Welcome to the New Metroblogging DC!

Welcome to the new Metroblogging DC!

For the last 9 months, our management and design team, in coordination with The Groop in LA, have been redesigning Metroblogging to move away from the old, server-intensive, Movable Type System. You’ve noticed that comments took forever to post, we’d noticed that stories took literal minutes to compile and post on the site, and frankly, no one was more upset about it than we were.Enter the new design. It’s sleek, it’s sexy, and for that, we have The Groop to thank for the overarching look and feel. I’m loving the Art Deco feel they chose for the overall, stuff, but that may just be me.Here’s a couple of the big changes that you, the reader, will notice:

User Registration

Yep, we decided it needed to be done. You will now have to register to comment here. The good news: One account, One password, always the same. We’ll never, ever, ever use the email address for spam or marketing purposes. We won’t even email you unless you want to sign up for our new Announcement Network. The bad news? Well, there’s really no bad news except you have to sign up.

Built-in Coolness

There are a lot of new features that we’ll be showing off and using in the coming weeks. Take a look at the new animated Flickr badge on the right. All you have to do to get your photos in there is to add them to our Flickr groups. We’ll also be deploying some cool new Google Maps integration, as well as some awesome native polling software.

Rate the Posts!

Be sure to use the Ratings feature on each post to tell us what you like and what you don’t like. Just a quick click on the stars at the bottom of the entry will give us a good indication of what you think. This will also effect the Best Of Metroblogging.

Three New Views

If you’ll look here at the top of the page, there are three ways to look at Metroblogging DC: Recent Activity, Most Interesting and Most Active. Each of these will give you a new and unique view of Metroblogging. Recent Activity will show what posts have recently been changed or had comments added to them, Most Interesting works on a special formula that we’ve determined, based on external links, comments and some other special sauce and killer robotics. Most Active will show you where the fire’s at. Give them a try!

New Authors Profiles

Check out the new Authors Section! We’ve done some work there to make sure that you can learn all about those who are writing here regularly.

Give us Your Feedback!

We’d love to hear what you think of the new design, please add your voice in the comments! In addition, if you have questions about specific features not working, drop a comment here and we’ll try to get it cleared up. We’re still trying to get our archives up and running, the move was not kind to our archive. We look forward to the new Metroblogging DC, and hope you do, too.

8 Comments so far

  1. tamale on March 3rd, 2008 @ 9:43 am

    A few comments on the re-design… The page is too wide and doesn’t all fit on the screen. I have to scroll over just to see the bar on the right. Also, although I don’t mind the grey type, it seems like it could be a strain on the eyes for many people.

    However, the art deco is nice.

  2. coeus on March 3rd, 2008 @ 10:15 am

    I’m liking the new feel. Nice design. One thing that’s driving me crazy is RSS feeds appear to have died.

  3. Tom Bridge (tbridge) on March 3rd, 2008 @ 10:23 am

    The RSS feeds are available for perusal, they just moved their locations. I hope that we’ll get 301 redirects in place sometime in the next week or so for those with old feeds.

  4. bandar on March 3rd, 2008 @ 10:43 am

    Two gripes with the design:

    1) it doesn’t completely fit into a 1024 x 768 screen. I know a lot of people have widescreen laptops these days, but most other sites have variable width so that they fit into the browser window however it is sized. I think the banner at the top (with the radio towers) makes this impossible though; without that the content would fit.

    2) the font is a little too light to comfortably read imho. (sorry, I don’t know the technical term)

    Other than that, I like the redesign.

  5. Richard Ault (richard) on March 3rd, 2008 @ 11:19 am

    Redirects are rolling today. Sorry for the hiccup. Our feed partner seems to be a little slow to update their DNS records…

  6. fedward on March 3rd, 2008 @ 3:23 pm

    Low contrast text was a Top Ten Web Design Mistake of 2005 and this is 2008. You should be very proud of yourselves.

    Other than that: in addition to the low contrast, article text is too wide (my eyeball estimate is that the comment boxes are about the right width, but this varies with text size and line height). The whole thing seems designed for a too-wide viewport, actually, but it’s no skin off my nose if the ads on the right are completely outside my browser’s window. I’ll just never see them.

    Minor bugs: there’s some Javascript or PHP code sneaking into your HTML unescaped, and it’s in the very top left corner of the browser window. Also, the top ad banner cuts off the top spire of your logo.

    Usability issue: if it were up to me, I’d make the whole balloon icon for comments a click target, not just the text number of comments inside the balloon.

  7. coeus on March 3rd, 2008 @ 3:23 pm

    Thanks Tom, got the new feeds site. It just looks like they haven’t updated since the last post before the move. Hope you guys get all the kinks worked out.

  8. Tom Bridge (tbridge) on March 3rd, 2008 @ 3:27 pm

    Coeus, I think the feed problem is related to the DNS switchover we’re making, as we’re powered by FeedBurner. They’ll sort themselves out in the next 12-24 hours, I suspect.

    Fedward, I think we’re working on a slightly narrower deployment, but I’ll get a better answer in the next two or three days as our design team is rapidly putting out fires, including, but not limited to, the unescaped-text problem.

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