The Sharks are not a Playoff Team — Teal Sunglasses for February 22, 2015

Teal Sunglasses is an occasional collection of things and opinions about hockey, the San Jose Sharks and sports in general. Stay tuned for fascinating opinions and pithy commentary. Also keep an eye on my Twitter feed for more interesting stuff.

The Sharks are Not a Playoff Team

Yesterday the Sharks held their outdoor game at Levi stadium about five miles from here. Laurie and I decided not to try for tickets and instead watched from the comfort of the couch. David Pollack of the Merc has good overall coverage of the event.

The Sharks were the Sharks — although you never know this season which Sharks will show up: the pissed off, play hard sharks or the confused-looking and playing badly Sharks. The good news is that last night the good Sharks showed up. The bad news is they showed very clearly they aren’t close to being as good as the Kings. Given that the Sharks have been right on the playoff bubble and chasing the Kings in the standings, this game was presented as a key one in the playoff run.

They were right, and this game pretty much proves what I was saying on twitter last week: this team isn’t a playoff team and even if it squeaks into the playoffs, it’ll be a quick exit.

I’m not going to complain about that. This Sharks team had a great run and succeeded in every way — except that last ultimate goal. That window has closed and this team is now in transition to the next generation that’ll make the next run at winning the Stanley Cup. At some point a team has to take a step back and reload.

I know, at this point we’ll hear some fans saying some variant of “the Red Wings just reload in place” and they’re correct,  although it should be noted that it’s now been seven years since they’ve won a Cup — and the flip side is the St. Louis Blues who made the playoffs 22 years running and never got out of the first round. The Sharks have actually done better than the Red Wings in overall playoff performance SINCE that last Red Wing Cup.

The fact is, if you look beyond the Red Wings, you don’t see other teams who can successfully reload in place and keep winning. There are teams that are consistently good and in the playoffs (like the Sharks) but don’t seem to have that last mile answer; most teams have to tear it down, rebuild and try again. I think the Sharks have tried to reload in place and done and did as well as anyone has with that tactic — but ultimately it didn’t work.

So Sharks fans should plan to spend their playoff ticket money on something else, because I think this team has shown itself as not being playoff ready, and even if it does somehow squeak in, it won’t be for long. I think squeaking in would reinforce the idea this team is better than it is any maybe hurt the rebuild movement as well, so I’m hoping the team falls short.

The Trade Deadline Moving Van is backing up to the Shark Tank

Beep! Beep! Beep!

That is the sound of the Trade Deadline Moving Van backing up to the player’s entrance of the Shark Tank.

It’s been a great run, but the window has closed. This is a position the Sharks haven’t been in much but with the trade deadline looming, it’s time for the Sharks to be sellers. Let’s assume up front that both Marleau and Thornton won’t wave their clauses and aren’t going anywhere, because that’s likely with both.

So who won’t be with the team in two weeks?

Right now I think the player most likely to be moved is Scott Hannan. The Hawks are rumored to be looking for a depth defenseman and interested in him. It’d be nice to give Hannan a chance to play with them towards the end of his career. I don’t see the return on this as great — fourth round pick? But Hannan going to someone seems to be the most likely trade out there.

Second on my list: Antti Niemi. While Niemi’s “use by” date has clearly passed — he’s in the bottom 20% of the league in both save percentage and goals against — he can be useful to some teams. He’s going to be an unrestricted free agent and the Sharks have (as far as anyone knows) made no attempts to talk contract with him, which seems to indicate they aren’t planning on bringing him back next year — a move I’d strongly agree with. I don’t see many teams in the league that would want to trade for Niemi to sign him, but he’d be very useful for a team that wants to bulk up their backup goalie spot for the playoffs and playoff run.

I think a great example of what I’m thinking is the Kings: they’re not playing Jones much and they’re riding Quick hard. Niemi might be able to give Quick a couple of rest games and would be insurance in case Quick got hurt — and yes the Kings would clearly have no interest in signing Niemi in the offseason. A pure rental as insurance late in the season and against a playoff injury to their starter. Of course, I think the chance of the Sharks trading with the Kings is effectively zero, but that’s the likely kind of situation where a team might find value (but not huge value) in trading for Niemi. Maybe the Rangers with Lundqvist’s injury?

I give Hannan 80% chance of moving, and I’ve been thinking 50-50 on Niemi, but after last night’s game, let’s make it 60-40% in favor of his moving on.

Other players that might move? none of the young core, none of the prospects; Laurie and I came up with 3-4 other of the older and depth type players (Scott, for instance) who might have a team show interest. This is about clearing cap and clearing older players to make room for youth while acquiring some mid-level draft picks where the Sharks have done a very good job of finding talent other teams miss.

If the Sharks do deal Niemi, then what? Staylock, bluntly has disappointed me (and the Sharks) greatly. Niemi has made winning the starter job this year easy, and Staylock hasn’t. Why? I don’t know but I expected a lot more from him. This makes me think the Sharks are going to be looking for goaltending help in the offseason, because it’s unclear they have a #1 goaltender that’s (a) better than Niemi and (b) ready for prime time. To the idea it’s better to then sign Niemi, well, no. Because Niemi is only going to decline in quality from here on, and that would limit their flexibility. I’d rather struggle with a kid that’s not quite ready than be stuck with a veteran who never will be again.

“Just Give Pavelski the C already” — or maybe not.

I’m hearing it more and more on Twitter: Just give Pavelski the “C” already. I sympathize and he’d be my choice, although I have to admit, I’m more and more impressed with how Vlasic is managing the team as well, and if you look at who is the standard post-game interview, especially after bad losses, it’s very often Vlasic. I don’t think it’s safe to assume that Pavelski is the only, or even the best, candidate for this team.

There are a lot of reasons not to award the captaincy this season, but the biggest one is that it’s not why this team is broken and naming a captain won’t fix it — but will put more pressure and the risk of more blame on whoever gets named. That seems a bad bet to me, and I hope the Sharks don’t try it. I’ve wondered a lot about why they chose this particular setup, especially when it became clear that it wasn’t a 20 game tryout.

Part of the reason why the Sharks have left things this way is, I think, that nobody on the team has really stepped up and shown themselves as captain. The leadership really is a group project. That includes Pavelski who’s done a yeoman’s job on the ice, but I don’t see the public aspects of the Captain’s role as fitting him right now (Vlasic seems more comfortable there; another reason to consider him for this).

Another aspect: Joe Thornton. As long as Thornton is on the team, he’s going to have a strong influence on it. A good argument can be made (and Dan Robson has done a good job of making it) that this is still Thorton’s team, C or no C. Leaving things in this “group project” mode limits the friction with  political and interpersonal aspects of this team in transition — and don’t be fooled, as much as both Thornton and Marleau have put on good faces and have tried to keep a positive locker room attitude and worked their butts off on the ice, there are still hard feelings here that won’t be resolved. This is one way to not rub their faces in it and not risk creating a locker room collapse.

Finally, I think the best reason to not award the C: it gives this team and the leadership group a chance to grow and mature a bit more and keep them out of the media spotlight a bit. Instead, what McClellan has done is taken that pressure onto himself as a way to protect the players from some of the pressure, especially as this year has been a struggle. It’s an interesting gambit and I think it’s part of why the “Fire McClellan” drumbeat has been beating on and off this year, but can you really believe this team would be playing better if one player had the C and had to stand in front of the media after every game to explain the way a Captain does? This way, that pressure is spread across multiple players — and the coach takes some of it up as well.

If you ask me, McClellan took a risk here, and ended up putting the team in the best place to play the best hockey by minimizing pressure on the key players. I think if he’d given the C out to someone, it would have made the team worse. That said, I don’t think this is the kind of situation we want long term, but for this season as the team transitions and the younger players mature, it makes sense.

The “Fire McClellan” drumbeat

On and off this season there has been discussion among both fans and press about whether the team should fire McClellan. My view: this is a rebuild, and the struggles this year should be expected (and in fact, were — look at Doug Wilson’s early comments, until he was evidently told to raise his expectations by his bosses).

The struggles this year aren’t a coaching problem. It’s not that the players have gotten tired of the coaching or tuned them out. It’s that this team — isn’t that good and is in transition. That was complicated by the No Movement clauses in both Thornton’s and Marleau’s comments and the fight over trying to convince them to waive them, and the fact that both are still here and in the locker room.

Those no-trade clauses were, by the way, negotiated by Doug Wilson, as was (I think) every player and staff decision on the current Sharks team. Doug Wilson has been in the GM seat since 2003. This has been a time where the Sharks have done amazingly well, but have never made it to the playoff finals or won the Cup.

Given that I don’t believe the problems are coaching related, I see no purpose at replacing what most experts consider to be a strong and talented coaching staff (many pundits think that McClellan would have a choice of jobs hours after being relieved of duty and I agree) I think we need to consider whether it’s time to make a change in the GM chair instead.

I say that as a massive Doug Wilson fan who thinks he’s done a lot of good for this team, but if the failure here is that we didn’t win a Stanley Cup — and the Sharks did pretty much everything EXCEPT that — I can’t think that swapping in another coach and staff changes that. So either we stay the course with McClellan and Wilson, or we make some other change than a coaching change (well, the third option: fire McClellan as a scapegoat and hope it buys the team a couple of years for the rebuild that’s happening anyway, but I hate that option).

Here’s my suggestion: promote Wilson to president of hockey operations and hire in a new GM to report to him (allow me one second to whisper “Kelly Kisio” as someone who did 15 years as GM with the Calgary Hitmen, has a history with the team, and who I think would be a fascinating candidate. not that it’ll ever happen).

I do think it’s time for a change in the GM role with the Sharks — staying the course won’t change the course at this point — but I also think Wilson is the kind of resource you want with your team and influencing it’s direction. So I’m not interested in firing Doug, but letting him take on the entire hockey organization, and bring in someone with some fresh eyes and a fresh set of ideas about building a team to work with him as the new GM.

I would, by the way, be perfectly happy with keeping the status quo with both Wilson as GM and McClellan and his team on the coaching staff. The one thing I don’t want to see is McClellan fired with an expectation that will fix anything. It won’t.

The Raiders threaten to move back to LA

And.. Stop me if you’ve heard this before…

The Raiders are threatening to move back to Los Angeles, where they want to help co-build a shared $1.7 BILLION dollar stadium with the Chargers, who are also threatening to move to LA (so, for what it’s worth, are the St. Louis Rams, although they aren’t threatening to move back to Anaheim, where they played before they left LA for Orange County).

My recommendation: offer to hire them moving vans. The city of Oakland made an incredibly bad deal in their lust to bring the Raiders back from LA the first time, and it’s time to recognize that it was a stupid idea done very badly and move on. Not only did it hurt the city financially, it seriously screwed over the A’s, and Oakland is at risk of losing them as well. Oakland’s been trying to find funds to replace the Oakland Coliseum for the team for years and failed, and while it’s trying again, why should anyone believe it this time after the last dozen attempts have failed?

Please remember there’s a clause in the NFL piece of financing Levi Stadium that makes sharing that stadium between the 49ers and the Raiders and option, one that the Raiders clearly don’t want (and I see no reason why the 49ers would, either…) — but from the point of view of what’s good for the Bay Area, that should be the only option we consider for the team from a financial view. The money that would have to be spent on a dedicated Raiders stadium could be much better spent elsewhere (like on a new A’s stadium), and I’m sorry, but the Raiders have always shown themselves more interested in the Raiders than in the community.

So if they want to move back to LA and build a new stadium? I recommend we let them, and focus on finding a solution for the A’s. Which can be done because once the Warriors move to their new building in San Francisco they can tear down the old arena, build a new ballpark there, and then tear down the old baseball park and turn it into parking lots or something.

The A’s have shown great loyalty to the Oakland community, much more than I would have in their place, and gotten hosed by the city’s lust for the Raiders. The Raiders keep showing their loyalty is to the Raiders and to money flowing to the Raiders, so my suggestion is to simply tell them to go back to LA and have fun in their new building. Assuming they can actually build it.

And that’s probably enough for now…

Posted in Hockey and Other Sports

Evgeni Nabokov in Pictures

When we had the season tickets, one of Laurie’s continuing hobbies was doing photography from her seat. Because of that, she’s got quite a large collection of images through the years of the Sharks that actually stretches back to the Cow Palace days.

Here are a few of her favorites of Evgeni Nabokov as her way of “saying goodbye, good luck and enjoy the next phase of your life”.

(All images are copyright © Laurie Sefton and used with permission. They are not in the public domain)

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(All images are copyright © Laurie Sefton and used with permission. They are not in the public domain)

Posted in Hockey and Other Sports

Nabby! Nabby! — Teal Sunglasses, February 12, 2015

Teal Sunglasses is an occasional collection of things and opinions about hockey, the San Jose Sharks and sports in general. Stay tuned for fascinating opinions and pithy commentary. Also keep an eye on my Twitter feed for more interesting stuff.

Nabby Retires

As I write this it’s a couple of hours after Evgeni Nabokov officially ended his 14 year career. Much of that was spent as a Shark, which was the team that drafted him — and in many ways, Nabby (as he was fondly known) defined an era of Sharks hockey.

The history of the Sharks can to some degree be defined around two goaltenders — in the early years, it was Arturs “Like Wall” Irbe who stepped between the pipes and stabilized goaltending for an honestly not very good team for almost 200 games, the team’s first playoffs and a lot of memorable firsts. Irbe is still second on the Sharks in total games played in goal, although Antti Niemi is on pace to pass him later this season.

After Irbe, the Sharks spent a lot of time finding their next “real” goalie, with Mike Vernon and his 111 games over two season coming closest to being fan favorite. Steve Shields (125 games total) played more games during that period but I never felt that the fans ever fell in love with him and he was just inconsistent enough that you couldn’t quite trust that he’d be there in the clutch. In retrospect, I think we as fans didn’t give him as much credit as he deserved.

But the team and the fans were clearly looking for a goalie to fall in love with and along came Evgeni “on second thought, don’t call me John” Nabokov. Drafted sight unseen by the Sharks who were given his name by a contact, his is the kind of storybook backstory that seems made up. Not speaking English he came to North America, struggled, and then started to put it together, married a girl he met while playing for the Sharks minor league team, and finally was brought up to the Sharks.

563 games later Nabby owned just about every Sharks goaltending record — and Sharks fans loved him. A big part of that is that in some ways he’s very much like Arturs Irbe was: He’s an acrobatic goalie and a scrambler, his attitude on the ice was that he would find a way to make a save or win a game, and you could tell he hated giving up goals and losing — and he did it with a smile, a smirk and a wink.

If you ask most Sharks fans to name goalies who played for the team, they’ll all name Nabokov, and probably name Irbe. You’ll probably get Ed Belfour (and then a laugh, probably a hollow one), and because of their high visibility in hockey broadcasting, Kelly Hrudey and Brian Hayward. Most of the others are lost to history and mostly rightly so except to the old farts like me who worry about such things (Jeff Hackett deserves much credit for holding things together as well as he did during those early ugly years, too).

But Sharks hockey can broadly be defined by two eras — the early Arturs Irbe era where he backstopped a team of mostly scrapheap recoveries and helped turn them into a legitimate playoff contending team; and then the era in which Nabokov stepped in and helped make this team a realiably elite team that was going deep into the playoffs and considered a contender through much of his time in teal.

The one thing Nabokov never did was win the Stanley Cup. That ultimately led to the Sharks moving on to Niemi, and to be honest, Laurie and I have argued a lot about whether that made the Sharks better or not. I think that first season, maybe two, it did — a little, but clearly it still wasn’t enough to get over the hump to win that last hockey game. In retrospect, the Sharks probably would have been better off sticking with Nabokov and looking at other places in the roster for improvement (the flip argument, that this weakened the Hawks, is provably false by counting the number of Cup Rings owned by each team in the last few years).

One sad thing is that this era will never ben known as the Nabokov era because it’s also the time the Sharks had Joe Thornton, and Thornton is a definite Hall of Famer once he retires.

Nabokov was always clearly a student of the game. In the press conference he noted he hadn’t considered the next phase and possibly getting into coaching, but I hope at some point he does, and I hope the Sharks give him that opportunity if he wants it. He’s the kind of person that should continue in the game and instill their knowledge and values on the younger players.

The one thing Nabokov didn’t do? Win a Cup. With his numbers, that missing piece will keep him out of the Hall of Fame discussion, I think.  He did everything he possibly could to make that happen, though.

Laurie and I sat three rows off the glass on the goal line the Sharks patrol twice for 18 seasons in the Shark Tank, and for one year in the Cow Palace (year one we were up in the bowl), so we’ve seen a lot of Shark goaltending up close and personal. There’s a reason Irbe and Nabokov are so well-remembered, and I think the Sharks did a great and appropriate thing honoring Nabokov this week by bringing him home to retire. Watching the press conference today, I saw what showed up in San Jose as a young, enthusiastic, driven kid has turned into a mature man with a lot more perspective on himself and what he’s accomplished in this phase of his life.

I’m thrilled to see the Sharks recognize him for what he did for the franchise and the fans — and as a fan who spent many nights watching him ply his trade, I wanted to recognize him as well and thank him for making those seats in 127 a place we looked forward to being. Also, we’ll be publishing some of Laurie’s favorite images of Nabby from her collection soon.

San Jose Will Appeal MLB Antitrust Case to Supreme Court

San Jose Will Appeal MLB Antitrust Case to Supreme Court

Shifting to baseball for a bit, I’ve been following the ongoing legal maneuvers around the proposed Downtown San Jose stadium for the A’s for the last few years. The position of Commissioner Bud Selig and MLB was clearly “you and the Giants work out a deal and until then, I’m sitting on this”, but the problem is that if you factor in the cost of paying the Giants for the territorial rights to the total cost of the stadium (my estimate: $100 million when you look at, say, the money that moved around to get the Nationals back into D.C.) I can’t see a way to make the stadium deal make financial sense.

So we have a stalemate. The Giants have no incentive to give the A’s a bargain here. Wolff and San Jose really want the rights transfer to be free, or at a bargain price. The Commissioner clearly understands that setting a precedent that allows the league to arbitrarily reduce or throw out the value of those territorial rights would not go well with the owners any team not housed in Oakland, so they buried the request in a committee (not blaming Selig: that’s what I’d do here).

And there’s very little recourse to break this stalemate or recourse through the courts for either Wolff or San Jose — until the lawsuit hits the Supreme Court, and after wandering through the various levels for years, that’s what it’s finally doing, so it’s time to start taking this lawsuit a bit more seriously.

Why? Baseball’s anti-trust clause (some nice background on this here). It was set up by a supreme court ruling in 1922 that effectively decided that what major league baseball did wasn’t subject to the Sherman anti-trust act because it wasn’t conducting interstate commerce. The rationalization for this is rather bizarre, and most legal scholars can’t believe it’d hold up to scrutiny by a modern court — and that’s where Major League Baseball runs into a risk that might get its attention.

If this appeal is taken up by the Supreme Court (and that’s still fa fairly big IF; it’s far from a given they will) and if the case goes to the court and is argued, there’s a good chance the court will be asked to throw out this anti-trust exemption. If that happens (and baseball is the only pro sport with this exemption, and it’s widely believed the court would rule that way) lots of things go seriously bad for major league baseball very fast.

So the only way the City of San Jose has ever had to make this deal happen has been to get this case before the Supreme Court and then see if MLB would cut a deal to avoid it being heard. All of the wrangling that’s gone on to date has been grinding the processes to get to this point. Will the court bite? I dunno. Politically, I can see them wanting to duck the issue, but the exemption is also unpopular with many groups, so I could also see them be willing to take it on.

If the Supreme Court doesn’t, them IMHO any chance to get the A’s to San Jose is dead. If they do, it’ll be interesting to see if MLB takes action to get the situation settled — that might not be granting the rights transfer, there are other options that might have, including buying the team off Wolff to move or fold it. It’d be interesting whether at this point after years of losses and frustration at trying to get a new building whether Wolff would cut his losses and sell out.

I still think the chances San Jose ever gets the ability to build a stadium for the A’s is only about 10% — but it’s higher now than it has been since the process has started. And now the real fight, or the backroom deal to avoid it, is gearing up to begin. Time to start watching the show and pop some popcorn.

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Posted in Hockey and Other Sports

Working Notes — starting on Phase II

Phase II of this project begins. You can poke at the work in progress at dev.chuqui.com.

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What’s happened to get to this point:

  • Built up a server on the VPS and installed WordPress.
  • Installed my normal set of plug-ins (which I need to document)
  • Load in my wordpress theme (Simple Press by Elegant Themes)
  • set up back ups (you DO this, right?)
  • Export all of my content from my this production site and import it into the dev site.
  • Spend four hours wondering what the @#$@##@ the import broke.
  • Delete the wordpress database and build a new one.
  • Re-install WordPress and wire up everything on the backend again.
  • Export the content form this production site in little bits and import it a piece at a time.
  • Wonder why that worked when doing the same data in one big gulp failed. Get a beer instead.
  • Start working with the theme and your data. Decide it’s not working for you.
  • Go off exploring for new themes.
  • Decide on Chameleon by Elegant Themes instead. Install it. (This is, by the way, one of the advantages of working with a site like Elegant Themes instead of Envato; instead of paying per theme, you’re paying for access to their entire portfolio for  a period of time, which lets you explore, and not only do so by looking at demos, but by pulling them down and trying them against your own data. Sometimes, what looks right on a demo site doesn’t match your own content as well…)

Basically, that’s what you see on the site as it looks right now and in the screen shot above: a generic install of the theme against my content. I added some temporary featured images to the posts that are showing up in the front page slider so it renders properly, and I’ve played with the fonts and background color a bit, just to get a sense of things.

This took me three evenings, on and off.

Because this site is replacing a production site and not being released as a new one, I have to plan for how I’m going to do that replacement. You can do that a couple of ways. One way is to build out all of the changes and track what needs to be migrated out to the production site. The other is to spawn off a new site, move all of the content there, get everything cleaned up, and then move the DNS around to point to it. That’s (in general) my preferred tactic because I can migrate all of the content I need to the new site, and anything not migrated disappears into the bit bucket when I delete the old server; that only matters if you are someone who tries to keep things clean and tidy — which I do, because it’s less to sift through when something goes sideways… I still need to make sure I migrate any new content over to the dev site along the way, and when I do the shift, it’ll reinitialize everyone’s RSS feeds, but I find it a lower risk way to handle this than copying back, because it’s easy to miss a piece in your migration list. If this was a bigger site (like a Drupal site) I’d probably migrate the upgrade back to the main server, and if it was a huge site, it’d probably come back to this style of upgrade because of sheer logistics — and in the days of virtual renta-datacenter, it’s a lot easier to do that.

Next Steps

There are three parallel tasks that need to be done now:

Style and Customization: make it look pretty. More importantly, make it look mine. A good wordpress theme can save you a huge amount of time (and I’m quite impressed with the Elegant Theme portfolio overall) but if you simply stick a logo on a theme, it’ll look like a generic theme with your logo on it. Some tweaking can make a huge difference.

Cleaning up the content: A quick look at the content shows that some of the styling I did on the current site doesn’t work well on the new one; I’m going to have to go in and edit things to clean that up. I also am going to need to review all the content and retire (a nicer word than delete) things I no longer think ought to be on the site.

Load the images — this will be my replacement for my flickr site. There are only about 3,000 images to load. How hard could that be?

The first one will be the most fun and take the least time. The second one will be an incredible slog through the mud, and probably be the last to finish. The important thing there is to NOT CUT CORNERS or convince myself the stuff that isn’t done I can do after the site ships, because in the long tradition of web sites, things you leave to patch up after shipping are things you find need fixing when you go off to build the next generation in a few years.

A few things I know I need to deal with:

  • If I want to feature a blog post I’m going to have to attach a featured image. For now, I’ve just added a few of my images. I’m not sure if I’m going to try to customize images for every posting (unlikely), or build a library of image sized for the slider, or come up with image that act as topic definitions that I can add in to flag what type of posting this is. Maybe some mix of all three. Something to figure out, though. Looking at the existing images, I definitely have to crop for that format to make sure they display well.
  • In doing the planning to split out the FYC site, which I rolled back into this site again, I came to the realization that doing that well ought to be at least a half-time job, and that’s not where I want to spend my time. So one task I need to do on this revamp is to take all of that custom work I built last year, and destroy it, and shift that content back into the mainstream of the blog. The customization aspect has no traction and won’t unless I turn it into my equivalent of the Wirecutter, and that’s a big enough project that it’d impact the other things I want to do, like take pictures. Interesting idea, but not something I’m willing to invest in that far.
  • The theme doesn’t display tags on postings, and my new setup is to use very few categories and get serious about tagging stuff well, so I need to tweak the theme to support that. Also add tags to pages (which the photography site needs, too. It’s a plug-in). oh, and all existing content needs to be looked at and tagged. (whee!). And I probably ought to write an entire piece on why I’m doing this…
  • That said, those experiments were useful, because it showed me the way to building out the affiliate advertising that I now use on the site, and built the revenue from that from, um, zero, to something close to $100 a month, just by presenting it well. that I can leverage without building out my own reference site, so that’s the plan moving forward.
  • That said, I have no idea what that means yet. I’ll have to figure it out.
  • Still some content to pull over — the longer bits haven’t migrated yet, just the blog posts.

And so I have my marching orders..

 

 

 

 

Posted in Redesign 2015: Upgrading chuqui.com in public

Working notes… My first “Wait a minute…” moment.

I ran into my first “Wait a minute… ” moment with the new photography site — that moment where things aren’t working the way you planned or expected. In this case, however, the tools are working the way they were designed (not a bug) but not the way I had thought they would.

NextGen Gallery allows me to publish a gallery of photos, and to add photos to it later. Both are really good and convenient. For my Refuge Run postings I’ve been doing, I created a single gallery of images, and I’ve been adding to it as I do my edits and publishing of images.

The postings I’ve been doing showing a few images have been by publishing that gallery and using the “Exclude images” function to only display a few images. That works fine — until you add more images. The way NextGen works, if I haven’t explicitly excluded an image, it’s displayed, but I can’t exclude an image that is added after I’ve published that gallery.

Now that I know this, I can manage things the way I want. It was a bit of surprise to see five images in a posting I hadn’t put there, until I realized they were all added after publication.

My wish: That NextGen gallery either define “exclude” so that images added after publication are automatically excluded, or (my preference) to add an “include” option, which is the inverse of exclude, which is to let me select the images I want to show, and not show ANY unless I include them. That’d probably be easiest to implement, and make this kind of sub-set posting easy and reliable, and no break any existing uses of the gallery tool…

(it’s actually rather amazing I’ve gotten this far and this is my first “wait a minute…” moment… I’m rather impressed overall).

 

 

Posted in Redesign 2015: Upgrading chuqui.com in public