two posts: 1 , 2. But this, like a special effect, should not be overdone in blog posts.

Text works fine as an image or inside an image, when put as the title of the blog. It helps in recall of the blog’s identity. Indian Top Blogs, too, uses this and has purposely not changed the image for the last many years.

Poet bloggers often use a background image to enhance intensity of their poems. Some blogs excel in beautifully composing their small posts of quotations etc with appropriate images. This all is fine but only if the basics of readability, design etc are kept in mind. We have earlier dealt with this and other related aspects at this link on placing images on blogs.

We have seen a good number of blogs with background images that run behind some columns or the entire blog. Sometimes a picture is repeated (tiled) over and over to cover the entire screen. Bloggers also apply ready-made beautiful themes to their blogs. When you do any of these, keep in mind the readability aspect as mentioned above. When your blog has a lot of text, avoid using images with too much variation in colour and contrast. Also avoid tiling an image behind the text. A better way is to use the image on the margins and corners or in the top / bottom portions of the blog where you have only some links, very bold text or no text.

Image embedded text: is it copy-proof?

A number of bloggers put text into an image just to make copying the text difficult. This does make the life of the plagiarist difficult to that extent, but it is no guarantee that a dogged plagiarist will not type out the text and use it. An innocent blogger told us once that she had applied a colourful background to her blog so that others would not be able to print her poems directly!

If your content is so precious that you don’t want people to use it, do not make it public on the web rather than trying to use pictures or colours to mask it. Pictures behind text will, in most cases, irritate genuine visitors without protecting the content.

The final word...

You can use image behind the text content but take care that the image adds value to the content and does not compromise the readability of the text and does not spoil the overall design of the blog. Also take care that you don't overdo it.

August 26, 2014

Quick blog reviews by ITB: an announcement

This post is for announcing a new blog review system we’d follow as long as we are able to sustain it.  We’ll call it ‘quick review’.
 
We are quite busy in compiling the Directory of Best Hindi Blogs, which will come out on 30th September. From that date, we’d welcome requests from our email subscribers for a quick take on their blog’s quality, design, navigation and other relevant aspects. It will not be a detailed review but will still give you a third-party opinion on what is not working fine with your blog.
 
As it happened with our earlier ‘detailed blog reviews’, our response may take some time if we get too many requests. So as to keep the number of requests in check, we won’t publicise it other than updating FAQ and submission guidelines.
 
The service will be entirely free and without any obligation. Since our quick review might often be critical, we’d request bloggers to treat the advice as constructive critique of the blog aimed at improving it. We wish you all good, and only good.
 
It will not be possible for us to entertain more than one request for one blog. When you receive our reply, you can once again seek clarification just on our reply, but we’d have to stop communicating if we feel that we are being taken for granted. You are free to send another query after a year.
 
HOW TO APPROACH Indian Top Blogs
 
Please be sure that you have a live subscription to ITB updates. You can use the email subscription widget is in the right sidebar to subscribe to ITB post updates.
Do send an email to kp.nd.2008@gmail.com with this subject: QUICK REVIEW. A filter is being used to screen emails by title, and so if you have put any other subject, the email will not be seen as a request for quick review of a blog.
 
In the body of the blog, write as follows:
  • Your email ID that you have used for subscribing to ITB
  • Name of the blog
  • If you want to seek specific advice about the blog, you can add one short sentence.
That’s all.