Bil Browning

Preview: From the Bilerico Home Office

Filed By Bil Browning | August 10, 2010 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Site News
Tags: anonymous polls, Bilerico redesign, new site design

I've been running around like crazy trying to get the new design for Bilerico Project off the ground lately; we're currently hoping to have the new look up and running in September. To finish up though, I need your help. In exchange, I'm willing to offer you a sneak peek of the new look.

  • Click here to see the new front page. (Don't mind some of the placeholders that say "Ad Space" - they're not all meant for ads!) Want to see what a full post page will look like? Click here then. The post page isn't finished yet. Feel free to offer advice in the comments section about what you like or don't like.
  • After the jump are a couple of quick anonymous polls I hope you'll answer about some of TBP's content. The answers will help us as we finish up the new design.
  • Remember the Best of Indy contest I wanted to win? We came in 3rd place. Not too shabby for a gay site in a red state - we were beaten by a local social media powerhouse.
  • I finally broke down and created a fan page for myself on Facebook. It feels so damn self-aggrandizing, but folks keep asking for it. Join if you'd like.

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I have always been quite fond of the Bilerico layout... but... here it goes... change is good. Progress to your new do. It is pretty fancy. I like it.

Okay, it took me like five minutes, but now I really like it. Change is uncomfortable but we adjust and I really do like it. I think it will definitely be more friendly and posts seem to grab my attention more.

Great Job!

I love the new front page very clearly laid out and smooth like whipped pudding. the article page is a little splotchy though and do you have to have the advert that far up after the first sentence or two in the article? Id rather see it between the byline and the article.

We're not done with any of this yet. We'll work on balancing things out as we finish the design.

I really like it. It's much easier to read and scan. Doesn't feel too big, as the current format can feel while I scroll down and down. Is there enough room to hold all of one day's posts on the front page? I want to be able to see the current stuff without clicking away from the front page.

Suggestion: the comments are a nice addition; can you make the title of the post appear in a balloon in the arrow link?

I really like the new page! Gives you a lot more choices of what to read first! Can't wait! Great Job! Love this blog!

I really like the new look. I did note,however, that a link is missing for my blog, Michael-in-Norfolk ( missing from the list of contributors blogs.

That list is not complete, Michael. We haven't decided exactly how we're going to handle those links moving forward, so this is just a suggestion of what it might look like. Don't worry - we won't leave you out! :)

@Michael: Don't worry - that's just the old blogroll moved over. Contributors will be asked to fill out a form this week that includes links to their own sites. :)

@Everyone: Is anyone else having problems commenting over the past few days (on the old design, of course)? I keep getting logged out and have to log back in almost every time I comment. Sometimes it deletes the comment entirely and throws me to the actual login page. Anyone else having that issue? If so, reply to this comment and tell me what browser and platform you're using.

I hate to be a naysayer, but I don't like the new front page. I want to be able to scan a couple paragraphs of a post before deciding whether to read the whole thing. A headline and one sentence just isn't enough.

Other blogs I read have done this (the Atlantic did it recently to Andrew Sullivan's blog until his readers complained so loudly they changed it back) and it just seems to work against the nature of blog-reading. When the front page is just a list of headlines (which often don't tell you what the story is about) it's easy to miss posts you might be interested in.

Couple of things...

First, we haven't decided on the length of the excerpts on the front page. While that page is "live" with real data, it's not feature complete.

Also, we're planning on curating those excerpts ourselves rather than let the system do it for us, as it is now. This will be more like Huffington Post, which I think does quite well with short blurbs on the front page.

We also haven't added any of the bells and whistles we have planned (or think we have planned, as the case may be) so don't take the content itself as "this is how it's gonna be". This was just a preview of the new layout and the general direction of things.

Okay, I'll reserve judgment. :-) But I would like to put in my vote for more of the post appearing on the front page.

I'll pipe in too - I've been lobbying for this change for a long while now (we were discussing it with the first relaunch back in 2007). We're not going to put 100% of posts before the jump either way, so it's either intros or excerpts. With excerpts we're freer to decide what goes on the front page and what doesn't, and people who write their posts can have intros that don't contain all the necessary information before the jump. I think it protects the writing itself if people don't think "I have to say my main point and something interesting in the first two paragraphs to get people to click over."

That said, I think the idea was more than 1 sentence. But we haven't actually set the length, as Jerame pointed out.

This is a very welcome change. I like seeing who wrote the article before I have to log on to it. Believe it or not there are some on this blog I don't find too interesting and this allows me to skip them.