Letter From the Editor (July 11)

Oh, hello! And welcome to the brand new BME News!

After years of the old news design (which is still there as an archive for the time being until we can transfer everything over), I thought it was time for a change. I don’t know about you, but I’m a fan. Look at it! It’s so clean! It’s still got that new blog smell! Big thanks to Jonathon and Jordan for putting this together.

As you can see, the launch of BME News means changes in some other areas — most notably, the end of the old ModBlog. But ModBlog isn’t gone — it’s now integrated into BME News, which makes sense, and is more convenient than having to juggle several different URLs to access all of BME’s content. (Now you only need to juggle a couple!) As well, the ModBlog archives aren’t here yet, but they are most certainly on their way, so hold tight on that one.

Please note: Comments on Modblog are disabled to allow the entries to be migrated without the loss of new comments. Once the old entries are imported, the template will be updated to allow browsing of the “new” modblog in a similar format as the old one. You will not have to click through to each link.

We’ve got a lot of exciting additions on the way, including a weekly (hopefully) advice column from David Vidra, the return of Shawn Porter to BME’s editorial team, and some other surprises that we’ll ideally be able to unveil soon. At the moment, though, everything you see on this page at the moment is 100 per cent new, and updates should be coming soon and often.

If you run into technical issues, please, let us know via e-mail or in the comments. Other than that, enjoy all the new content, and I’ll check back in soon!

47 thoughts on “Letter From the Editor (July 11)

  1. I found the new layout confusing — too much going on. But maybe that’s because I’m not used to it.

    It’s really irritating though that you have to click every individual link on the new ‘modblog’ to see anything at all.

    Also, why have all comments been disabled on the old modblog?

  2. The comments are being disabled on modblog as entries are imported, that way we dont loose any comments that happen after the content is imported here.

    & comments have always been moderated.

  3. The new ‘modblog’ is very neat and tidy I suppose, but will take alot of getting used to. I enjoyed the simplicity of the old modblog, and just being able to scroll down to look at the next post, but here it seems that there are going to be tons of links to click on, which may be frustrating to new and old users alike. A change was needed I suppose- and hopefully it will be a good one!

  4. The facelift is a nice change but with all the talent and creativity behind BME, taking the Mimbo theme and simply changing a few colors… I’ve come to expect something more original and cutting edge (pun intended).

  5. Oooooh, very web 2.0… I like the idea of the weekly advice column.
    How about somethign really cool like a keyword-based feed generator?

    Just one slight niggle, and thats the text size. I’ve got 20/20 vision, and I find it all a little small on my laptop. Maybe just a few pt bigger and ity’d make it a lot easier to read.

    How about everyone else? or am I just going blind?

  6. yeah… modblog’s new layout is not good. the old style, where you can just scroll down and read the next post, is simpler and much better.

    the frontpage is confusing. too much information and not so much organization.

    oh, and it’s nice to see new people writing articles. i don’t know how much shannon is willing to take part on bme right now, but his interviews were some of the best things bme had. it will be really nice if he could contribute writing to bme again. oh, and obviously, having shawn writing again sounds really good too!

  7. Chris: The theme is temporary. Eventually everything will be incorporated into one page so that there will be a simple, easy to navigate source for everything on BME that will replace the main index. Right now we’re trying to get all the new content out there and online so we don’t get swallowed up in the backlog. The reason none of this has been done before is that we’ve always been too busy. Now we’re focusing on bringing BME into 2009 (have to plan ahead since these things take time!) instead of how it is right now.

    Dan: Duly noted. We’ll increase the font size.

    Lucas: As has been said several times, the modblog template needs to be edited and as we’re migrating thousands of entries over, it’s taking some time to get done before we can change that template.

  8. Dan, I agree. I don’t have 20/20 vision, so it’s irritating my eyes a bit.

  9. This is no longer just “modblog”. It’s an amalgamation of the news section (new articles etc) and modblog. Now instead of having to go to several different pages, one can read news updates and get a dose of modblog.

  10. I actually quite like the new look, it’s far more of a professional-looking website, rather than a rapidly-outdated blog design. And people will always bitch about change, won’t they?

  11. Lori, It’s not ‘bitching’. It’s just pointing at things that are big setbacks compared to the previous iteration of modblog. I’m sure the change is done with every good intention in mind to improve the site for us, but even the best of intentions are sometimes misguided.

    The shannon/not shannon debate is totally a personal thing, and therefore i could agree that comments about that could classify as bitching

    But talking about the lack of photos (and number of comments for each post) on the main page of modblog forcing us to click on each entry is just discussing a mayor operational flaw… more clicks means extra unnecessary work, with translates into frustrated users, and therefore less users. It’s not ‘bitching’. It’s constructive criticism that might help the staff to ‘get it right. It’s actually something that helps them and that I’m sure they appreciate. At least i know i’m thankful when the final users give me their opinions on things that should be changed on the websites I do at my job, after all my goals is to make things easier for them.

  12. I wasn’t exactly fond of how many click throughs there have been on the recent modblog posts. The new format (thus far) is even less appealing.

  13. I have to say that for those people who visited multiple parts of BME this is probably a great thing (I really only used IAM and modblog, so it wasn’t an issue). And I think the layout looks fine. It will take getting used to though.

    Good to know you’re changing the new-modblog set up. However I take issue with you saying that comments were always moderated. Perhaps at times, but they weren’t always.

  14. Will new buttons be made so we can link it to our page, or can we just use the old ones?

  15. alright, we both co-own a music magazine (website linked just in case you wanna check) and besides our other daily activites we’re usually super busy. in old modblog all we had to do was load the page scroll down and go “uh!” “ahh!” “wow!” “ouch!” you know? but now it’s like we don’t have enough time to click through all the links.

    maybe it would be awesome if you started this new section but somehow kept modblog alive in it’s own “blog” style. you know, for us the ones that can barely find enough time to scroll down.

  16. cuntcumber: They have been “first moderated”, at a minimum, meaning your first comment needs to be approved before you can post freely. For a short while that got turned off but it’s not the norm.

    What do I know, I’ve only been working here for 8 years! :)

  17. Ok, sorry.

    I just realized if I click on the “Browse Categories” section where it says “ModBlog” I still get the scroll down version and now even with a new smoking layout. I already bookmarked that one and i’ll make sure to let Natalia know as soon she gets back.

    Rachel, can you do like a “BmeNews for dummies” entry or something where you note simple facts like this so silly people like me don’t freak out? it’d be really helpful, thanks!

  18. oh and also maybe, only maybe, and this is only a suggestion, you could redirect modblog.bmezine.com/ to news.bmezine.com/category/modblog/ or something, i don’t know, just an idea that came to my head right now (we just moved our site as well and had to redirect some stuff, maybe just because of that i still have “redirect” as a first thought solution or something)

  19. Diego everything will be properly redirected when we are sure we have imported all the content and files. We dont want to start redirecting people (or search engines) to posts and/or pages that don’t exist.

  20. oh ok. sounds like a plan! congrats, the new stuff is looking good and sure will look better as it ages. i was merely concerned about the scrolling down thing; but now that i found it again, i’m cool with it.

  21. I like it. I find it a tad bit confusing, but nothing I won’t get used to in a day or so. I think it’s much more professional, which is what I’d like to see.

    Stop bitching about change just because you can. *offers some cheese to go with everyone’s whine*.

  22. Changes are good!
    I don’t understand how a community of people who regularly change their own body can be against change when it comes to a website.

    Site looks much more 2008!!
    As far as I’m concerned news.bmezine.com could replace the front page bmezine.com completely.

  23. Eventually everything will be updated and available through one cohesive vision. We’re just slowly trying to move to that format. With millions of images and 300+GB of data, it’s a big transition that will take some time.

  24. Huzzah! Larger text for all!

    Well I’m on a roll now, so heres my list of suggestions that (I think) would be really nice to implement:
    BME News Mobile
    How about a nice mobile browsing theme that gets activated if your screen size (usually reported in HTTP headers) is less than 800×600. I tried browsing this on my HTC Touch, and the results were not pretty.

    Comment update alerts
    Ideally, an RSS feed with all the comments for a particular article, so I can keep a track of the conversation without having to come back to the site every 20 minutes.

    One thing I really liked about the old template was the ever-changing header image. It was a really nice touch. I miss it *sniff*

    Keep up the nice work :)


  25. you did redirect the old modblog.bmezine.com to the new news.bmezine.com/category/modblog/ amazing! now it doesn’t even matter which of both bookmarks i click!

    just a question, where do i submit pictures now? i’m sorry i just can’t find it

  26. I’m still a bit confused as to the purpose of BMEnews. I understand that it’s a collecting point of various other parts of BME but isn’t that what bmezine.com’s homepage is? Will BMEnews ultimately/eventually take the place of BME’s homepage? If so, I hope you find a place for recommended experience submissions as I think it’s one of the best parts of BME.

  27. The main page of BME will eventually be redesigned to incorporate everything. The news section is simply bringing news articles and modblog together. Recommended experiences are still linked from the main page.

  28. I DEFINITELY adore the new layout and I agree with Lori completely – Everyone must have known that modblog was going to change and everyone else must have known that others would bitch about it. SO, I agree with Lori 100% on that.

    I love the new modblog – and I’m loving how everything looks like a newspaper :)

  29. Don’t like it.
    Hopefully it will grow on me.
    It’s so, blah? I think it’s the plain colors.

  30. I really like it. Modblog is a lot cleaner, and I never really ventured in to the news articles before – now I will! And the plus side of it looking more like a ‘regular’ news site – makes it less conspicuous to have up on my screen at work ;p

  31. I didn’t like it at first, when there was the title page list of entries but after a couple days with it how it is now I think it’s really cool.

  32. Crap, I need my glasses… I think I’ll give ya’ll some time to get everything done and in order before I pass any judgment. Hehe ;)

  33. Oops, I just saw that you’d already mentioned integrating the rest of the site’s content, Rachel. I need to stop scanning so badly.

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