Well, I told you I was engaged in some website housecleaning over the holidays. This is the third or fourth redesign of the site since 2003, and by far the one I'll most enjoy living with. I've been wanting to freshen up and re-organize for a long time.
Now we can finally display the great content being posted here by Mark Lacter and the other authors, and help visitors find a richer array of media, news and observations from around the city. The server logs counted more than 4.6 million visits in 2009, so the least I could do was clean up a little.
Here's a quick tour:
- I've long regarded the front page as a portal as much as the home of my blog. Now the multiple roles are official. The front will be a place to highlight and link items from LAO and elsewhere. My blog continues to start on the front, with a new name and logo.
- Inside are topic pages that gather recent posts on media, politics, books, arts and culture, the blogosphere and other subjects we like around here. Next to the posts you'll find updated links to local websites and blogs — hundreds of them. Begin on the links home page.
- The links are partly a return to LA Observed's roots, and partly a selfish exercise. I use them behind the scenes as short cuts to information I want, so figured why not make them available to all. More are on the way, in more categories — I just ran out of time. Please suggest links and alert me to broken ones.
- On the blogs page, I recommend 30 essential L.A. blogs — not as the last word on which are worthy, but as a first word for the time-challenged. I'll revise the list from time to time.
- Our RSS feeds now include all the LAO blogs. So do the quick scan short cuts that give you a summary of posts from today, the past two days or the past week. We'll be rolling out some custom feeds and useful widgets over the coming week.
- There is also a current weather widget on the front page, and easier ways to share posts on Twitter, Facebook and other social media.
- On nearly every page you'll find a form where you can sign up to receive a daily email with links to recent posts.
- Yeah, there are pictures now of me and Mark Lacter, with more on the way. We apologize for any offense.
I also apologize that not all of the freshening up is finished. I'll be tweaking sizes and colors now that the site is live. Give me a few days to catch up to bugs, inconsistencies and remaining pages. If the site isn't working on your browser, please let me know. Remember that Ctrl-F5 is your friend. On PCs, pushing those two keys together loads our new style sheet.
Down the road we'll improve the mobile version, and the printer templates, and much more.