ArtsJournal's New Look

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.

Arts Video
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.

AJBlogs
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.

To Come
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.

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Comments

  1. says

    Would you consider a Comments area for each featured article? I’d be interesting in hearing AJ readers opinions on issues of the day.
    The archives, by the way, were quite useful. I found it instructive to go back to previous years and see how stories and threads developed in different parts of the arts world.
    Ravi Narasimhan
    Redondo Beach, CA

  2. says

    The articles hanging to the left is a bit unsettling – especially with all that white space on the right. I do prefer seeing stories grouped under the topic headings to picking around for interesting stories in this new story stew approach. Teaser headlines, alone, are annoying. Hmmm. But I guess I must choose. Headlines or smorgasbord. Change is good. Change is good. Thanks for this great service. Change is good.

  3. Marie says

    Sorry, but I have to agree. I love reading Arts Journal everday, but the new layout for the articles is a mess. All that text smashed together is hard to read and I miss the topic headlines that organized groups of stories.

  4. says

    The fact that you are able to compile all of this for me to read every week is wonderful. I live in a small Caribbean island and so to be able to find, in one place, arts news from all over the world, is fabulous for me.
    Love the new layout and choices of how we can read it.
    Thank you thank you, for keeping me in the loop, while I live in Paradise! Corrie Scott

  5. Craig says

    I agree with Beate. I only care about a couple of categories. Now I have to sift through all the stories to find the ones that I care about. Very annoying.

  6. says

    I like the new look, but I would also like to cast a vote for grouping stories by subject. Even though I usually read everything, it’s *extremely* useful to have articles arranged in categories, especially when I’m short on time!

  7. Patrick Frank says

    The video is a nice idea. But can it please be AN OPTION to load it rather than an automatic thing? Consumes bandwidth!!!!

  8. John says

    The new look? Attractive in many ways, but not particularly user-friendly.
    The type in the middle and righthand columns is just too small to be read easily.
    Agree with others that articles ought be be grouped by subject (as they were previously) and about the lefthand column being too long and leaving too much white space to the right.
    And, damn, that type is small. Or did I already mention that?

  9. Beth says

    Yes, I too am disurbed by the new organization of stories. You had it right. Now it’s too cumbersome to deal with. Please revert to organization by subject matter!

  10. roger dettmer says

    The “new” look is as confusing as it is bizarre. Why can’t AJ’s honchos leave well enough intact? As for Henry Fogel as a staff blogger, the only dumber cast member is Terry Teachout.
    Bah, humbug. You used to be valuable.

  11. Chuck says

    ArtsJournal readers seem to have a reading-comprehension problem.
    As the editor clearly explained: “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.”

  12. Barry Adams says

    I love artsjournal but the new look is harder to read and cluttered. Why munch everything to the left?
    Next time y’all should consider erecting a trial page and soliciting user comments before going “whole hog.”

  13. Liz says

    I liked having all the music, dance, people etc, still divided on the main front page. While it is nice to have a quick click above, when I use to scroll down, I might have seen a topic in another section that was interesting. I don’t like scrolling down with a mismash of titles and topics.
    Also, center the page.
    Otherwise, it is very excellent.

  14. Walter Hawn says

    I have to agree with most of the above.
    I don’t mind the hodge-podge of subjects. That’s good for me, as I’m a hodge-podge kinda guy, but scanning through the stories offered takes a very long time. The précis blocks are too large for good visual design and the headlines don’t jump out far enough.
    Overall, the page is ugly and cluttered.

  15. Karen says

    Less is more. The new format makes it harder to zero in on useful information quickly. For some reason, I couldn't get a subject page to download with only the selected topic headlines.

  16. fleetfootphil says

    This new format junks up the whole thing. I feel like I’m looking at People Magazine online. Why not toss in some ads and maybe some blinking lights too?

  17. Elizabeth Bradley says

    Reading comprehension issue or not, per the editor’s comment, I can not locate in the format in which I receive Arts Journal a “topic header” for Theatre which takes me to those stories only. I must agree with the dissenters. The previous format was comprehensive and clear. It is much more difficult to parse through the current site and determine my interest level in the content. I appreciate the opportunity to comment.

  18. Lauren says

    I think the new layout is fantastic! At first glance, it was confusing, buut really it has organized things even more thoroughly. Thanks for all the hard work!

  19. Janet says

    Please please go back to sorting by subject! I’m sure some people have the time and the inclination to meander through all the articles each week, but some of us need to be more targeted about getting to the articles that are relevant to our work. Please?

  20. says

    My blog violainvilnius.blogspot.com has a link to the arts journal in its sidebar, showing the latest stories in the arts journal. They are great stories! But have a look at how old the stories are – they must have been there for over a month. Has something broken?

  21. George W. Gussak says

    How much revenue is generated by or through the arts on a national level? Fine arts, published art, music, dance, theater, museums, etc. I was asked and frankly was stumped to get a handle on this. Who can I ask, where can I look?

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