Skip

Does it make me more money now?
February 16, 2011 11:04 PM   Subscribe


 
I really like the redesign. When I get a link to a story, I like that the story's so big and focused and devoid of crap-surround. I also like their approach to "featured comments", however biased the selection of said comments may be. Meanwhile, the sidebar lets me skip around and be bored very effectively when that's my goal.

I don't care if Gawker loses traffic doing this. I actually think the Internet's better off if Gawker doesn't get much traffic. The redesign makes me happy and I hope Nick Denton is stubborn and refuses to change back.
posted by Rory Marinich at 11:09 PM on February 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


I was meh about the redesign, until trying to read the craigslist congressman story. The the page kept jumping to other stories while I was in the middle of reading the first one. I can and will go back to reading perez hilton books.
posted by Betty_effn_White at 11:22 PM on February 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh, Nick Denton, will you never do us wrong?
posted by empatterson at 11:24 PM on February 16, 2011


Reason #4000 I hate the Gawker redesign: On my netbook, I can't scroll the right column.
posted by GilloD at 11:25 PM on February 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's horrible.
posted by chaz at 11:26 PM on February 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


The redesign is unusable on iOS.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:31 PM on February 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


I don't like the new design but there's that little button to the left of the little home icon on the gawker sites that will turn on the "classic" mode which makes is a little more tolerable for me. It is as if gawker media is doing all it can (my easy-peasy username and password I used for comments now means I get lots-o-spam daily) to make me completely stop consuming any of its content.
posted by birdherder at 11:32 PM on February 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


My issue is not so much with the redesign itself, but how it is SUPER glitchy and often doesn't work the way it's supposed to.
posted by KingEdRa at 11:37 PM on February 16, 2011


The redesign is unusable on iOS.

Possibly deliberate. If he's going down in flames, might as well go out with both middle fingers raised at his readership.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:42 PM on February 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hate it less than I thought I did. But the pageview counts are pretty brutal, and it's an awfully perilous game of chicken Denton's playing here...

I'm more annoyed by the interstitial ads (your story will appear in... fuck you seconds) and the way that some pre-new-design articles are just thrown to the wolves, layout-wise.

Once you adjust to it, it makes it pretty easy to skim through articles at a glance on the right, if they're titled properly. But there are definite problems and serious reduction in functionality, which is rarely a good design decision.

I prefer Engadget's layout. It's bold, attractive, and incredibly well-done. The rotating header showcases big feature stories, the breaking news piece sticks the articles you really need to not miss over the last few hours, and the titles are nice and clear.
posted by disillusioned at 12:00 AM on February 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


The redesign is unusable on iOS.

That would be the position: fixed not working in mobile safari.

Of course, they used to have a mobile site that was phone optimised - weirdly that seems to be gone now, at least from my phone, though I've heard reports of iPad users, who don't really need it, getting it instead of the regular design. For a while it just flat out gave you a broken page on both.

Of course the downside to the mobile site was always that it only gave you headlines. Headlines matter, but on io9 (the Gawker site I'd hit most regularly, which might have been guessable form the amount I'd repost from there) the headlines were fairly useless, with the dek being the real determing factor in deciding whether to give something a look. With the new site the primary means of navigation is basically the old headlines only mobile site tacked to the side of the page.

There's classic mode, I guess, but it still has the problem of breaking more times than not - and it really isn't quite the experience of the old site.

How much do I visit io9 now? You'll notice I haven't reposted a damn thing from it since the redesign - not because I'm in a snit with it, but because I simply can't easily use it anymore. I hit it every so often out of habit, wince and leave.
posted by Artw at 12:02 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I never visit any Gawker sites, so this is the first of seen of these. My god. I disliked their old design patterns, but this new ajaxy framing thing they're using is execrable. Wow.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:05 AM on February 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


It's so bad that it makes me wonder if Nick Denton secretly have stock in AOL.
posted by wcfields at 12:07 AM on February 17, 2011


LOL
LOL
posted by juv3nal at 12:14 AM on February 17, 2011 [12 favorites]


As if I needed a reason to stop reading the gawker sites, this abomination has put me over the edge. Now if we could just stop linking to gawker blogspam and link to the actual source material instead, these craptastic sites could just go crawl in a dark hole and die already.
posted by Rhomboid at 12:16 AM on February 17, 2011


How curious... I tried to read a story, but the article faded in to something like 25% opacity and stuck there, like a bad Star Trek plot. Awesome, Nick.
posted by mumkin at 12:17 AM on February 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Shit.. I hate to be that person but it's actually true in this case.. what exactly IS Gawker? It's like a site that analyzes news stories and presents them? Or is there someone who makes a link to a story they think is interesting and then people can comment (a la MeFi?) And there are multiple sites? For different kinds of news? I'm really out to lunch on this. Who the hell is Nick Denton? That sounds like a Mad Men reject.
posted by ReeMonster at 12:19 AM on February 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


A measured and calm response.

One which I share entirely. Gizmodo, iO9, and Deadspin used to be daily reads for me. Now, if they don't kill my browser, usually at least one of the columns, either the main page or the list of stories won't scroll properly. Just for fun, it seems, they put the biggest ad in the scroll column, so at best I can see maybe two or three headlines.

It would be nice to see someone say, "wow, it was a bad idea, and we're going to change things." but with their "You hate change if you don't like the redesign" mantra, I doubt it'll happen.
posted by Ghidorah at 12:31 AM on February 17, 2011 [8 favorites]


It's like a site that analyzes news stories and presents them?

*bursts out laughing* analyzes? *continues laughing* That cracks me up. Take for example the asscam post. What is gizmodo's analysis? A couple of bland sentences and an embeded youtube video. There was absolutely no reason to link to gizmodo for that, the actual source link (the youtube video) is self-explanatory. Or how about this terrific gizmodo post. Lots of blogspam analysis happening there.

These assclowns deserve no traffic.
posted by Rhomboid at 12:31 AM on February 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


And there are multiple sites? For different kinds of news?

Yes. It's a bunch of blogs, owned by the same company, and occasionally they cross link a little. They tend to go for high volume, updates every 15 mins, and often it's content reposted for elsewhere or comentry and links on something somewhere else, though they'll do the odd meatier story.

As I say, I genuinely miss io9, the Sci Fi one. It was trashy but fun, lacking the occasional sanctimoniousness of tor.com but not as overtly dumb and media focused as topless robot or bastr. Unlike, say, Gizmodo, their version of Engadget, There isn't really an easy replacement for it out there.
posted by Artw at 12:34 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Actually, after I heard about ca.deadspin, I checked it out. The most interesting part? The DuAN (Deadspin up All Night) comments, which were usually several hundred comments long, and the cornerstone of a pretty lively commenter community, was mostly about how few comments there were, how rarely the members managed to even see new comments, and how they were sad that the community, essentially, was dying. Across all the sites, the commenters were pretty deeply ingrained, and it seems that Denton, by virtue of not making sure the comments would actually work, has managed to alienate his core audience.
posted by Ghidorah at 12:36 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Me reading Kotaku a couple of weeks ago: Oh, interesting! Huh, I didn't know that game was coming out. Ha ha ha, funny comment snark about Peter Molyneux. Fable III sure did blow. Dum dee dee....

Me reading Kotaku yesterday: OMG WHY WON'T THIS SCROLL RIGHT?! WHERE ARE THE STORIES?! WHY DOES THIS SITE HATE MY MOUSE?! ARGH ARGH ARGH CLOSE TAB
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:43 AM on February 17, 2011 [10 favorites]


90% of my coworker tech support the last week? Teaching people how to get back to classic Gizmodo.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 12:44 AM on February 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


1. Scanning headlines in the new layout is so much harder than scanning was before. I think it's the smaller font size + the lack of additional context—in the old layout the photo would give you a sense of the type of post or general topic and the length and tone of the front-page graph would give you an idea of how "serious" the post was. (It looks like they're putting images w/ some headlines now in the sidebar ... but the design of it means you now have to hunt a bit to find the headlines if there's also an image ...)

2. The chrome on the sites looks so so cheap.

3. The simplicity and similarities between the sites makes each feel like it has far less character than they did before. They feel more like content farms which makes me want to visit far far less. Not that this was ever Gawker's strong suit, but the sites feel less serious now, more like some upstart website that thinks a clever design will bring the eyeballs.

4. The simplicity makes it so the ads are about a 20 times more obnoxious. I'm not a fan of a lot of visual noise in any design, but it did have the benefit of balancing out the noise of ads. Now the ad is usually the most visually complex thing on the page which means it stands out like an unwelcome erection.

5. Oy.
posted by wemayfreeze at 12:48 AM on February 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


The uk variants still seem to be using the classic layout for now; so UK gizmodo for example doesn't have the eyebleedingly bad layout.

m.gizmodo.com is also way better than the main site. To reset the main site back to 'classic' view, don't you need a login account? I don't have one, which I was grateful after the gawker password hack a little while back.
posted by ArkhanJG at 12:53 AM on February 17, 2011


and often it's content reposted for elsewhere

Always used to make me smile when something science-fictiony I'd posted on the blue would turn up on i09 a few hours later...

But yeah, I'm not surprised by those page views - io9 was a daily visit for me, but since the changes I've not been back.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:09 AM on February 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've hit several of the sites since they started rolling out the new layout. To date I've never seen anything in the main content area but a spinner. Too bad, so sad.
posted by Lazlo at 1:09 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I used to visit at least half the gawker blogs multiple times daily, just as sort of background internet noise to fill in the blanks. (Not gawker itself, though.) Haven't been back since the redesign. Not so shockingly, I miss nothing. If your content requires fade-ins and a pox upon scroll bars to pep it up, perhaps your content is lacking.
posted by Mizu at 1:14 AM on February 17, 2011


I can't read gawker sites on my phone anymore, which is good because they were really just mental clutter. I do miss lifehacker. Reading a productivity blog felt like a productive form of procrastination.
posted by betweenthebars at 1:43 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I used to go to Kotaku daily or near-daily. Now the very thought of loading that page triggers a nervous spasm in my arm. I'll go back to fucking Gamespot before I look at that site design again. And I don't even know anything about site design. Ugh.
posted by Errant at 1:44 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


UI issues aside, Denton is a vulture running a tabloid, reprinting the National Enquirer's photos of a notable cancer patient to drive up page views, to make a buck off of another human being's suffering. I hope his little operation goes bankrupt soon, if only to help him try to learn basic decency.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:07 AM on February 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


"UI issues aside, Denton is a vulture running a tabloid, reprinting the National Enquirer's photos of a notable cancer patient to drive up page views, to make a buck off of another human being's suffering. I hope his little operation goes bankrupt soon, if only to help him try to learn basic decency."

Does everything have to come back to Apple?
posted by jaduncan at 2:13 AM on February 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


But if you like the new format, you can now get it on your own WordPress blog.

I know, I know, "Foop, does everything have to come back to WordPress?" Well, I have this thing for web entrepreneurs named Matt. (Don't tell Drudge.)
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:17 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does everything have to come back to Apple?

No, I specifically left out details so as to focus on the nature of Denton's business practices. If you want to discuss that other subject, there's a pile-on in Metatalk to join in on, but as far as my comments here go, I'd prefer to stay on topic.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:36 AM on February 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Page views are a lousy metric and it's unlikely we're going to be bowing to the great god of page views forever. Page views have given us 21 pages of paginated comments on newspaper sites and the counting of 'your comment has been posted!!!' views as if it were the same indication of interest that the first page view was, and then that the comment box was, and then the success!!! page, and then all of the comment pages one might read on the exact same story.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:11 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


AJAX is just like Flash. Decent tool if used where it's needed or where it can enhance a page, flaming pile of donkey shit when abused. AJAX is incredible if you need to write a web-based program to interact with a data store, such as when you're doing statistical analysis of a database. It is not robust enough to use as the cornerstone of your site's navigation and design—and it destroys any semblance of web usability you may have had.

I think Gawker is a good example of why I hate the "design mentality" on the web. It's especially bad when designers aren't even backed up by particularly good developers. (Downtime due to a brittle script, anyone?)
posted by sonic meat machine at 3:40 AM on February 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


I was an occasional reader of Lifehacker. I went there other day and could see something like 4 headlines and no way to access anything else. I won't be going back, which is a shame for everybody involved.
posted by jontyjago at 3:55 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think Gawker is a good example of why I hate the "design mentality" on the web. It's especially bad when designers aren't even backed up by particularly good developers.

I'm not convinced an actual designer had much to do with the redesign. At least not as a starting point, where usability and experience is taken into consideration. This redesign acts and feels like something driven by that unholy pairing of the marketing and development departments. Über-cool tech for the sake of über-cool tech coupled with the drive for more page views (which appears to be failing). I think actual UX design was merely along for the ride on this one.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:06 AM on February 17, 2011


I know this counts as much as all the opposite opinions, but for what its worth, the new gawker redesign (which I only just saw now) seems to work fine for me, and I kind of like it, and I'm not sure what the fuss is about.

I guess if I were a paying subscriber, and the site didn't work for me, I'd understand the vehement anger that's displayed in this thread. As it is, the site is free, so - - -
posted by crunchland at 4:26 AM on February 17, 2011


Jalopnik alternatives. Speaking of which, who knows some cool io9 alternatives?
posted by Tom-B at 4:31 AM on February 17, 2011


If you're someone who has hated the last few redesigns / felt dirty giving Gawker webring any extra page-views, you can always avoid any and all site redesigns (and bypass any READ MOREing) by using http://feeds.gawker.com/gawker/vip, and just replace [gakwer] w/ whatever crap Gawker site you feel like browsing. Looks like that URL still works just fine.
posted by NolanRyanHatesMatches at 4:32 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I didn't even make it to the redesign. The password breach was the last straw for me after a long line of previous last straws that had been overcome by boredom at work. io9 is the only thing that I have not found completely replicated elsewhere, but then again, that's sort of a Good Thing. If they hadn't had opened with that snobbish "Only SCIFI!" attitude only to have backtracked when they realized their pageviews were dropping ("Only SCIFI and, uh, SUPERHEROS and, uh, VAMPIRES, and oh, HBO is doing Songs of Ice and Fire? Well, uh, FANTASY TOO, I guess") I might have more leeway in my cold, nerdish heart for them, but ungh.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:32 AM on February 17, 2011


io9 alternative: I've been hitting up Comics Alliance for my comic book news. They have a decent editorial voice that's more "let's share our enthusiasm" than "this is a disaster!" snark.

Plus, they have Chris Sims, who I like.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:35 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I used to have Jezebel in my RSS until I got really tired of endless photos/stories of people of whom I had never heard. It began to feel like National Enquirer with sociology A-level.
posted by mippy at 4:37 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Every time I see a post about Gawker and Nick Denton, I confuse him with (haha MeFi's own?) Nick Douglas, who used to be a pretty active commenter here, and then went on to do other media-ish things.

They are not the same, and I'm sorry to Mr. Douglas, who seemed to be a pretty nice guy, if a little bright-eyed / bushy-tailed / in a "I'm gonna do great things, just you wait!" sort of way . . . Denton just seems like . . . well, sort of a dick. I mean, maybe he's not, and I have not analyzed this deeply enough. But it seems like every time I see a post about Gawker, everyone is like "oh they did stupid thing x or jerky thing y, and then sat back and gave the world the finger while circumcising their cats and laughing all the way to the bank.

So Nick Douglas, I am sorry for conflating you and this other toolbag.
posted by exlotuseater at 4:40 AM on February 17, 2011


The re-design looks like a somewhat glossier version of the framed web 1.0 layouts from the 90s. When I scroll a page, I want the whole damn page to scroll, not just the frame (or whatever you call them in AJAX).
posted by octothorpe at 4:50 AM on February 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


I smell a MeFi April Fools variant.
posted by camcgee at 5:03 AM on February 17, 2011 [9 favorites]


UX PRO TIP:

When I'm reading a blog I like to keep my mouse off to the side of the page so I can read the text without the cursor interfereing. Then when I need to continue reading down page, I flick the scroll wheel and the page scrolls properly.

With this new denton design, I can't just put my mouse anywhere and expect it to scroll correctly. I would keep doing this habbit of pushing the mouse to the side, try to scroll, wonder why it wasn't working, have to move my mouse cursor back over the text I'm trying to read, scroll down, move the mouse back out of the way... etc.

DUMB.
posted by j03 at 5:04 AM on February 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


Page views are a lousy metric

What's the good metric?
posted by josher71 at 5:09 AM on February 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


The last straw for me was when the Fleshbot feed got mixed into the gizmodo feed sometime last week. Not cool to open unexpectedly at work.
posted by achmorrison at 5:15 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I guess I was just reading the comments on gawker before the redesign? I'm spending less time on gawker now, mainly because I'm finding less and less articles that I want to read. If the redesign wasn't so glitchy and the commenting was better (and I didn't even have a STAR), I wouldn't mind it.
posted by armacy at 5:20 AM on February 17, 2011


I still read io9 in Google Reader but I almost never click through to read comments like I used to. The new design is just bad.
posted by kmz at 5:43 AM on February 17, 2011


This is depressing. I always hated the whole Gawker family on principle but on the occasions I did visit I was able to navigate the site and find a couple of worthwhile software tips on Lifehacker (in amongst all the deadline-sweat redolent "make a pencil handle out of a staple!" stories).

This though, this is absolute shit - no other term for it - and it can only be deference to starry eyed management that allowed a swan dive into the toilet like this. Surely there were Cassandras who looked at the design and knew what would happen.

Anyhow like I said it's depressing. A lot of little people will lose their meagre blogging livelihood if these sites insist on committing UX suicide. And I'm sobered by how easy it is to kill a popular site this way.
posted by fleetmouse at 5:50 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


3. The simplicity and similarities between the sites makes each feel like it has far less character than they did before.

I used to give io9 a look once or twice a day. First thing I noticed about the redesign was that the little alien cartoon borg pixie was gone. Don't know what she was but I always liked her. Now it's just text.

When I'm reading a blog I like to keep my mouse off to the side of the page so I can read the text without the cursor interfereing. Then when I need to continue reading down page, I flick the scroll wheel and the page scrolls properly.

This was the next thing I noticed because I have the same reading habit. I tried to give the redesign a chance but I kept scrolling the wrong pane and it annoyed me enough that I just stopped going. There's just something off about the side by side panels scrolling separately.
posted by Babblesort at 5:54 AM on February 17, 2011


There is a peristant rumor in NYC media circles that some of the redesign may be the resukt if a very very very bad break up
posted by The Whelk at 5:57 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


What's the good metric?

Time on site, uniques, loyal visitors--some combination. I don't know. But for sites like Metafilter and Reddit who do not game for page views, it's no big deal. You click, you read, if you're very interested you come back. But imagine if it's 300+ comment thread and you have to move from page to page because we're only showing 20 comments per page. So you're click click clicking and it's a false representation of your interest -- it's misleading.

News sites tend to do a lot of it. Plus a lot of what I was talking about earlier -- you making a comment winds up counting as three page views. Is that an accurate measure of how much you love one site versus another? It's not -- it's just a measure of how they've engineered your action to talk people into paying more for ads.

All of that is fine -- it's a business -- but it's not a level playing field, it's a misleading indication of user interest, and it punishes people who design their pages in the interest of the user first and selling ads second. Ideally, you want to fulfill the interests of the users and have the reward be greater ad sales. In the above scenario, you're punished.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 5:59 AM on February 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


It just doesn't work for me at all with our IE6/7 and corporate add-blocker firewall. Masses of random javascript clutter the page and the mouse scroll doesn't work at all.

Having broken their sites for all of us bored corporate (and other big org) drones surfing on their breaks, I can't see Gawker surviving the quarter.
posted by bonehead at 6:06 AM on February 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


News sites tend to do a lot of it. Plus a lot of what I was talking about earlier -- you making a comment winds up counting as three page views. Is that an accurate measure of how much you love one site versus another? It's not -- it's just a measure of how they've engineered your action to talk people into paying more for ads.

Pagecounts might not be a great metric for comparing one web site's popularity against another. But when the same site has a measurable, visible on a graph, decline in pagecounts beginning on the day your redesign... It points fairly convincingly to a true change for the worse in their readership.
posted by Babblesort at 6:07 AM on February 17, 2011


Incidentally I like the redesign and I think my relationship with Gawker has stayed the same -- I visit based on an item of interest showing in my RSS reader, which is the same way I visit any site except Metafilter, which is my destination site of choice.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 6:09 AM on February 17, 2011


I'm so glad the HTML5 internet is ridding us of all that terrible Flash stuff, and getting back to simple, usable design.

More seriously, up until the price hit yesterday afternoon, I'd been spending the past week or so constantly checking tech blogs looking for updates on the Motorola Xoom. Engadget was my best source, Ars Technica and Tech Report places I didn't really expect to see much of anything but still checked. A couple months ago, Gizmodo would have been right up there with Engadget. Now? After the first couple days I stopped even trying to read it. If they got the scoop on something, I'd rather have waited for someone else to repost it.
posted by kafziel at 6:12 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't see Gawker surviving the quarter.

That seems a bit strong, but it's nice to see at least some confirmation of what was obvious to me last week: the redesigns drive people away and won't last the year. Now I think they'll be gone by the end of spring.
posted by mediareport at 6:19 AM on February 17, 2011


FYI, page views are not a good metric to use here because it looks like new pages are not loaded when you click the article title on the right. It's all ajax-0y javascripty for which page views is a bad metric.

A better metric is number of people.

Quantcast directly measures the Gawker sites. Here's gizmodo: http://www.quantcast.com/gizmodo.com

Set the chart to US only (the foreign sites still use the old design), and people per day, and set it for one month, and you see that where Gizmodo would normally get about 600,000 people early in the week (which is the peak period), they are now only getting 400,000. He literally chopped is audience down by a third.

But I wonder why. I wonder if the profit maximizing scenario is actually fewer visitors, less server overhead, but more time spent viewing ads, like the gigantic one at the top of the menu in the corner. Maybe by increasing the time that that ad is actually visible (not scrolled up or down), it increasing the click-throughs and therefore raises the profit margin. It's then possible that a higher margin, even with fewer people, translates to more money.

Or it's possible that Gawker shit the bed on this one. I know that I haven't been to lifehacker or gizmodo since the redesign.

Another metric to check would be traffic at Engadget since the redesign.

(As an aside, Gawker's numbers dwarf the circulation of TIME Magazine.)
posted by Pastabagel at 6:24 AM on February 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


the redesigns drive people away

Can anyone speak to historical precedent? Like has Digg recovered, or begun to recover? I know Reddit's doing really well but not sure how fully that relates.

Every redesign I've ever seen I think has everybody going "it sucks!" Do any ever do well? Do most sites recover after a panned redesign, when everyone sort of forgets it ever looked different?
posted by A Terrible Llama at 6:32 AM on February 17, 2011


Pagecounts might not be a great metric for comparing one web site's popularity against another. But when the same site has a measurable, visible on a graph, decline in pagecounts beginning on the day your redesign... It points fairly convincingly to a true change for the worse in their readership.
posted by Babblesort at 9:07 AM on February 17


Let me be more specific than my last typo-ridden comment. I think the technology being deployed on gawker's sites is designed precisely to serve up fewer pages. The content is delivered by widgets. Check the page source, you won't find any article text there.

The dramatic reduction in page views is exactly the point of the redesign. To get accurate measurement of articles served and that sort of thing, you're going to need server side data, which is obviously not available to us.

But there's no need to resort to any of this. Quantcast directly measures the number of people visiting the site, and it shows 33-40% decline in readers across the network. Unless someone can show data that the readers who left are the ad-blocking dead weight like me that only represented cost but no revenue, I don't know how this is anything but an unmitigated disaster.
posted by Pastabagel at 6:35 AM on February 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Forgiveness if this was mentioned and I missed it, but on Gawker proper, you can preface the domain with 'ca.' to get the old look. Doesn't seem to work on io9. I haven't checked the others.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 6:36 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


A Terrible Llama: "Can anyone speak to historical precedent? Like has Digg recovered, or begun to recover? "

According to Alexa, Digg's major traffic indicators (global pageview share, pageviews per user, time on site) were cut in half following the redesign, and never recovered. I was initially surprised they refused to backtrack after such a significant and sustained loss... until I learned that they stupidly made the redesign technologically irreversible.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:41 AM on February 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


This was the next thing I noticed because I have the same reading habit. I tried to give the redesign a chance but I kept scrolling the wrong pane and it annoyed me enough that I just stopped going. There's just something off about the side by side panels scrolling separately.

You can't even click on the headlines area on the right and scroll using the keyboard page up/down buttons - that scrolls the main area instead of the scrollable area you've just selected. The buttons they provide work asymmetrically. The mouse scroll wheel works, but is overly sensitive. The end result is (for me at least) complete irritation.

The way I used to read io9 was to quickly scroll through the page looking at the headlines, and open up the interesting articles in other tabs. That's now borked.

Looking at the one article they've pre-decided for me is easy. Doing anything else on the site is a complete pain. So I don't look at the site any longer.

The redesign is a perfect illustration of the value of user testing, because it's blindingly obvious that they didn't do any.
posted by daveje at 6:43 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


.. until I learned that they stupidly made the redesign technologically irreversible.

That's the sort of thing that I find nightmarish about anything in life. "Irreversible" is something that should be limited to just a few things, like cutting your ear off. And even that you've got a chance of getting that sucker stitched back on.

Irreversible. Good God.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 6:51 AM on February 17, 2011


Do the stats count content that gets loaded via ajax? Looks like clicking on the items in the right column just loads content into the main div.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:51 AM on February 17, 2011


Also, that wordsmoker article is precisely the kind of shit that makes me get offline and embrace the obtuse works of dead postmodern French philosophers.

"Nick Denton is a genius because he gets people talking about him and makes a lot of money." That's the summary of that longwinded article. He's not a genius because he has created an organization that pushes a unique insight, not because he's adding anything to the discourse or creating something useful, but because he knows how to make money. Specifically, because he knows how to make money by manipulating his readers.

by readers, the blogger actually means him/herself. The person who wrote the article is the person doing all the things the article is projecting on you.

I don't care if Nick Denton makes money. That doesn't help me in any way at all. Making money by cleverly getting people to talk about you is only useful to the guy making the money and the sycophantic self-loathing player haters like this blogger who get a perverse vicarious thrill from being the viral agent in "viral marketing."

Only someone who values attention and self-promotion above all else could declare someone a genius solely for some promotional feat. It doesn't surprise me at all that the site this blogger reads on Gawker's network is the actual Gawker.com gossip site itself, not Kotaku or Lifehacker or Gizmodo or Jezebel. The most gossipy of the gossip sites is the one this guy reads. Are the people who run the National Enquirer geniuses too?

Stop trafficking in quips and snide remarks. Stop confusing petty celebrity gossip for insightful cultural commentary. If Nick Denton is a genius, it's because he's figured out that idiots like this blogger exists and that no matter how much he beats them up, they keep coming back. No redesign could ever keep wordsmoker away from Gawker.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:04 AM on February 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've been using the address of ca.(gawkersite).com
ie: ca.gizmodo.com
and you can get the old site design. It works for most of the ones I go to except io9 for some reason. YMMV
posted by ShawnString at 7:07 AM on February 17, 2011


Doh. Sorry for the repeat John Kenneth Fisher.
posted by ShawnString at 7:09 AM on February 17, 2011


There seems to be an increasing trend in companies doing their best to antagonize their customers. Nick Denton sees himself as the Steve Jobs of online publishing.
posted by popecork at 7:19 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


jo3: When I'm reading a blog I like to keep my mouse off to the side of the page so I can read the text without the cursor interfereing. Then when I need to continue reading down page, I flick the scroll wheel and the page scrolls properly.

Really? On OS X, the scroll wheel moves whatever is under the mouse, regardless of focus. When I have multiple windows open, I can scroll each without having to annoyingly "click" on each window. In this (one) sense, the Gawker redesign is behaving sensibly (at least to Mac users).
posted by Popular Ethics at 7:28 AM on February 17, 2011


I'd like to say it was the general skeevy/blogspamminess that drove me away, or the infantile behavior of the Gizmodo people especially, or the wild-eyed incompetence shown during the password hack debacle, but really it was the site design that ultimately drove me away for good.

On OS X, the scroll wheel moves whatever is under the mouse, regardless of focus.

Yes, but "whatever is under the mouse" on Gawker might be the side bar, rather than the main article (they scroll seperately).
posted by dirigibleman at 7:32 AM on February 17, 2011


I hate the page redesign on Lifehacker, so I wrote to them using the address provided. It bounced. I hate it. Following their security breach, any confidence in GawkerLand is gone.

But, wait, there's a lesson here. Big redesign might make less-than-fully-committed users go away? Matt, time to redesign the Metafilter Network!
posted by theora55 at 7:34 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Really? On OS X, the scroll wheel moves whatever is under the mouse, regardless of focus. When I have multiple windows open, I can scroll each without having to annoyingly "click" on each window. In this (one) sense, the Gawker redesign is behaving sensibly (at least to Mac users).

For this Mac user, it's pretty bad. I'm on a laptop, so no scroll wheel, and the ole' two finger trackpad scroll goes crazy and the slightest moves whip the sidebar list much further than I want it to. (Someone above mentioned it being too sensitive too, same problem I suspect.) I have no such problem with the actual article section doing that though.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 7:37 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's kind of sad that I find posts on the blue about various Denton-empire trainwrecks significantly more compelling than I do anything on his blogs.

(Data point: I have a friend who used to share io9 posts in Google reader all the time. Guess when she stopped sharing them nearly as often?)
posted by immlass at 7:39 AM on February 17, 2011


Haha I read The Awl!
posted by lslelel at 7:39 AM on February 17, 2011


The new Gawker Empire design is craptastic but the wordsmoker post is even more craptasticalicious. You know what's great??? Overwrought 5000-word blog posts about nothing!!!!!
posted by blucevalo at 7:43 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, and calling Engadget a Gizmodo alternative is like calling a seven course gourmet meal a Chicken McNugget alternative.

I mean, sometimes you just want a chicken mcnugget, but let's not confuse ourselves as to realtive quality.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 7:44 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


The traffic numbers are crap, FYI. They don't come from the server logs, they come from Quantcast.

The way Quantcast works: you embed their JavaScript snippet in your page which reports back to their servers when someone loads the page. With this new site design, it appears that the snippet is loaded when you first go to the site, but since other content is dynamically pulled in via Javascript when you click around, Quantcast doesn't know when you go to a new page.

So basically Quantcast is now only recording the page view of the first page you look at on their site. That doesn't mean people aren't clicking around just as much as before.
posted by chundo at 7:47 AM on February 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I used to read Gawker every day, and sometimes go over to Jezebel (only to be reminded that I hate it). I stopped going to Gawker because I couldn't scroll through it the way I was used to, and none of the excerpts were interesting to me anymore.

I hate it when people confuse "lose" with "loose" too. And I hate the Gawker comments when one commenter writes to the other, "You are so hearted!" It irritates me.
posted by anniecat at 7:50 AM on February 17, 2011


I only read Lifehacker, but holy crap does the design blow chunks. Even the RSS feeds were messed up at first but seem to have been fixed. I feel like the site hates me, which probably isn't the emotion you want visitors to be experiencing.
posted by tommasz at 7:59 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gawker's latest folly in a string of problems. When your pornography blog is the most loving, respectful and well-behaved one of the bunch, you know you've got problems. Seriously, while obviously NSFW, Fleshbot's a really well-run blog, and Lux Alptraum does a really good job moderating the "creep" and "hate" from the comments. Doesn't hurt that they haven't switched to "new Gawker" yet.
posted by explosion at 8:02 AM on February 17, 2011


I think actual UX design was merely along for the ride on this one.

I'm pretty certain that they weren't even in the car for this one, even though they've been borderline in the past. My thinking is that the same lever-pullers in their IT department are driving with the biz holding the map. That being said, Mr. Denton likes to be in the news, so he has succeeded, much like other medialebrities of his ilk, say Messrs. Murdoch and Hilton.

Also of note, prior to this latest dump, I was a daily reader of many Gawker properties. Not any more, and it's not because I don't like to the stories nor had a really paid much mind in the past to slogging through their weird setup, but it's just that I'm actually unable to use it now. They really went out of their way to deploy a lemon.
posted by jsavimbi at 8:02 AM on February 17, 2011


I admire the audacity of the Gawker redesign. They're trying something new, an aggressively different way of presenting web content. It's too early to tell how much of the negative reaction is just "omg it's different I hate it" and how much is actual bad design. I'm hopeful that the experiment will run for awhile and we'll hear how it works out. You've gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette.

OTOH, oh my god the design is awful. I can't find anything, not even a search box. The URL schema is broken in an important way. Visually it looks nice, all those pictures, but usability is just awful for me. At least now. I'd say I might be able to learn it, but the Gawker content is such a cesspool that I probably won't bother.
posted by Nelson at 8:11 AM on February 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nelson - i think this goes WAY beyond the usual "Facebook changed my profile! WAH!" reaction... I never bothered with Gawker properties, so checking it out now based on this thread, my response was an almost immediate "WTF?!" Sorry, the overall user experience is Just. Pain. Bad.
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 8:21 AM on February 17, 2011


Totally agree with Nelson. If getting away from a physicist's conception of "content" as a series of static "pages" means breaking the web, break the web. I don't think Gawker's got it nearly right yet, but we've become so inured to this idea of "article = page" that it almost seemed like the only way to do it.

Until apps came along.
posted by bonaldi at 8:23 AM on February 17, 2011


This redesign is the best thing ever to happen to Gawker's sites.

I mean that with full sincerity.

I look forward to the day I am no longer at risk of accidentally clicking a link that goes to a Gawker media site. It can't happen soon enough.

I mean that with full sincerity.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:30 AM on February 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


The redesign is unusable on iOS.

Feature, not a bug.
posted by entropicamericana at 8:41 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


So if I'm to understand this post correctly -- or at least the last New Yorker link -- the new redesign sucks but it was redeemed by the Christopher Lee story breaking on Gawker.

So Nick Denton's media empire is screwed unless politicians keep doing stupid things?

Oh wait.

And if the "pageviews are crap" argument doesn't stand because of the ways people are collecting the data, Denton better hope that those buying ads adapt faster than those in the industry he's hoping to be like -- because the Nielsen ratings still drive television and those, by all accounts and according to all parties involved except Nielsen, suck hard.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:41 AM on February 17, 2011


but we've become so inured to this idea of "article = page" that it almost seemed like the only way to do it

It also makes the most sense. Let's say I'm browsing a news and two articles catch my eye. Open each one in a new tab, and I can tackle them one at a time, at my own pace.

If websites instead opt for a single, static page with some sort of dynamic content, I can't do that anymore. And if your website won't let me browse how I want to, I'll find a different website to read that does.
posted by reductiondesign at 8:43 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anybody else remember the original Gawker, way back when Elizabeth Spiers was still running it? Witty, thoughtful, actually interested in the New York media scene--not the best site ever, but sincere and a good read. But even that iteration of Gawker couldn't survive this redesign. I stayed with them after the password fiasco, but this was the last straw. Best of luck, Ms. Spiers, wherever you are.
posted by orrnyereg at 8:46 AM on February 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think the problem here is that the design of these sites has become everyone's problem. I read lifehacker a fair amount, and had never really given a thought to the site design. When they changed it it became my problem. Like most people on teh interwebs, I have a low tolerance for this sort of thing.
posted by ob at 8:46 AM on February 17, 2011


Denton better hope that those buying ads adapt faster than those in the industry he's hoping to be like

I think he might be in the position of being able to do big, pointed ad buys. A lot of sites are running remnant ads for extra revenue. He's got a new line of Trident gum and the Windows phone -- not sexy, but big and probably intended to be consumed by that audience, and therefore worth more, than "10 secret tips for a flat stomach!!!" which is just a crap ad you could throw on any site.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 8:48 AM on February 17, 2011


Jesus I'm a Nick Denton apologist.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 8:48 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nelson: "I admire the audacity of the Gawker redesign. "
When I was in junior high, a boy -- a troubled boy who Came From Circumstances, our teacher explained to us after -- kicked his desk into the back of the kid sitting in front of him, screamed and ran out the door, hollering and whooping. He lost his bearing and smashed into a row of lockers. He was sent home for the day because he might have a concussion.

We talked about him in terms that embarrass me to recall.

We did not call him audacious.
posted by boo_radley at 8:55 AM on February 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


The RSS feeds still work. I realize now I mostly just read the headlines anyway.
posted by amethysts at 9:11 AM on February 17, 2011


VIP feed
posted by amethysts at 9:11 AM on February 17, 2011


Look, pictures of a naked man!

That man is not naked. :(
posted by mrgrimm at 9:13 AM on February 17, 2011


I know I should save my rage for bigger things, but I despise all things gawker. They do not make the internet a better place. Occasionally they have good content, but this isn't enough to make me overlook the fact that pretty much everything about them is style over substance.

I could list their litany of sins, and I may some day, but every time they come up I end up hating them a bit more.

I've been meaning to for some time, but this post got me to finally register gawkerblocker.com. I'm going to fire up a single serving website with instructions on how to modify various hosts files or whatnot to insure you never have to see one of their properties again.

If I truly get ambitious I may actually list their advertisers, why gawker sucks, and why you'll be a better person if you stay as far away from their sites as possible. (I have a good lawyer.)

At one point I was rethinking my hatred of the gawker empire. Could a company that makes io9 truly be made of total suckage? Then they compromised my password from the two comments I left across all their properties, then they told me I couldn't close my account.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:26 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Glad to know I'm not the only one who misses the IO9 comment community (posts I can get fine in Google Reader). Maybe we need observationdeck.mifi.com?
posted by nonliteral at 9:30 AM on February 17, 2011


Huh. Where is the search box on Lifehacker now?

And all those talking about the irrelevancy of page views, sorry. That still pays the bills, for the foreseeable future. And GoogleAd clicks ... which increase with page views, generally.

News sites tend to do a lot of it. Plus a lot of what I was talking about earlier -- you making a comment winds up counting as three page views. Is that an accurate measure of how much you love one site versus another? It's not -- it's just a measure of how they've engineered your action to talk people into paying more for ads.

Yeah, pay for ads. And how does the site make money? Sites don't make money based on popularity or community engagement. They make money on ad impressions and clicks. Ad impressions and clicks correlate strongly with page views. It's about that simple, at least for now.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:36 AM on February 17, 2011


Annoyed with the new redesign (and trying to stay unspoiled for the next season of Doctor Who), I took io9 out of my feedreader. Last night, however, a story I was interested in came up in my rarely checked Facebook stream where we're still friends/like/pokebuddies and I tried to follow the link. It didn't work. Then I even tried to search for it on the site. I was on my phone which is new, so maybe it was understandable that I couldn't find it easily. But I still felt dumb that I never could find it.

"Made to feel dumb" doesn't sound like a genius way to treat your audience.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:38 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hate it. And I've been an active reader/commenter for 7+ years.
posted by Sassenach at 9:55 AM on February 17, 2011


Because “frames” are about the last thing you want to use on a website. Well, at least since 1998, that is. Frames are just the worst thing ever.

What's this crap?

Frames suck because if they’re implemented badly, they can really screw up your viewing. They can slow down your browser, ratchet up the CPU cycles, produce stuttering text and images as you scroll up or down, and generally just piss you off with how unprofessional everything appears.

Frames aren't what's slowing down your browser. CSS-simulated (or worse, Javascript-simulated) frames are what's crapping out your 3.2 Ghz Uber-System. Plain-Jane frames work great. Their implementation is consistent across multiple versions of browsers both ancient and new. The problem is asinine web designers that think to themselves, "I know! Let's reinvent the wheel, only this time using HTML5 and JavaScript because wooden wheels are sooo 4000 B.C. and HEY WHY IS MY CART SO SLOW?"
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:06 AM on February 17, 2011 [7 favorites]


My main computer (thinkpad with trackpoint) doesn't play nice with the story scrollbar, and I can't hit the spacebar or shift+space to scroll up and down anymore. I used to browse jalopnik upwards of 5-6 times a day and now I can't bring myself to look at it anymore. The commenters were one of the shining points of that site and it looks like that traffic has fallen off even more precipitously than the total pageviews. It's really too bad.
posted by tmt at 10:06 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I used to look up old recaps on io9 when catching up on Doctor Who and other shows. With the redesign, the search box either didn't work at all or returned nonsense. Now it seems to be gone completely. Otherwise, the design doesn't look that bad.
posted by cerbous at 10:24 AM on February 17, 2011


The problem is asinine web designers that think to themselves, "I know! Let's reinvent the wheel, only this time using HTML5 and JavaScript because wooden wheels are sooo 4000 B.C. and HEY WHY IS MY CART SO SLOW?"

As someone who is occasionally said asinine web developer (fortunately not for the Gawkpocalypse), I usually find myself in similar positions because a client (or worse, a client's graphic artist) figures it's fine to do something asinine with basic page elements (scrollbars separated from content with goofy animation features? Great.) because they saw it done in somebody's Flash demo somewhere.

The fact that the target site isn't going to use Flash and must run on every browser since the dawn of time then becomes my problem...
posted by nonliteral at 10:28 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just look at the mobile versions of all the sites.
posted by Lucinda at 10:34 AM on February 17, 2011


Yeah, absolutely nothing wrong with frames if implemented correctly. These aren't frames.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:42 AM on February 17, 2011


Gawker is a really stupid site anyway.
posted by zennie at 10:42 AM on February 17, 2011


I noticed on io9 that there is no content, not a bit of text or an image description, if javascript is turned off.
posted by asfuller at 10:42 AM on February 17, 2011


I usually find myself in similar positions because a client…

You don't get a moral hand-washing just because you tip the attendant.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:45 AM on February 17, 2011


I noticed on io9 that there is no content, not a bit of text or an image description, if javascript is turned off.

Don't like right-click blockers? Don't like scripts that insert extra text when you try to copy-paste? Generally prefer to browse with such as NoScript? Congratulations, HTML5 doesn't work for you, at all. To see a website using HTML5, you have to open yourself up to that crap.
posted by kafziel at 10:59 AM on February 17, 2011


Frames might have been better for most people. I'm trying to imagine the upside besides making it work like an app. If they have something like a rest service handing partials to the browser to slam into the dom they can just as easily asemble a complete page server side.

Why deflate the page views? Why lock out users? this seems very "I'm the boss, I know best, just make it work" to me.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:04 AM on February 17, 2011


The Gawker family of site's redesign is why RSS was invented. Reeder FTW.
posted by jenkinsEar at 11:08 AM on February 17, 2011


.. until I learned that they stupidly made the redesign technologically irreversible.

Wait. What? How is that even possible?
posted by straight at 11:20 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


this seems very "I'm the boss, I know best, just make it work" to me.

The origin of all the very worst designs.

I'm kind of curious about the "beta" period, in which they seem to have learned nothing and changed nothing - was it basically just a show off period for potential investors/Nick Dentons ego? Certainly user feedback did not seem to factor in to it.
posted by Artw at 11:21 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Gawker family of site's redesign is why RSS was invented.

That'd work if Gawker didn't make a habit of hiding content away "after the jump."
Which requires you to click a link through to the full article.
Said link having about a 50/50 shot of just plain not working (taking you to the list of latest headlines instead of the article you wanted to see more of).

Even if you can ignore everything else wrong about the design, the links need to work.
posted by juv3nal at 11:22 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


You don't get a moral hand-washing just because you tip the attendant.

Fair enough. My point tho is that thinking that most weird designs on actual commercial sites these days come from web designers who want to work the bleeding edge is like assuming that a tattoo artist thinks a heart with "Mom" on it is the height of artistic expression. Clients who think they know how websites work because they can find Google three times out of five without a crib note seem to be a large part of the paying work now.
posted by nonliteral at 11:26 AM on February 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Generally prefer to browse with such as NoScript? Congratulations, HTML5 doesn't work for you, at all.
Wait, what? HTML5 has nothing to do with Javascript, regardless of what [web engineer du jour] will tell you.
posted by slater at 11:27 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


HTML5 means "do flash shit, but with no flash, and a grab bag of other technologies as the deluded client see's fit". JavaScript is very much the glue that keeps it together. JavScritp and a certain amount of bullshit hype.

You can buy a T-Shirt too.
posted by Artw at 11:30 AM on February 17, 2011


HTML5 means "do flash shit, but with no flash, and a grab bag of other technologies as the deluded client see's fit".

Yeah, except you don't actually get to use HTML5 or CSS3 because it's got to run on creaky old versions of IE. So an endless series of Javascript shims to make people think that they don't need to upgrade to a modern browser, just complain about how slow it is.
posted by nonliteral at 11:35 AM on February 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I tend to think this design has everything to do with advertisers, who pay the bills, and little to do with readers. I would bet that it has been extensively tested to show that ads in this format are more successful, and that ads in a typical blog page are glossed over.

Denton has for years called for the death of the pageview, and his sites don't do AdSense. If his advertisers are willing to pay, say a 50% premium to advertise on these new pages, even if visits go down 20%, he comes out ahead.

It's to simplistic to me to say this is the work of over zealous designers or a foolish owner, as Denton has shown himself to be not foolish for a pretty long time now.

That said, I hate it.
posted by cell divide at 11:35 AM on February 17, 2011


Yeah, except you don't actually get to use HTML5 or CSS3 because it's got to run on creaky old versions of IE. So an endless series of Javascript shims to make people think that they don't need to upgrade to a modern browser, just complain about how slow it is.

Experiencing that fun right now.
posted by Artw at 11:36 AM on February 17, 2011


After disabling ads, I still don't see any ads. I can't even tell where they would go.
posted by amethysts at 11:39 AM on February 17, 2011


My point tho is that thinking that most weird designs on actual commercial sites these days come from web designers

Very true. Most of time the people "just following orders" are never the ones who get to make the orders.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:45 AM on February 17, 2011


The Deadspin drop in page views may be in response to the redesign, but a variable has been overlooked: % of posts devoted to dongshots
posted by arveale at 11:50 AM on February 17, 2011


HTML5 means "do flash shit, but with no flash, and a grab bag of other technologies as the deluded client see's fit".

Argh. Not necessarily. I've been using HTML5 sparingly in a couple of sites, mostly just to try nav, section & article instead of the "div class='nav'" (etc) I've been using the last 8 years or so. Very simple for that, honestly. (As long as I remember that IE-shim line. %$@&ing IE.)

(Same deal with CSS3: add in a few decorative bits that don't hurt if they don't show up, and do it more simply than the old methods. border-radius & rgba FTW!)

This hashbang/faux-frames crap? Doesn't need HTML5 to make it flashy junk, could've been done 5 years ago, no HTML5 required.
posted by epersonae at 12:05 PM on February 17, 2011


Related io9 AskMe
posted by Artw at 3:57 PM on February 17, 2011


I can live without all of Gawker except for Gizmodo, which I now check just once a day instead of a few times a day. If I must read an article, I'm getting pretty fast at killing the sidebar with firebug, something about that sidebar makes it completely impossible for me to settle down and focus. Its good to be a developer sometimes.
posted by tempythethird at 4:34 PM on February 17, 2011


How can Digg's redesign be "irreversible"? Don't they have backups?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 5:42 PM on February 17, 2011


lupus_yonderboy, this blog post by a former Digg employee goes into further detail. The gist:
Digg v4 finally launched last week, and it’s taking a lot of fire, for both design decisions and technical issues. There are a lot of angry users asking them to go back to the old version. This is simply not going to happen. Love it or hate it, v4 is here to stay.

Digg v4 is not a redesign, not a reskin, it is a 100% rewrite. It’s completely new design, code, architecture, and infrastructure. It has almost no relationship to the v3 system whatsoever.

[...]

Even if they still have the systems and the desire to roll back, they don’t have the talent to maintain Digg v3. Nearly everyone who built and worked on the legacy Digg codebase has left the company.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:34 PM on February 17, 2011


I;m not big on Digg, but from what I know of their old model (reddit and mefi like, with users suggesting links for posts) and their new (as I undertsand it, every link in their favoured news feeds is a potential root of a comment thread) they sound fundamentally incompatible, and it might just be basically impossible to port any content from one to the other.
posted by Artw at 8:05 PM on February 17, 2011


Ok, so navigation is buggered: I use arrow keys to scroll and I'm either thrown off the article I've been reading onto a new page (loading...)

Search doesn't work (at least on lifehacker, I think it did for a little while but it's gone again);

Comments are unusable, they take forever to load, I have to click all three of those buttons (All Comments, Featured, or whatever) to make sure I see all of them, because All Comments does not show ALL COMMENTS...

Was this rolled out before testing?

Also Whelk? DEETS?!
posted by stratastar at 8:28 PM on February 17, 2011


Well, Deadspin, the only Gawker site I used to read regularly, turned to shit (like, feel need to shower after reading) when Will Leitch left a couple years ago. This redesign is just nail in coffin.
posted by stargell at 9:40 PM on February 17, 2011


Yeah, io9 was daily read for me until the redesign. Feh.
posted by homunculus at 11:37 PM on February 17, 2011


Huh. I thought more people here would be using RSS, but I guess not.
posted by archagon at 1:33 AM on February 18, 2011


Huh. I thought more people here would be using RSS, but I guess not.

I've always been surprised by the lack of common embrace of RSS in general and chalk it up to marketing -- not true marketing but metaphorical marketing -- I think it's hard to describe RSS to someone like, let's say, my mom, without a good operating metaphor that makes sense. 'It's like subscribing' just leads to having to explain what a reader is. And nobody has produced a reader that my mom is capable of understanding. Never mind using. Really Simple Syndication just isn't Really Simple for most people and it's not because it's hard, it's because it's weird.

It seems like there's opportunity for someone to develop a product that manages the concept and the execution in a way that could reach more people. I use Google Reader. That's not a world for my mom. Or anyone's mom.

I'm not even sure I could do my job without RSS and as I mentioned above, there's only one site I visit directly without planning to read a specific article and here we are.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:09 AM on February 18, 2011


archagon: "Huh. I thought more people here would be using RSS, but I guess not"

Yea, me too. I seldom ever see the actual front page of most sites since I read them via Google Reader, usually on my phone.
posted by octothorpe at 4:42 AM on February 18, 2011


I think embracing RSS requires the explanation of, hey instead of manually clicking all the webpages you usually go to, you set it up so they come to you... It still has a learning curve. Anyhoo here are some of the full (non excerpted) rss feeds :

Gizmodo : http://gizmodo.com/vip.xml
Gawker : http://feeds.gawker.com/gawker/vip
Lifehacker:http://feeds.gawker.com/lifehacker/vip
posted by stratastar at 11:33 AM on February 18, 2011


I'm starting to realize that Gawker Media is for the overeducated, but under achieving bitter city folk of my age group. Those people can be exhausting to deal with online and real life. I'm glad that the sites are dwindling down in numbers. It has gotten to the point it is just a bunch of negativity with no insight or perspective.
posted by LilSoulBrother85 at 1:51 PM on February 19, 2011


Just a pointer for anyone else jonesing for the old IO9 -- commentadmin.io9.com gets you back to the old format, at least for the time being.

(found in an o-deck post)
posted by nonliteral at 3:33 PM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thank you ShawnString, your method worked on io9 for me for my RIP Brigadeer post. Link howto: add 'ca.' to the beginning and remove the '#!' from before the post number. The only bad news is Gawker Media will get more loggable pageviews this way, and nobody wants to slow Nick Denton's fall.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:16 PM on February 22, 2011




It's now even more busted in Internet Explorer. The headlines don't display at all. These guys don't test at all before rollling out, do they?
posted by bonehead at 3:07 PM on February 28, 2011


« Older "Ten years too late, or five years ahead of their...   |   Everything's fucked up, and... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post