We’ve had lots of comments on the new design for ArtsJournal – many of them positive – and then a full-throated chorus of those who find the new look wanting (ouch). I’ve changed a number of things based on these comments. The biggest change is restoring the topic groupings to the newsletters. Many complained that it was more difficult to scan the stories when they weren’t grouped by topic.
I’m going to stick for now to the mixed stories on the main page. I think it provides an easier scan of what’s been updated, and anyone looking to see stories by topic can click on the topic link. Those links are across the top of the site, and they also link from the topic tag that runs with every story. Really easy.
The new rss feeds are almost ready and will be implemented sometime in the next day (and they’ll offer full text of blurbs and are organizeable by topic). I’m still working on fixing broken links etc. I hope things will be mostly done by the weekend. Oh, and all that white space at the bottom of the site that some have been upset about? In the weeks and months to come, it will be filled with new features. It’ll be worth the wait, I promise. Now on to something much more interesting and that has more to do with art.
Special Guest Blogger
For the next week, John Rockwell will be joining the blog for what we hope will be a wide-ranging conversation about the arts, arts journalism, and him. John has been a longtime critic for the New York Times, and he’s leaving the paper (“retiring,” he claims) at the end of this month. Coinciding with his departure from the Times, he’s got a new book out – Outsider – which is a collection of pieces he’s written since he was a cub critic in Oakland in the 60s. It’s a fun and revealing read.
We haven’t really worked out a form for this discussion, but it will start later today, after John gets off a plane from Europe. Hope you’ll look in on us.