Saturday, June 6, 2009

Douglas & Main bait

As you can't help but see, we're trying out the John Brown-on-a-bike image as a header for the blog. I've been surprised that each time I've used it, no one has commented on the image; I have no idea what that might mean. Meanwhile, lately I've been wanting to do something to enliven the blog's look. The Minima template is, well, minimum: on its own, it conveys exactly zero sense of what cycling in Wichita--the activity itself as well as the blog--is "about."

Too much? (Not just size (the image might need some cropping); I don't at all intend for it to convey the image that I or others on bikes are terrorizing the city; on the other hand, it appeals to me because of its implicit reference to advocacy for cycling issues.) Too joke-y? Not joke-y enough? Should it be more Wichita-centric? How do locals/Kansans see it? How do out-of-staters and foreigners (this blog somehow attracts a fair number of European visitors) read it?

Let me know in comments; I'd especially appreciate knowing if you're local or from out of town, if I don't already know that about you. If you'd prefer to e-mail me your comments, write me at "blogmeridian AT sbcglobal DOT net"


Karen in Wichita said...

That's not a header, that's a splash page. Size is definitely a problem... there's one whole line of text ("Welcome!" and the date) on my screen when the page comes up.

Aside from that, I have to admit that I just don't get the association. Part of it is that I didn't grow up (in Indiana) associating Brown or even the Curry mural with Kansas, I imagine.

John B. said...

Thanks for commenting, Karen. All day, I've been fretting about the size of the image, too; I just haven't fiddled with it yet.

For Kansans, John Brown is iconic--he dominates the territory's early history in much the way that Curry depicts him in the painting. Seeing as I'd grown up (in Texas) a Civil War buff and so seem always to have known about him, I labor under the assumption that he's as well-known by most other non-Kansans, too.

Well. I'll crop it a bit and leave it up for a bit to see what others say about it. Thanks again.

Karen in Wichita said...

Oh, I knew who John Brown was, but in Indy we learned about Harpers Ferry, mostly. You have to remember: Indiana is the Crossroads of America, the heart of the Midwest, and civilization ends at the Mississippi. We learned about the Missouri Compromise, but Bleeding Kansas was apparently just a bit too far west to really get a lot of coverage.

(Imagine my confusion when I moved to Kansas and learned that Kansas is "Midwest," and Indiana is now "back East.")