New Seattle Bubble Layout!

You may have noticed something a little… different.

As of Monday night, I have switched the blog half of Seattle Bubble over to a brand-spanking-new layout.

Highlights:

  • News Wire on the sidebar (via Twitter)
  • Market charts updated daily on the sidebar courtesy Altos Research
  • Better category organization w/ dropdown menus
  • Less wasted space at top of page
  • New comment preview function that doesn’t bog down your processor while you type.

In addition, the sidebar is much cleaner when you navigate away from the front page. Also note that The log in / out and new account creation has been moved to bottom of sidebar under “Accounts.”

The new layout is based on the Hybrid News WordPress theme, created by WordPress guru Justin Tadlock.

I will be working on updating the forums in the next month or so as well, in addition to going through all of the old content and sorting it correctly in the newly-organized categories.

Let me know what you think, and whether anything is broken. Thanks!

  

About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

53 comments:

  1. 1

    Did the look of Seattle Bubble just change, or am I trippin’?
    I never noticed the toppled Space Needle at the top of the page. Please don’t tell me it’s been there for months.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  2. 2
    Scotsman says:

    Wow! Looks like Seattle had a 10.0 quake and the needle is headed for the ground!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  3. 3
    Ray Pepper says:

    Well…………………….For whatever reason it just doesn’t hit me in the face when I arrive. I believe its the lack of color scheme or the shrinking of the Seattle Bubble Picture of the past. I’m happy you are keeping the name……The fallen needle is cool. I’m happy you retained the column for recent posts. It just seems like its missing something. Maybe some KING 5, KIRO, or endorsers that state “as heard on”….All these places where you have been quoted. It gives the new Lurker the impression “I HAVE ARRIVED.”

    I just have to get used to this one I suppose. The drop downs are fine but the “extras” section just has 2008 coupons for the Seattle Home Show(which was a BUST BTW).

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  4. 4
    The Tim says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 1 & Scotsman @ 2 – The header background is from a photo I took in June ’08 that I am just really fond of. Here’s the full photo:

    Reaching for the Sky

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  5. 5
    corncob says:

    looks slick! it is a much more modern web design aesthetic, I like it. when you mentioned a few weeks ago about the “magazine” format I puked a little in my mouth, but it looks like that was unwarranted.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  6. 6
    The Tim says:

    Just for grins, here are a couple of rejected logo concepts I was working on trying to fit into the new layout.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  7. 7
    Ray Pepper says:

    “local real estate news, statistics, and commentary without the sales spin”

    oh we got sales spin going on all the time here……………………………..I love new people attempting to push themselves and their products here on this Bubble Crowd. They tend to get shredded!

    BTW where is Kary? I don’t see him 30x a day here anymore. Vacation? Sick? Moved over to the Dave Losh Blog? Forming a partnership with Steve Tytler?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  8. 8
    The Tim says:

    I was having some troubles tonight with some pages on the site coming up occasionally as a totally blank page. I think I have resolved this problem as of this comment. Please let me know if you are experiencing anything like this.

    Thanks!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  9. 9
    Tyler says:

    Tim,

    The site is looking good. Congratulations on a successful migration, and I am glad the name has remained.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  10. 10
    singliac says:

    Great job, Tim. The site looks really nice.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  11. 11
    Hugh Dominic says:

    Those altos graphs are garbage. You know what would be way better? Thumbnails of the five of your own most recent, or your own recurring.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  12. 12
    Hugh Dominic says:

    Site could use some padding on the left for iPhone viewers. The pages render right up against the left side of the window.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  13. 13
    Scotsman says:

    Tim- I love it! It’s much easier to read as it presents on my screen, and the organization/access is also easier to navigate. I think the header is fine- while it may not be as “jazzy” as some would like, it’s professional looking and gets the message across on several levels. Thanks!

    So, was the photo taken over a curb, or how did you get that perspective?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  14. 14
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Ray Pepper @ 7

    Ray, you seem a bit grumpy. Don’t tell me you wound up the three day weekend with a visit to Claim Jumper…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  15. 15
    Ray Pepper says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 14

    Grumpy…………To say the Least…………My Girls Soccer team lost 8-0 the last two weeks in a row. When I exited the field I approached all the parents and I know they wanted my head.

    If thats not bad enough I agreed to Coach a 15 year old group of boys BBALL players in Gig Harbor. None can make a consistent lay up, our two centers our soft, and our guards consistently lose the ball. We have NOT had a game yet but I know how this picture ends. I hope I can maintain my “grumpiness”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvRO2GE4x4M&feature=related

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  16. 16
    Markor says:

    Looks great Tim.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  17. 17

    RE: Ray Pepper @ 7 – Most the topics recently have been predictions and such. Stuff I’m not really into.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  18. 18

    As to the changes, I don’t mind them at all. The graphs of data really aren’t that useful though because they’re too short of time frame on too compressed of a scale, and is that really data for just Seattle or is it King County. The latter would be preferable.

    One additional change I’d like to see is the recent comments starting out with the name of the thread rather than the person posting the comment.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  19. 19
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 18

    I only come here to see what Ray Pepper of 500 Realty has to say, so it’s nice to be able to watch for his comments.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  20. 20
    dancingeek says:

    I like the new look, The Tim. Very well done.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  21. 21
    AndySeattle says:

    As Larry David would say: Pretty good… pretty pretty pretty good…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  22. 22

    Loads Faster Tim

    That makes it better :-)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  23. 23
    The Tim says:

    RE: Hugh Dominic @ 12 – Thanks for the heads up. I’ll see what I can do to remedy that.

    By Scotsman @ 13:

    So, was the photo taken over a curb, or how did you get that perspective?

    I stuck the camera (a little Panasonic point-and-shoot) down into the grass and angled it up. Took a few tries to get one that I was really happy with. It was a bonus coincidence that I caught the elevator halfway up on the best shot.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  24. 24
    Everett_Tom says:

    As a self described “Fuddy Duddy” who usually spends his lunches complaining about how the “new layout” on his regularly visited web pages make them unusable (see the new CNN, Reuters, Rain City Guide, etc sites )

    I thank you.

    You were able to add a smoother feel to the interface without loosing the features that make the site easy to navigate.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  25. 25
    Ray Pepper says:

    RE: David Losh @ 19

    Now, thats a funny one. Keep trying to butter me up for a free lunch with Ira at Claim Jumper.

    Tim has been too busy working on this website and NOT OUT LOOKING for a GEM!

    I’m toast!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  26. 26

    Did the change cause the RSS feed to stop working? I’m only showing two posts, but they are from today.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  27. 27
    The Tim says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 26 – The feed appears to be working for me…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  28. 28
    Willy Nilly says:

    Tim,

    Looks and feels great! Thank you. Is the elevator really going up in your picture,
    or is it on the way down? Again, well done!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  29. 29
    AMS says:

    RE: Willy Nilly @ 28 – I don’t know how you can imagine it going up… Looks like it’s going to hit the ground in less than a second.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  30. 30

    RE: The Tim @ 27 – Here’s the link I’ve been using:

    http://feeds.feedburner.com/SeattleBubbleComments

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  31. 31
    Dave0 says:

    RE: Hugh Dominic @ 11 – I agree with Hugh. The graphs on the right look to be pretty worthless. They should be replaced by the latest graphs of NWMLS stats.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  32. 32
    AMS says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 30 – I will confirm that feed isn’t working on my end too.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  33. 33
    Drone says:

    Layout looks great. Thumbs way up.
    Trying to load the comments took a loooooooong time for me though. I’ll see if it continues.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  34. 34
    Tyler says:

    RE: Hugh Dominic @ 12

    I checked on my iPhone as well, and it could use a little padding inside the left content DIV http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS2/box.html

    However, this is almost a non-issue, and may not be worth the time and trouble for you. It is more a side effect with how the iPhone browser zooms into a container.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  35. 35
    The Tim says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 30 & AMS @ 32 – Oh, the comment feed. Looked into it and it seems that a few invalid characters somehow slipped in there. I have edited the offending comments (ironically, one of which was this one by you, AMS) and the feed seems to be okay now. Let me know if it’s not.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  36. 36
    AMS says:

    RE: The Tim @ 35 – The feed didn’t work before I posted that comment, but the feed is working now.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  37. 37
    AMS says:

    Blank page: “Most Prolific Commenters”

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  38. 38
    The Tim says:

    RE: AMS @ 36 – Yeah there were a couple of comments with bad characters. I think the first was one by Losh.

    RE: AMS @ 37 – Oh right, I think there’s a page template from the old theme that that page uses. I’ll dig that up tonight.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  39. 39
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    Like the new layout, and glad to see the name has survived thus far. =)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  40. 40
    Greg says:

    FYI Tim, just as a warning using the space-needle can be viewed as trademark infringement, they are pretty serious about going after people for using it unless you have permission.

    http://seattletrademarklawyer.com/blog/2007/6/17/is-the-space-needle-different-from-the-rock-and-roll-hall-of.html

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  41. 41
    The Tim says:

    RE: Greg @ 40 – Interesting article. I went to the USPTO website and looked up all trademarks currently held by the Space Needle Corporation. Here are the goods and services listed on all of their various trademarks:

    • Transmission of data, sound, and images in the nature of live camera feeds by the internet onto screen devices controlled by users
    • Address books; Ball-point pens; Blank journals; Calendars; Decals; Maps; Note cards; Notepads; Pencils; Postcards; Stationery; Stickers
    • Booking and arrangement of excursions, day trips and sightseeing tours; Providing interactive maps on screen devices controlled by users
    • Bottled drinking water.
    • Ceramic Dinnerware.
    • Clothing, namely, shirts, T-shirts, neckties, pants, jackets, scarves, gloves and mittens; Headwear, namely, hats, caps, visors; (Based on Use) T-shirts and sweatshirts.
    • Drinking Glasses.
    • Entertainment services, namely view and observation services from an observation deck of a skyscraper for purposes of sightseeing; Fireworks displays.
    • Entertainment services, namely, interactive photography exhibits featuring interactive panoramic images, still images, video images, and audio clips regarding entertainment and excursion services by others and points of interest to tourists displayed on screen devices controlled by users; Booking of theatre tickets, concert tickets and tickets for sporting events”
    • Figurines and Medallions-Namely, Souvenirs Bearing Thereon Replicas of the Space Needle Tower Construction.
    • Jewelry; Lapel pins.
    • Key chains and key fobs of non-precious metals, statues and statuettes of non-precious metals.
    • Lapel pins and jewelry.
    • Maps, calendars, note cards, greeting cards, postcards, posters, stationery, ball-point pens, pencils, address books, notepads.
    • Men’s, Women’s, and Children’s Sweaters.
    • Mugs, cups, beverage glassware.
    • Mugs, cups, plates, beverage glassware, ceramic statues and statuettes.
    • Mugs, cups, plates, beverage glassware, plastic bottles for drinking water sold empty, vacuum bottles, insulated mugs, coasters not made of paper nor linen
    • Non-metal key chains, key fobs and key rings; picture frames.
    • Note cards, greeting cards, postcards, posters, ball-point pens, book marks, notebooks.
    • Novelty Figurines and Medallions-Namely, Souvenirs Bearing Thereon Replicas of the Space Needle Tower Construction.
    • Postcards, posters, ball-point pens
    • Restaurant services; and providing banquet facilities for special occasions.
    • Tote bags, fanny packs, umbrellas, wallets, sling packs
    • Wine and sparkling wine.

    It looks like the example you linked to probably ran afoul of “restaurant services” (though that seems like a pretty tenuous claim to me). Since Seattle Bubble isn’t using the Space Needle to sell clothing, souvenirs, food, wine, entertainment services, or sightseeing tours, I think I’m plenty in the clear. If anything, the Seattle Times should maybe be worried about their front-page-featured “The view from here…” which seems to me to be a pretty similar application to the first item in the above list…

    (In other news, I need to fix the way unordered lists are formatted in the comments… yuck! [update: fixed!])

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  42. 42
    Fran Tarkenton says:

    RE: The Tim @ 41

    (a) I wouldn’t worry about it.
    (b) If I were representing the Space Needle, my case against you would include a claim of trademark dilution – that the Space Needle is so famous that it hits a bonus level of trademark protection where even non-competing uses of the mark are prohibited as hurting the mark’s uniqueness.
    (c) The question isn’t what the law says. The question is, would this cause these people with much more money than me to start legal proceedings and make my life un-fun?
    (d) I’m Fran Tarkenton, a simple quarterback-turned-businessman, and you shouldn’t rely on me for legal advice.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  43. 43
    AMS says:

    RE: Fran Tarkenton @ 42 – The Flatiron building is full of this stuff too:

    For example:

    http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/media/features/1463/

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  44. 44
    The Tim says:

    By Fran Tarkenton @ 42:

    RE: The Tim @ 41

    (a) I wouldn’t worry about it.
    (b) If I were representing the Space Needle, my case against you would include a claim of trademark dilution – that the Space Needle is so famous that it hits a bonus level of trademark protection where even non-competing uses of the mark are prohibited as hurting the mark’s uniqueness.

    You’re probably right (on all four counts). Although, if I remember correctly, to make a successful case for brand dilution don’t you have to have a proven track record of aggressively protecting your mark (e.g. – Apple)? I’m obviously not a trademark attorney, but I think SNC would have a pretty tough case to make in that regard…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  45. 45
    Fran Tarkenton says:

    RE: The Tim @ 44 – Trademark law as a whole has a requirement that you defend your mark or lose it (the doctrine of laches – similar to how you can lose real property through adverse possession). I don’t know offhand whether dilution has a special standard – I focus on a different obscure area of the law.

    But not specializing in it isn’t going to stop me from opining out of my behind even further. Buildings as trademarks are a tricky issue – they’re a part of the city’s skyline, and no court is going to go as far as preventing people from a company using a city’s skyline – that’s where you’re from and almost something put in a public trust (similar higher TM standards are given to people’s names and geographic identifiers for similar reasons). In the R’N’R HOF case referenced above (which I haven’t read in years, so I hope I’m right), the court found against TM infringement, saying “you can’t just say a building is a TM, full stop. It has to be a specific view or views of the building that you’ve used consistently to identify your goods or services (the HOF contained within).” The writer on the Space Needle said, “hey, since the Space Needle looks roughly the same from any angle, maybe this is a special case where a building is a TM, full stop.”

    My guess, based on how courts have found only very narrow protection for buildings as trademarks, is that they would disfavor finding infringement for the use of a non-photo depiction of the Space Needle (all the uses above but King 5), unless the Space Needle entity were using a similar non-photo depiction itself (and then, really, its not that the building is a TM, but that a particular depiction of the building is a TM, but I digress). I further guess that King 5 might be OK by saying something like, “we’re showing a distinctive portion of the Seattle skyline which includes, but isn’t limited to, a portion of the Space Needle, and we’re doing this because we focus our news reporting on the Seattle metropolitan area.”

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  46. 46
    Nixy says:

    I second the request for more padding on the left. My Mac loads with the writing all the way up against the margin as well.

    Also, I’ve been getting an error message for the site all day and was just able to get on…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  47. 47
    Tim McB says:

    RE: Nixy @ 46

    Yeah Nixy, Same problem here. I haven’t been able to get on and I get a Seattle Jo wordpress blog when I go to Seattle Bubble. What’s up?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  48. 48

    I Loved Your New Website Until It Went Down All Day

    Just teasing you Tim; you deserve a pat on the back just keeping it going :-)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  49. 49
    The Tim says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 48 – Har har. Thankfully, the downtime was actually due to a pretty serious hardware failure at the host, and not anything I did to my site.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  50. 50
    Jillayne says:

    The Tim,

    Love the new look! It seem to load slightly faster on my Win Mobile enabled Palm than the previous version of SB. Thanks.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  51. 51
    AMS says:

    RE: The Tim @ 38 – I know you recovered from the crash (Space Needle Police/Realtor Police), but don’t forget the top commenters page.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  52. 52
    The Tim says:

    RE: AMS @ 51 – Right, the crazy crash took most of my attention. I have updated it now. Should be working.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  53. 53
    AMS says:

    RE: The Tim @ 52 – Thank you.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

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