Actually it’s more than just a new look. The entire website has been rebuilt from the ground up. Why change something that’s simple and easy to use and has worked well for the past four years? Content management systems have advanced considerably since we last rebuilt ArtsJournal, and the new system will allow us more flexibility in compiling and delivering ArtsJournal.
New News Format
The first thing you may notice is that the traditional AJ news section is no longer segregated by topic on the home page. Insted, each story posts in the order it was added, and carries a tag for the topic area. This will make it easier to see at a glance what new stories have been added since your last visit. And it returns to the original AJ format where the stories were jumbled. My original idea for AJ was to mix up the stories so readers could stumble over unexpected items. We also now have at the top of the site a “current top story” section. Previously, big stories were often hidden far down in the site in their topic section.
I realize that many of you come to ArtsJournal for only one category of story – music, or visual arts, or dance… If that’s the way you want to continue to read the site, click on any of the topic links on the ribbon across the top of AJ and you’ll see the stories collected by topic. And, for those of you who prefer to read just the headlines, there’s a page where you can see all stories by headline only. If you miss a day, our “previous days” page displays the last five days of postings.
The new site doesn’t offer permanent archives. This is because the search function is greatly improved. Search results take you directly to the blurb you’re looking for rather than just the page where the search word was found.
We’ll also feature a new arts video every day. Just click twice on the video window and it should play. We are only archiving the most recent ten days’ worth of videos.
We now have 18 arts blogs on ArtsJournal, and they get greater prominence in the new look. There’s a running list of the most recent posts from all AJBlogs as well as a section that features some of the best postings from around the site. There’s a new central blogs page listing blog posts. In the coming months AJBlog Central will be changing and expanding.
Not all of our rss feeds are built yet, so please be patient. There are also some links and features that aren’t fully functional yet, but they will be fixed in the next few weeks. If you have comments, complaints or suggestions, please let me know.