Welcome to the ALL NEW Mahmood’s Den!

As you probably can see, the blog has gone through a major overhaul, and it’s about time too.

The “traditional” reverse chronological way of displaying information on the Den is no longer relevant, considering that I now regularly publish not only in text, but in a fusion of media: text, pictures, audio and video. I like to call this “fusion blogging” where the content is king and how one chooses to express it should never be enveloped in just one type of communication media.

The way that things are presented now is through a completely revamped “home page”, thanks to “Revolution Pro Media“, a premium theme I purchased in the weekend and spent all of that time re-tooling it to more closely match the requirements of the Den.

There is some way to go of course and you might witness some tweaks here and there as well as fixes as and when problems creep up. I hope you will be kind enough to alert me to any problems as you encounter them. After a day and half of working on this solidly, I suspect that I have crushed the more apparent bugs. It is; however, as it always is with these things, work in progress, so expect some bumps on the way, just to make the journey a bit more interesting.

I hope you continue to enjoy the Den, and through this new birth, you find it much easier to interact with its community.

Thank you ever so much for your continued support. I really am privileged to know you all and look forward to participate with you in various discussions to enrich our understanding of each other, knowledge and conversation.


  1. Simon Columbus

    Well, as I read your blog via a feedreader a design change and especially the new “home page” doesn’t really matter to me.

    But I think it was a good turn. I will have to get used to the new “colder” style of the Den, but that’s ok. The new home page is definitely an improvement – it’s the right way to deal with that “fusion blogging” (not a bad neologism) thing. Still it would be a great addition if you would offer feeds for the categories displayed there (well, I know how to get them, but a simple button is more enticing, isn’t it?).

  2. Sam

    I love it!! What an improvement! It looks really professional!

    My only comment is that the banner at the top of the site has collected a fair amount of dust šŸ˜› – maybe something new & fresh?

  3. loki

    I love the look, clean and crisp. Not sure about the functionality. Too many categories and sub categories for my liking. Misc AND stuff? . Also stuff is repeated twice in the upper and menu and the lower one. Why are there two menus anyway, What is the difference between them?

    Sorry don’t mean to sound like Pedantor (OK, maybe part of me does), but I think there is too much choice in the UI, too much choice is bad (contrary to all free market economic theory :P). The colour scheme is much better but I just think its a bit too busy. IMHO, it would become alot better by simply reducing the number of menu items.

    Although I think i’ve ranted on long enough, its worth remembering one of the reason people ditched yahoo, alta vista, etc. was because google’s home page was less busy. … Sorry GUI/HCI is something that i take allot of interest in.

    A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  4. Post

    Thanks all.

    Loki I completely understand, and accept that there are too many categories and tags, but that’s my fault as I really can’t be bothered to drill down – in my mind – what pigeon-hole a story should belong to, so I throw at it many tags/cats “just in case” and I end up with what we have now, hundreds of tags and tens of cats. I have recategorised a lot of them so that some would at least be “daughters” of higher levels, but there is a lot more to do still.

    For your information, the first menu nav bar contains the “pages” or static content of the site – like the Constitution and other important documents;

    The second nav bar is the Category drop downs; while

    The “featured content” contains stories that I chose to “feature” to be right at the top. The difference between the old theme and this one is that the old theme no matter how many previous features there were, it was set up to display only the latest. With this one, it will display the latest from within the categories I chose to “tab” in there.

    You’ve put your finger right on where it hurts most, and it is this particular area which I am going to attack over the next few weeks.

    Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts.

  5. loki

    I’m in the (early) process of designing an application, Categorization is exactly the problem I am trying to deal with! So, yeah, while I’m gladly pointing out flaws, I know an elegant solution isn’t easy – I hope to find one yet.

    Good luck!

  6. Amjad


    One would find it hard to believe that this website is now run by one person only..

    Great job.

  7. Steve the American


    I like your new look, which has a very professional appearance. It was a little confusing for about fifteen seconds before I oriented myself. What’s particualarly impressive is that you did this with an off-the-shelf package over the weekend. My first guess was that you outsourced it to some e-commerce firm. I just wrote my first WordPress blog today, a simple thing, so it’s instructive to see what can be done.

    Isn’t it something how more and more communicative power is being delivered to individuals via the Internet? It makes you wonder what changes to human culture are being effected by this. The printing press did wonders for pornography and religion. What changes will the Internet bring?

  8. Steve the American

    But what’s with the ads to be an ordained minister? Are you running a Christian seminary by mail on the side, ordaining ministers for cash in the Church of Saint Al Yousif of Manama? How does that work, Mahmood?

  9. Post

    Thanks Steve.

    Google must be selective in the ads they display to the user; for me, all I get is job ads – they must think that I need to get a “proper” job; while for you they seem to think that you need a pinch of religion to enrich your life! šŸ˜€

    I didn’t outsource anything so far, but I realise the level of my so called coding skills so I might well have to in the future. For now, it’s just cut and paste and a lot of reading.

  10. naddooi

    Ooooh, very “professional” look! šŸ˜›
    Like it very much! But one comment, a tad, well, overwhelming on the front page, fells like a lotta stuff all at once!

    But over all, nice look, well done! šŸ˜‰

  11. Lucy

    Am a very quiet but avid reader of your blog, and the improvements look great!!

  12. Post

    Thanks again everyone. I am looking to do more usability improvements on the site, this theme is a great way forward as it provides the infrastructure I was looking for, but it certainly could be improved. I think you will see gradual change from now on, hopefully to the better.

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