July 13, 2011 - 12:29 pm
By now you’ve undoubtedly seen the Tatler’s new look, and several of you have taken the time to write in or comment and let us know what you think. We truly appreciate your feedback, even if you don’t like what we’ve done with the blog. In fact, constructive feedback can help us keep improving the site.
Now, about the changes themselves. We went to the two-column format for a few reasons. Under the previous format, readers had to scroll up and down to get around the site and past posts that might not be of interest. It was more difficult to see the broad range of content that we might have up, and check the site’s headlines at a glance. The new look puts more content up front at a glance, with about 10-15 posts and Scuttlebutt headlines on screen the second you enter the site. The new Tatler look is more of a news dashboard than a scrolling blog.
The word “awful” has been tossed around at the Tatler’s new look, but the fact is, the two-column format is a proven success. If our format is awful, so is that of Hot Air, The Blaze, Power Line, even our own front page and many many other news and opinion sites out there. Publishers use this format because it works. We adopted this format because it works both for readers and authors. Readers can see more content at a glance and can more easily select what you want to read; authors get to have their content displayed longer on the front page than the previous format allowed, giving it more time to catch on.
And let’s be candid: Web sites depend on traffic to survive. We’re no exception. When you click on a story in the new format, you’re rewarding the author with measurable hits that we could not see or measure in the old format. You’re helping us understand what you care about, both in clicks and comments.
Change is a hassle, especially when it hits without warning. As the editor around here who has put the past few months of my life into the Tatler, I hope you all stick around and help us keep growing the site. We’re nothing without our readers. Perhaps no one understands that or feels it more strongly than I do. So stick with us, and hopefully we’ll all get used to and come to appreciate the Tatler’s new look.