While sidebars aren’t the primary focal point of blogs, they still have an important role in usability and appearance. A well-designed sidebar can make it easier for visitors to find what they like, which will keep them at your site longer and improve your overall effectiveness. On the other hand, a poor sidebar can lead to lost and frustrated visitors.
Before the re-design of this site was started, the sidebar (or in this case sidebars) was a focal point of need. I felt that whatever direction the new design went, it needed to improve the usability of the site by making navigation easier and directing visitors to the appropriate parts of the site. The decision was made to use two sidebars in order to include everything that was needed without cluttering up the sidebar too much.