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LJWorld.com weblogs Seen it?

OMG! What did you do with my LJWorld.com?

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Well, we've done it again. We've taken your LJWorld.com and shaken things up a bit.

While we've been busying redoing KUsports.com, re-redoing lawrence.com, building and rebuilding WellCommons, venerable LJWorld.com has continued with almost no major changes in several years.

Today, however, that changes. We've unveiling a host of subtle changes that we think will make it easier for you to find the variety of content on a variety of topics that our journalists are creating. Here, in detail, are the biggest changes we've made. If you have feedback, questions, or concerns, feel free to post them below and Whitney, Ben Spaulding, our designer, or myself will try to get you answers.

So, the biggest change is "The Latest" — a constantly changing feed of the latest content from our staff. On the previous homepage, it was only a list of the latest stories and blogs on LJWorld.com. Now, it's a list of the latest multimedia content from any site in our network — and it can be a video, a photo gallery or even a special feature. Here's a before and after:

The new latest (left) vs. the old latest (right). We've included more media types in the feed, plus included links to content on the other sites in our family of sites.

The new latest (left) vs. the old latest (right). We've included more media types in the feed, plus included links to content on the other sites in our family of sites. by Jonathan Kealing

Next up, you'll notice in that same picture that we've added a third tab: a most discussed feed from lawrence.com and WellCommons. There's a lot of good content and good discussions on those sites and we want to put them in front of our largest audience, on LJWorld.com. We don't have KUsports.com discussions anywhere on the homepage yet, but we have some other plans for that, down the road.

In addition, you'll notice that we've rearranged and change our featured content boxes. Instead of being stacked down column two, they're now split between column two and column three, with sports and state government occupying prime positions. Next are our WellCommons and lawrence.com features, which replace the large WellCommons box and Arts and Entertainment feature we had on the old site. These link you directly to those two sites. Here's a before and after look at that.

The old version of features are at top, the new version is below. You can also see that we've moved our videos module down a bit, in acknowledgement that our videos will now also cycle through the latest.

The old version of features are at top, the new version is below. You can also see that we've moved our videos module down a bit, in acknowledgement that our videos will now also cycle through the latest. by Jonathan Kealing

The last significant move is the editorials, which have moved from under The Latest above the user blogs and letters to the editor. We think this reflects that all of this content is, fundamentally, opinion-based. In fact, in a previous iteration of the homepage, those two modules were located together. Here's a look at where you can find that content now.

The previous location of editorials, below, has been replaced by a new location near user blogs and letters to the editor, at top. It also helped make our columns more even!

The previous location of editorials, below, has been replaced by a new location near user blogs and letters to the editor, at top. It also helped make our columns more even! by Jonathan Kealing

That brings us to what didn't change. Most discussed is exactly where it has always been and its function is the exact same. The navigational bar is the same as well, though we do expect some changes there in the not-too-distant future. The top ads, visual tours and green edition remain where they've always been, as do our lists of special features, events and the ever-popular on the street question.

If I've missed something or you have a question or concern, leave it in the comments. I'll be checking in all night and again tomorrow to help out and take your feedback.

Comments

d_prowess 3 years, 2 months ago

After giving it many days, I will admit to liking have the list of stories include those from the other media outlets. It has caused me to click on some stories I wouldn't have even know about in the past. Nice job.

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ivalueamerica 3 years, 2 months ago

For once, I do not mind the changes, the only issue I have is the same one brought up before, on the third tab, popular, the icons are way to distracting and cluttering.

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devobrun 3 years, 2 months ago

I don't shop, I buy. When I go to a store, I expect to see stuff where it usually resides. I tell the grocers that a sure way to get me to try the other store is to change theirs. It is the "New Coke" versus "Classic Coke" problem of marketing. By changing a product you will draw in some people who didn't like your previous product, but you will loose old, loyal customers.

Clearly, the hit counter will tell the tale. Now that I have perused your site for a few days....I can say that I don't like the changes. The categories and headings and little icons are busy. I find it harder to find stuff, not easier.

Imposing detailed structure on information is often just cluttering the information. I don't care if a story has an "L", or a "KU", or a coupla green and orange people next to it. Simplify to clarify.
Sophistication is a euphemism for obfuscation.

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ralphralph 3 years, 2 months ago

I still don't understand the split from 6News. It doesn't make any sense. Made 6News and LJWorld both weaker entities. Sad.

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The_Original_Bob 3 years, 2 months ago

"I have yet to find another online newspaper that compares to LJWorld.com"

Agreed. Up until the threaded comments started.

Down with Threaded comments!

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Blue_Falcon 3 years, 2 months ago

Hello J.K., W.M., and others,

I am a long time lurker. I have yet to find another online newspaper that compares to LJWorld.com. I do not envy your guys’ job of having to read through all of the comments posted to LJWorld.com, but I do happen to enjoy the overall livelihood of the on-line community here. I live in the KC metro area and always check the LJWorld.com headlines first thing every morning.

Keep up the good work!

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bearded_gnome 3 years, 2 months ago

(Jonathan Kealing) replies …

There are things we like and things we dislike about threaded comments. By-and-large, we like more than we dislike, but that doesn't mean we can't change our minds. And we've been reading all the comments about it.

February 3, 2011 at 7:11 p.m.

---okay, so how do I get to adjust your minds Jonathan? I've been protesting the threadedness since it was forced upon us.
please stop it now! is that plain enough?


I agree with Krich and Z-berg, if I wanted to read the wellcommons (liberal) or lawrence.com or kusports I can go there, or you can have a tab for 'most popular/recent' on each of them.
*please return your most popular and most recent defaults featured prominently on your start page to ljworld.com only! as it was before.

the icons and the other articles truly are irritating and they slow my access to the info I am after here.

put up view cams for your site on the Oread Inn! pretty cool?

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Multidisciplinary 3 years, 2 months ago

I'd like to see 'one click' expansion or closing comments. On a good thread, that can be rather irritating to have to move the mouse (with an obnoxious laptop mouse pad that decides to move around just as you're ready to click) that many times to read what we used to be able to read at a glance. Of course, I support getting rid of the threaded comments, for all the reasons the others have said. A thought, could our personal profile have that choice in a menu? Therefore, once we've signed in, all comments are open or closed, as we like it. So that we don't have to even click at the top of each article. :)

Here is another example of when it's handy. I lose my battery before I'm done working near a wifi site. But I can open your articles leaving them open in tabs, and read them at home later. However, I have to rush to get all the individual comments open, before I leave the wifi site or I'll miss out on a lot of the discussion.

Here is something I've been noticing of late. The partially transparent text colors you've chosen are ok for darker rooms, but outside, or sunny rooms, it's impossible to read. It's 99% dark here now, with a few street lights, and say, the 'preview comment' box might not be visible at all, if it weren't boldface. In comparison, about this is RoeDapple in blue, bold, and it's completely readable.

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ophiuchus 3 years, 2 months ago

Ok, I'll weight in on this. Content is content, data with associated attributes. Allow commenters to reply contextually, but list comments sequentially. Provide an onscreen option for those so desiring to wrap sequential comments back into a contextual (i.e., threaded) format, and vice versa.

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DanR 3 years, 2 months ago

Overall, I'll get used to it. The writers/editors do a superb job, and the photographers really make this a great-looking site. Hats off to the web crew too. My nits:

I agree with some others that (since this is the main LJW news page), the "Latest" tab should show ONLY the LJW articles. The icons really do negatively affect the readability of the "Latest" tab list. Making the "L" icon a little more subtle like the other two might help.

As of right now, the latest Lawrence.com content seems to be listed in the wrong order, chronologically.

The "More popular" button at bottom of the "Popular JW" tab is useless. It goes to another link which has the same exact list. Perhaps I'm missing something.

The "More from:" link at the bottom of the "Latest" tab is misleading... it doesn't list more articles, which is what a reader would be expecting. It should say something like "All of Today's Content" or "Full Coverage" ...or something like that. If you could put the archive calendar down there, that'd be super :-)

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Keith Richards 3 years, 2 months ago

Jonathan-

Can you explain how the sorting by popularity works. Obviously it doesn't just factor in the most recent or the most commented. The algorithm looks to be slightly more complicated but I can't seem to grasp it.

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dogsandcats 3 years, 2 months ago

I can't tell if I like it yet. I'm a visual person and now that it looks different I'm all discombobulated. Perhaps I'll get used to it. Does the search feature work yet? I haven't tried it in awhile because it never worked for me.

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jstthefacts 3 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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The_Original_Bob 3 years, 2 months ago

"Hi "Bob" Glad your meter is working, have you changed your batteries lately??"

Solar-powered.

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Alceste 3 years, 2 months ago

It would be pleasant if the programmers would grasp the fact that ever so many of "us" don't hate Bill Gates or Microsoft and use MSIE.

Because, evidently, certain people within LJWorld have a wanton contempt for Gates: Many, many times the browser is compelled to switch over to "compatability view" due to the fact the coding is done to please the coders, not the "us" who read the web site and buy stuff from the advertisers.

"We" don't want Google Chrome; "We" don't want "Firefox"; "We" don't want Opera; etc.

Yes, the use of Internet Explorer has gone down, but it's still most excellent and there is the reality: "The usage share of Internet Explorer has declined from over 62.1% in January 2010 to 57.1% in December 2010 according to Net Applications..." in addition to this fact: "The Firefox usage share has slowly declined in 2010, from 24.4% in January to 22.8% in December." (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_browser ).

Can't the programming be done so that MSIE is not compelled to move into "compatability mode"? The best of sites makes certain MSIE works....and I'm referring to journalistic sites from the New York Times to The Christian Science Monitor to The Chicago Tribune, etc., etc., etc. Perhaps in addition to simply being arrogant, the internet side of LJWorld is either just lazy or maybe even doesn't know how to program outside of "open source". (And these remarks are coming from a FreeBSD advocate for hard core applications, not simply "web browsing". For the basics, Windows has always been just fine and shall continue to be just fine.

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Keith Richards 3 years, 2 months ago

Suggestion-Have a tab that allows me to only see the LJW news. No offense but most of the articles from the other two sites aren't worth my time.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years, 2 months ago

Hi "Bob" Glad your meter is working, have you changed your batteries lately??

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The_Original_Bob 3 years, 2 months ago

"This is not Egypt."

My hyperbolemometer just exploded.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years, 2 months ago

Keiling - Why do controversial articles seem to "disappear" sometimes? I have posted on some of the storied about Kris Kobach, and returned a few hours later to find the article gone. What's up here? I know this is a Republican Rag, that Dolph does not want the other side to have a voice here, but you people are supposed to be journalists and when you publish a story that might be a wee bit controversial and you get hit with a lot of flak, why do you retreat??? This is not Egypt.

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Deja Coffin 3 years, 2 months ago

What about possibly adding a "Like" button. It would be nice to be able to comment without actually commenting on other people's posts. Other then the suggestion, no complaints here! Great work and thank you!

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Zachary Stoltenberg 3 years, 2 months ago

JK,

I come to LJWorld.com to read the articles. I generally peruse almost all of them, rarely do I venture to lawrence.com and I have never cared for "well-commons" I feel like you are trying to capitalize on your traffic to LJWorld and push users into other pages they may have little to no interest in. I understand the point of the icons but here is the reality. You have now taken the content I'm interested in and squished it down to only 1/3 of the page (and the smallest third at that) and I have to scroll half way to china to peruse the list. I lose interest in anything I have to scroll down to. Even yout headline story is too large at the top of the page. Most of the list is content that is irrelevant to me (wellcommons and lawrence.com) , making it even harder to find anything I may be interested in reading. For the first time on months, I closed LJWorld and opened the Topeka Capital Journal and KCStar. This is enough to lose me as a reader, at least for my priority news. LJWorld will become my backup news source.

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The_Original_Bob 3 years, 2 months ago

"There are some technical hurdles to truly unifying comment threads."

I heard if you unthread the comments, those hurdles get disaperererereerferdeded.

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d_prowess 3 years, 2 months ago

Does this now mean that if you comment on an KUSports.com article, you will see that comment no matter if you access the story from KUSports.com or the LJW? In the past those stories would have different comment feeds depending on where you accessed the story.

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Helen Pendleton Rumbaut 3 years, 2 months ago

I really miss the Channel 6 Tower cam view of downtown Lawrence. It's my link to my old hometown.

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geekin_topekan 3 years, 2 months ago

"64 comments from Wysiwyg69 Jonathan Kealing Jay_lo Cheeseburger Pádraig O'Connell Murphycat Dougnamy Xyz Labmonkey Wendy magillicutty and 26 others " ++++ That comes up to 37, not 64.

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classclown 3 years, 2 months ago

In the never ending quest to make it easier to read things around here, you left out the most important change. Threaded comments make it difficult to keep up with the latest comments.

♠ UNTHREAD THE COMMENTS ♠

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esj2003 3 years, 2 months ago

Simply, the move is innovative, practical, and actually obvious, despite you folks being the first (one of them?) to attempt it. The information flows with the day, and the important places your eyes dart across the page contain the important info you need. It's a very social way of providing news from a spectrum of places, and it makes total sense.

And don't fret about commenters who think they are good judges of journalistic abilities. Some of them still think they're reading a newspaper.

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Wendy magillicutty 3 years, 2 months ago

Events are important and I'd love to find em easier. Also do you plan to have any movie theater info or just link back to lawrence.com? I noticed that's been down awhile.

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MurphyCat 3 years, 2 months ago

I really liked having the "events" at the bottom of the main page.

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labmonkey 3 years, 2 months ago

The only thing I think makes it cluttered are the little icons to the side of the latest stories (the ones indicating what site the article is from). That does make for visual overload.

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Wendy magillicutty 3 years, 2 months ago

It's always bothered me that the comments stay with an updated headline/story, sometimes completely taking the thread out of context. The story has changed or been edited to say something different while the comments remain the same (excluding troll commenters who always remain the same).

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Scott Overfield 3 years, 2 months ago

Now that you guys have the capital, lets see some hardcore journalism without fear!

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northtowngrl 3 years, 2 months ago

I kind of like it. is more graphically appealing. It seems to take a little longer to load now though. Maybe that is just my computer though. One thing I would like to see added is a way to suscribe to individual stories so that if it is something you are following, you could get email notifications when someone adds a comment. Can you do that? Have you thought about doing that?

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Jay_lo 3 years, 2 months ago

A little free-styl'n The compliments pil'n A little nose brown'n To keep JK from frown'n

But truth be still speak'n I'm cool, I'm not freak'n With changes their mak'n In stride I am tak'n

The newness I'm lik'n So compliments spik'n And good luck I'm send'n As this rhyme be end'n

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Jay_lo 3 years, 2 months ago

LJWorld, some subtle changes Comfort level rearranges Something new Is fun to see Getting used to it we'll be

Whitney, Jonathan and Ben Rock our world now and again Keep things fresh And looking new Congratulations to them due

Sometimes change for change's sake Helps to keep us all awake Enjoy slightly Different views While still we're keeping up with news

Content is the major thing And LJWorld is still the king We love to check in every day And find out what They have to say

So thanks for keeping up to date We think the new look's really great And while fine tuning you'll probably do Just know that we're Right there with you!

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The_Original_Bob 3 years, 2 months ago

"I have to say TOB, I 110% agree with you. Threaded comments totally suck. " Tom

Fight the Power, Tom!

Down With Threaded Comments.

/I've been poking around. The updates seem harmless enough sans we still have threaded comments.

Andini - The entertainment factor multiplies when Sven is around. After RI's army wins the threaded comment battle, I will take up the flag of HWCBN'd and demand his reinstatement.

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Andini 3 years, 2 months ago

Nobody likes changes. Nobody.

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aha 3 years, 2 months ago

i like the new format. the icons are cool too.

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Andini 3 years, 2 months ago

Will this new format keep posters like Sven from commenting incessantly?

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GardenMomma 3 years, 2 months ago

How about a way to collapse comments? When an article gets too many comments, it is aggravating to scroll down to the more recent comments.

For example, in the article about the recent weather that kept getting updates, there were several hundred comments over a two or three day period. When I read the update I have to scroll through all the previous comments in order to read the ones that pertain to the update.

A way to collapse a day's worth or even 100 comments at a time would be helpful.

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 2 months ago

I have to say TOB, I 110% agree with you. Threaded comments totally suck.

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gmill 3 years, 2 months ago

It's definitely a change for the better!

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markeilert 3 years, 2 months ago

What happened to the downtown web cam? I live out of town and like to "see" what's going on. Hope you bring it back soon!

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The_Original_Bob 3 years, 2 months ago

"There are things we like and things we dislike about threaded comments. By-and-large, we like more than we dislike, but that doesn't mean we can't change our minds. And we've been reading all the comments about it." JK

Use quote blocks. Easy to follow. The only reason I saw your response to mine is because someone else alerted me that the anti-threaded comment crowd has gained the LJW's attention.

Down With Threaded Comments.

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psycho_theclown 3 years, 2 months ago

At first I thought I had smoked too many bath salts. I'm glad it turned out that this really was changed. It's going to take me a while to absorb the change; I'll be at the train depot in the mean time.

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ophiuchus 3 years, 2 months ago

Like, could you guys, like, uh, make it snow on the page, or somethin' cool like that?

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SandCoAlmanac 3 years, 2 months ago

Lost me. Right out of the chute, you lost me. Where are the birth and marriage announcements? Before this "old" format, they used to be at the bottom of the page. Now (yesterday, I guess), they were buried under "More stories." Count me as one of the "don't like change" crowd. I'm not very fond of hide-and-seek on web pages, unless I suspect the designer is trying to hide something ... So ... where do I click now? Some designs are only intuitive to geeks and the designers, you know. Can you group all those little icons together? KU, JW, etc in one sequence so I don't have to look through the entire random list to find something? That's part of the hide-and-seek game that's so inefficient.

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sharong 3 years, 2 months ago

I like the new format too. What kind of video player do I need to play the videos? I can't get anything to play. Thanks! to the person that answers this question.

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overthemoon 3 years, 2 months ago

Ok. Appearances are important. Content more so. Well written articles that read like a trained journalist wrote them and a conscientious editor reviewed them would be a good move.

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The_Original_Bob 3 years, 2 months ago

You didn't get rid of threaded comments. I don't mind the changes, but you forgot one. It isn't 1998 anymore.

Down With Threaded Comments.

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Catalano 3 years, 2 months ago

Geez, people, get a grip. Try it out. At least we got a tutorial, which I very much appreciated. Thanks, JK.

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Scott Morgan 3 years, 2 months ago

Dagnabit, I hate change, hate hate hate it, cept that gizmo making the windshield wipers go slow then fast, somebody bringun me pizza, them toasted sub samatches, ma likes them heated car seats too, streaming movies on demand, and I guess newspapers from around the world for free on that introductorynet too.

Best small city newspaper in the nation.

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hitme 3 years, 2 months ago

Homeland Security does away with the color-coded threat levels and now this. What's next, a kill-switch for the Internet?

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g_rock 3 years, 2 months ago

Yah, didn't notice the changes...just thought that I needed to clear my cache because it wasn't loading right. No, no...not C H A N G E....geesh.

But I'll click around some and reserve judgment for later, mmmk?

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Judgesmails 3 years, 2 months ago

Somebodys always gotta be changing something!! I hate change! Thanks, Every small, dumpy town in KS

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devobrun 3 years, 2 months ago

"We've unveiling a host of subtle changes that we think will make it easier for you to find the variety of content on a variety of topics that our journalists are creating."

And:

"the biggest change is "The Latest" — a constantly changing feed of the latest content from our staff" "Constantly changing" and "easier to find" are mutually exclusive concepts.

Only a computer nerd would venture into such territory. Recreating reality is not a new productive. Unless it makes "easier to find" a fact. We shall see.

More than one web site has come crashing down as a result of a format change. Ho hum.....Yahoo changed so I think I'll try Google.........

Watch out Dan, for people who know what they are talking about. They probably don't. Mr. Keeling is jerking us around, Dan. Watch him like a hawk.

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Eric Gruber 3 years, 2 months ago

I like it. The icons help at a glance and really break up the text.

I also like the incremental change instead of a "shock and awe" approach. Thumbs up.

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ILoveLawrence 3 years, 2 months ago

All the little icons on the list of articles make a bit of visual overload.

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RoeDapple 3 years, 2 months ago

Looks good! (and thanks for the heads up) 8-]

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