Since I started this blog in Dec 2005, I kept finding myself wanting to do more and being frustrated with my inabilities to accomplish the changes I wanted to make. For those of you who have been here before, the template has slightly changed from minima with white background to the neo template.
I am usually very reluctant to make changes to this site because of my lack of knowledge and the fear of losing something in the process. I like to blog but I hate all the CSSing or HTMLing behind it. Like most things in life , I detest them because I don't understand them ( that sentence could the theme of the elections around the world lately but I digress).
However, my family in Ethiopia and Madagascar notified me that they are having hard time accessing the blog because it was loading too slowly (I should have known this because I fell asleep waiting for my page to load when I was in Nairobi) . That was a reality check because the original reason for starting a blog was to keep in touch with the family and update extended families on everyone's whereabouts.
So I gave the fast uploading neo template a try and it looks good so far (m uncle in Tana seems happy with it). So here is big thank you to Ramani for Neo. The idea behind Neo is that the uploading of the site is faster because columns are loaded separately. Therefore if you click on one link in one column, only the right column should reload. ( hey, look at that, I sound like I would actually understand what I just wrote).

Sadly, I am still so computer-challenged that I frequently make blunders such as sending a private mail to a public list or losing work because my laptop was unplugged :D.

The latest example of such inabilities was trying to "skype" with my family. Anyone with relatives overseas know the routine of starting of skype and waiting anxiously for familiar faces to show up on you screen, looking like the astronauts of Apollo 13 with unsynchronized speech pattern :). It's mostly: "Can you hear me now ? " " Why is your face so dark ?" "Change the settings on your mic or webcam... " "Oh by the way, I am doing fine..."

Eventually, I picked the phone and turned off skype. There is only so much of my computer ignorance I can stand.


  1. I have to find a less dark template because one reader expressed his difficulty in reading .. still postponed :( I do like your neo template :D

  2. if you strip out all the widgets and extras, you would get a very very fast blog. (for example the visitors locations widget, flickr, site meter, mybloglog ...)

    they really take a time to load. the standard template provided by blogger are fast, by default.

    or you could ask them to use a RSS reader like google reader for example. That would strip away all decorations and fancy stuff that slows down the loading.

    by the way, skype is hard for everybody. i am trying to use it too with family in rwanda and works only once in a while. i believe you need ADSL or cable to make it work.

  3. Thanks, To. Still working a few kinks but think I will keep it.
    Heri, you are right, I was close to just ditch the widgets but that would also mean less sharing hey ? Yet what is a blog if we don't share anymore? ( this is an internal joke with another blogger from Montreal) :D
    Your family is Rwanda ? How often do you get to see them ?

  4. taking out the sitemeter sped up my blogs quite a bit. should try neo out too actually... wonder if anyone's made a k2 lookalike for neo.

    i had no problems videoconf. with my family, they used to be on dialup... so it's probably some settings issue. sometimes the network is slow for whatever reason - maybe try at another time.

  5. Mosi,
    I got an ignorant technical question for you. Would I still be able to track visitors if I remove the sitemeter widgets ? (and what is k2?)

    Loading is still a bit slow so I think I will have to pull the trigger and get rid of most widget.

  6. Like the new template :)

    I agree with Heri - if you strip out a lot of the widgets, your site will be way faster.

    Sitemeter itself is not that heavy. I think what's weighing down your site loading is all the extra graphical widgets - Visitor locations/flickr etc...

    Happy tweaking :)

  7. Thanks Amrita,
    I followed your advice ( Heri and Mosi's as well) and got rid of 1/2 of them widgets :). Can't delete from sitemeter and clustrmaps though :) some weird separation anxiety thing

  8. I switched to google analytics from sitemeter. could try both for some time I guess.

    k2 - what the dog blog / kraal is on. (well it's denim hacked to look like k2). i tried to do it but didn't work - so probably need to read up a bit more about neo.

    amrita - maybe i was on a slower sitemeter server. the moment i deleted it the site sped up quite a bit.