aworkcovervictimsdiary milestones and blog design

Today, marks a significant milestone for this blog. workcovervictimsdiary.com has had just over 150,000 page views since it’s launch in August 2011 (8-9 months ago only!). Given its increasing popularity and growing impact, some of us have been wondering whether it’s time to rethink our blog’s design and layout? Make it more official-looking?

aworkcovervictimsdiary milestones and blog design

Milestones

Today, marks a significant milestone for this blog. It has had over 150,000 page views. When I launched it about 9 months ago, I wasn’t really sure how much interest readers would have in the developments and trends of a system that is -frankly- almost a century old!

As some of you may recall, this blog was started as part of my psychological therapy, prescribed by my treating clinical psychologist and psychiatrist. Given that I (workcovervictim) – due to my workplace accident- am unable to physically write, let alone type, I was not able to commence a paper diary (journal) and had to find a digital “diary”where I could use dictation software… so it became a blog!

The very initial goal of this “diary” (hence the URL chosen: aworkcovervictimsdiary.com) was, believe it or not, to help me vent and turn my rage (oh yes) against my workcover insurer and the Victorian workers compensation system into semi-coherent sentences, in order to prevent it [my rage] from making make me -further- ill!

Born to “help people” (I was an intensive care nurse before my horrible accident), I soon realised that I could still do what I was born to do and that is help fellow injured people, by sharing my experience(s), learned tips and tricks; and by raising awareness. …The rest is history!

Community involvement has been very instrumental in making workcovervictimsdiary.com efforts so successful. I am extremely grateful to our loyal (and growing) readers and the large number of outstanding “guest bloggers” and contributors who have contributed to reaching this milestone. I would also particularly like to take this opportunity to personally thank Actavista, Workcovervictim3, Trinny and John McPhilbin for their invaluable support and for co-authoring some of our best articles.

A very special thanks goes to my treating psychologist and psychiatrist – you know who you are ! I still can’t believe you made me do this 😉 and – of course- to my hero, Erin Brockovich!

Our current analytics reflects that there is a strong interest in the wrong-doings of the workcover insurance companies (i.e. shared stories); health and safety (i.e. OHS, bullying) and the “benefit system” known as workers’ compensation in general. The spectrum of story interest is as widely diverse as the multitude of workcover insurances, schemes (and it’s tactics) in existence.

It is very encouraging to know that the expanding readership base has a growing concern about the manner in which injured workers are being treated by their insurance agents and about worker’s health and safety. Hopefully, as workers’ compensation schemes “mature and develop”, there will also remain a strong desire to create a healthier work environment. My hope is that this blog can continue to provide a voice for injured workers and a forum for creative ideas.

Blog design

Given this milestone and the “status” of workcovervictimsdiary.com, some of us have been wondering whether it would be worth re-designing our existing blog, in particular to make things “more official” looking and created -perhaps – a stronger presence…?


Blog

Any and all feedback would be greatly appreciated – feel free to add a yes/no question and/or leave us your comments, tips, feedback, ideas and suggestions!

16 Responses to “aworkcovervictimsdiary milestones and blog design”

  1. Love the design and loooove the new enhanced menu – much easier to navigate! Well done folks 😉

  2. Just to let you all know that we are currently working on the main menu – re-organising stuff, adding pages and resources… Sorry for the little inconvenience that it may cause 😉

    Oh and by the way the least I had to do was come out of my closet, duh! I am female (aka Lisa, aka workcovervictim), so no more hiding under a male cover – hence a female version of the bloke;)

    Our Twitter account will keep the new pictures of Erin Brockovich and Lisa on it’s background 🙂

  3. OMG – we received so many emails from our readers overnight, begging me (us) not to change our blog’s design, as they feel it’s “established” and that it’s a wonderful, unique and down to earth design!

    This certainly means that I will not make any major changes, but instead focus on re-arranging pages and menu so that all our great info is easily accessible and easy to find.

    By popular demand we will also expand our resources to all states in Australia (VIC, NSW, SA etc) 😉

    • Familiar, safe and trustworthy!  It just goes to show how effective this site really is.  If it ain’t broke don’t mess too much with it.

      John McPhilbin May 17, 2012 at 2:05 pm
  4. Although I agree it looks nice, I have decided to change the theme altogether and will be surprising you!

    I feel that the blog has outgrown its original  design (a diary) and that there is so so much valuable stuff on here that it needs to be well organised and easy to find. I am going to change it into a kind of endless thing, a never ending theme and design perfect for all our bloggers and guest bloggers, artists amongst us and storytellers alike!

    • Keeping it real – sounds good.  I’m not the most creative person in the world or a design expert.   I’m sure it will look and feel just fine however you choose to change it.  These things just seem to evolve naturally.

      Cheers

      John Mc

      John McPhilbin May 16, 2012 at 9:47 pm
  5. The photos look great.

    John McPhilbin May 16, 2012 at 3:13 pm
  6. Thanks for all your great feedback! Erin Brockovich was utterly amazed with this blog’s down to earth original (self-created) design, which she found extremely appealing and ‘welcoming’ (as itHurts says) to injured workers. I would agree that by making the blog “official looking” it would lose it’s welcoming appeal (to injured workers) and become “just one of ’em blogs”. Besides, like Erin said, it’s about ME and  injured workers – and not to “please” a politician or organisation by looking “official”.

    Erin told me many stories about the way she used to dress at work for example, just before she cracked that huge environmental case of hers and became famous (see Erin Brockovich the movie)… it’s about what feels comfortable and makes grassroots (injured workers) feel comfortable with, nothing else matters.

    I do believe however that it’s time to at least get rid of the anime cartoon and change the cartoon. I think John’s idea to changes it to a (or some) great pictures of Lisa and Erin Brockovich is excellent. This will add to the “genuine-ness” and indeed to the credibility + fantastic leverage Erin is offering.

    The right handed sidebar contains the main links – i.e. most recent posts, comments and links to important pages (i.e. share story etc) and the blog’s archives (which also splits into months). Perhaps the sidebar needs a bit of re-work to make it more accessible and “less busy”? By, like John states, for example putting up archives or even a calendar of the posts and articles for ease of reference. The blog roll (at the bottom right) contains links to most important resources (i.e. workers comp act in Vic).

    We’re also working on the “resources pages”, I believe it needs to be clearer and have links to i.e. NSW, VIC, SA, other states resources (acts, claims manual etc). with a much clearer overview of what’s where so that things become much easier to find.

    We’ll start working on the site over the next few days!

    Keep any comments/feedback/ideas/suggestions coming – we’re open to anything – all is possible 🙂

    workcovervictim May 16, 2012 at 9:00 am
    • All sounds good – its evolving – it does need to remain personal rather official.  This blog is about real people not a bureaucratic blurb.

       

       

      John McPhilbin May 16, 2012 at 11:01 am
  7. If it aint broken why fix it

    johnny rotten May 16, 2012 at 6:22 am
  8. Oh, and perhaps create monthly archive files and keep the most recent posts in plain view.  References and links can always be linked from current posts where relevant?

    Specific resources – ie. guides to workers comp laws etc may have an easy access link?

    This will make it less busy – simply because there are lots of good posts happening and much information to absorb – some people may find it overwhelming.  I know their have been times, especially when I was suffering from depression, too much information often overwhelmed me.

    Just throwing out potential ideas.

     

     

     

    John McPhilbin May 15, 2012 at 8:32 pm
  9. I think if you made the design more ‘official’ looking, it may make us injured workers feel less welcome. Ive been around computer’s in my workplace so I dont find them intimidating, but I know there are others out there who do. The site may need a little adjusting here or there, but overall I find it easy to move around & I always find the information useful. I like that I may not be well enough to read or contribute each day, but I am able to easily read over what I have missed & contribute if I want 🙂

    It doesnt matter what it looks like! its the message it contains -that is the most important part. And you do an amazing job, so keep up the good work everyone xox

    • Actually, I agree with ithurts.  I would perhaps get rid of the cartoon of the guy with his hands in his pockets and keep the photo of WorkCoverVictim (aka Lisa) and Erin as the main feature.

      I think that would be truly symbolic of what this site is about.

      Diary of a WorkCover Victim

      Supported by Erin Brockovick

      Photo (Lisa with Erin and cheeky parrot)

      I did see a parrot in one photo I’m sure

       

      John McPhilbin May 15, 2012 at 8:25 pm