November 3, 2005

Cat News, Site Redesign Contest Announced.

This morning, the word on the street (where the street is actually the foot of my bed) was that, sometime late last night, the cat food bowl ran almost empty.

This news was imparted to me with such urgency that I assumed it must have been meant for a much wider distribution, as if my fuzzy friends had used their super-keen senses to detect an imminent earthquake or another global-warming-induced hurricane.

It is well-known, of course, that cats can die to death from not eating for six hours. Or, in this case, from having to eat the kibble bits left on the bottom of the bowl, which is clearly less desirable, else why would it be left over? It was the kibble found wanting, and to have to eat it would be tantamount to death, at least.


Many people have complained to me that my blog is hard on their eyes, as if I were some sort of graphic designer and hadn't just picked one some default theme that I felt looked least like a blog by a 13-year-old girl.

Now, I finally intend to do something about. Well, I intend for you to do something about it. Thus, the enterprising person who spends a few moments creating me an elegant, understated, yet easy-to-read theme that I end up using will receive:

- My eternal gratitude.
- One (1) iPod Shuffle.
- Recognition on this site.

I know, I know, professional web designers make much more. But, I'm not looking for professionals. I'm looking for someone who is young and hungry and wants to impress. Let's remember what I said about how to get into the software industry (it's the same for the web industry): work your butt off for free, get your name out there, and then make the big bucks.

The winning theme will hopefully use dark text on a lighter background, will give me more horizontal space, and may incorporate more colors from nature. If you find a way to work in some of the themes on the Delicious Monster site, you get extra credit. (Those themes being the jungle, the merging of technology and art and nature, whimsy, organic design, stuff, and things.)

[Note that I reserve the right to decide I hate all entries and not award any prize. Life is tough that way.]

You have until November 15. Contest starts... now.


Update 11/8: I wasn't clear about how submission should work. What I'm looking for is a CSS template, like the one Blogger currently uses, except modified by you to be pretty. E-mail me your template, associated resources, and a snapshot of what the whole thing looks like.



Blogger thomas Aylott said...

This guy once told me about how you thought his aunt might have designed a template for your blog once and stuff...

"Ok, do I win?"

November 04, 2005 12:44 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You get what you pay for!

November 04, 2005 1:03 AM

Blogger Wil Shipley said...

You get what you pay for!

Often true, except I paid nothing for the current design, so paying something (including exposure) should get me something better, by your logic.

Also, frankly, a vanity web blog really doesn't need or deserve a professional make-over. I'd rather spend my money on my grandmother.

November 04, 2005 1:10 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any "Delicious Artwork Kit" available for download? That kit could contain images I/we could use on the new design. Right now I have to go to the Delicious Monster site and browse the HTML/CSS source to find images, which is somewhat tedious.

November 04, 2005 3:09 AM

Blogger Matt James said...

For the winner are you looking for just a PSD design that could be split up into a blogger HTML one, or are you more interested in seeing the final product before choosing a winner?

November 04, 2005 4:22 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Current design is the easiest on the eyes ... what sort of moron doesn't understand that?!

Wil, leave it like it is!

November 04, 2005 5:36 AM

Anonymous Shani said...

I wish it looked more like a 13-year-old girl's blog. At least then you might have posted pictures of the kitties.

November 04, 2005 5:54 AM

Anonymous Jason Terhorst said...

Must it be in the form of a blogger template or something, or can we just hack away at the current CSS? Where are instructions on how to make a theme for blogger?

November 04, 2005 7:11 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, stuff AND things? Those are some pretty heady guidelines. Get your head out of the clouds already.

November 04, 2005 7:35 AM

Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Actual CSS that I can just plug into blogger in place of the current CSS. Otherwise, seriously, I just won't have the time to plug it in.

November 04, 2005 7:47 AM

Anonymous Seth Willits said...

This kind of moron.

November 04, 2005 9:31 AM

Blogger Topher said...

Shani said...
I wish it looked more like a 13-year-old girl's blog. At least then you might have posted pictures of the kitties.

And I wish it looked more like a 13-year-old boy's blog. At least then we might have seen pictures of the redhead mentioned last week. Geez.

November 04, 2005 9:41 AM

Blogger Lekun said...

yeah, i'm confused, do you want a blogger template, or a new blog all together?

November 04, 2005 9:42 AM

Anonymous geop said...

I'm also confused. Do you also need new content for your blog? And then you want it in html, or plain text is ok too?

November 04, 2005 11:36 AM

Anonymous Larry Fransson said...

I actually kind of like this theme. All this time, I thought, "Wow...that Wil guy is a really talented visual designer. Just look at his blog theme!" Now I find out that it's actually a pre-fab theme. My admiration of you just slipped several notches.

November 04, 2005 11:36 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Larry

I hope you're joking...

November 04, 2005 12:07 PM

Blogger Mathieu said...

I'm glad someone told you, the colours are had on the eyes! Sometimes, Will, I've copied and pasted your blog into textedit to read it!

It is structurally a nice desgin though, my blog is exactly the same in black on white (fancy that)!

I tire of it too though. After the 15th, maybe I can have our cast off leftovers...

November 04, 2005 3:08 PM

Blogger Hieronimus said...

Well, dont want to ruin anyone's chance of getting an iPod, but why don't you pick a blog template yourself?

November 04, 2005 4:53 PM

Blogger Abhi Beckert said...

Wohoo, I kinda already have my foot in the door as a web coder (mostly php), but I *am* young (19), and I am trying to get my foot in the software industry's door...

And most importantly, I won't even hesitate to delay the Admin CP I'm working on for a chance to have my name on your blog.

Wohoo, I assume I can make two entries?

November 04, 2005 5:05 PM

Blogger Matt James said...

CSS only... plot thickens. :)

November 04, 2005 7:44 PM

Blogger Erik @ The Sand Trap said...

You do realize your Delicious Monster link (currently) goes to "" right? :-P

November 04, 2005 8:47 PM

Anonymous john morgan said...

So if I dump the recognition and the gratitude can we upgrade it to a nano?

November 05, 2005 2:30 AM

Blogger crankykhayman said...

The current design might be a little harder on the eyes for regular folk, but for people with failing vision it can make life quite a bit easier.

And for many I imagine it's a mute point as your words (the important part) are being read through an aggregator anyway.

November 05, 2005 7:35 AM

Blogger Abhi Beckert said...

So if I dump the recognition and the gratitude can we upgrade it to a nano?

Um... isn't the recognition and gratitude the whole idea? I'd be more than happy to drop the iPod, but without the other two I wouldn't enter.

November 05, 2005 7:17 PM

Blogger Josette said...

i happen to like this design, but then again, i AM the misery chick, so ...

November 06, 2005 3:50 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

should submissions be emailed to you, or posted here?

November 08, 2005 2:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The style doesn't bother me, because I reflexively tell Firefox to use "No style".

December 15, 2005 9:36 PM

Blogger Mark said...

wow, this is a great design! lovely colors!

May 30, 2006 4:04 PM

Anonymous Kate said...

From Kate, co-meowderator of Catsandmusic at Yahoo)

I know nothin' about design, but I know some about cats and I love your story. I'd like to print it on my yahoo discussion group and invite you, and other cat, and or music lovers to also join. Ok if I print it??
Many thanks,

Here is my group's URL:

August 04, 2006 5:13 PM

Blogger Wil Shipley said...

You can always reprint my stuff if you give me attribution.

August 05, 2006 4:40 PM

Blogger Angela said...

Found this site today and was poking around. RE: the kitties and the nearly empty food bowl. I have to side with the kitties, as in my house, the kibble at the bottom of the bowl isn't so much broken pieces of cat food as it is half-eaten, then spit out pieces of cat food. I wouldn't want to eat food that's been in someone else's mouth either. ;)

December 08, 2006 5:17 PM

Blogger Wil Shipley said...

It hasn't been in someone else's mouth, it was in their mouths.

December 14, 2006 2:45 AM

Blogger masukomi said...

So I think macbert did an excellent job on this design, so much so that i'd love to use it too, but, I'm not sure if that's kosher. Is this design CC licenced, or public domain or anything like that? Or are you planning on keeping it just for you? Not that I'd blame you as right now it's sweet and it's allllll you. :)

May 30, 2007 3:51 PM

Blogger Wil Shipley said...


No, sorry, this is pretty much my look, just for me. It wouldn't be as special if other people used it.


May 30, 2007 6:04 PM


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