Metapost poll: this site needs to be a Tumblblog

The AV Club recently did a site refresh today. The former look, which was heavy with links and thumbnail images, has been replaced by big, clickable images that dominate the screen and are re-sizable for cellphones, tablets, and other formats. I’ve noticed that this seems to be the big trend online these days, from Pinterest to Tumblr to, um, Buzzfeed? Whatever that is. That’s right, I’m an old man! Get off my lawn!

Needless to say, the classic look of long reams of text seems to be a thing of the past. (One of my favorite podcasts, The Flophouse, recently did an upgrade to modernize the site’s appearance. The podcast went ahead and slammed the previously anemic “blogspot” look. Can’t say I blamed ‘em.) WordPress does offer platforms like this and this which are closer to the new standard.

I’ll put it up to you readers though. The AV Club refresh isn’t without its critics. However, I seem to remember similar complaints being raised the last time the site was refreshed … and now that update is the one that people are defending. I imagine that, come the next site refresh, the current look will raise its own list of defenders. Shoot, something similar happened on this site in the past, too. At least the last update, when I changed to “Mystique,” went over pretty smoothly.

I kinda like this theme, but I’m also aware that in this fast paced online world things do need to change eventually or you get left be behind. I’m not going to name names, but some webcomic sites out there are about as old as mine are, but since they haven’t changed, they tend to look really, really old… and as a result, look rather decrepit.

What do you think? Total site refresh? Yay or nay?

Note: If I do decide to do a total upgrade, it probably won’t go into effect until around the beginning of next year. Around when MS Paint Adventures wraps up. Or when my MS Paint Adventures reviews wrap up. Which ever comes first.

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About El Santo

Somehow ended up reading and reviewing almost 300 different webcomics. Life is funny, huh? Despite owning two masks, is not actually a luchador.

Posted on November 18, 2013, in metapost, WCO Poll. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I didn’t vote on the poll because, ultimately, the decision is yours and yours alone based on which direction you want to take the site. I will, however, say this: Novels are not the same beast as graphic novels and the reverse is true as well.

    What I mean by this is that tumblrizing (new word!) a normally word-heavy blog such as this one may create a new and prettier look, but it will also likely dumb down (if only apparently) the content of the reviews. In the end, in order for the reviews to have the same impact they have had up to now, they still need to be wordy, and that may not be helped in any positive way by hiding the words behind a facade of pretty pictures.

    I guess if I was forced to vote on the poll I’d pick to leave it as-is. I don’t fear change, but I also don’t condone it just for the sake of a cosmetic face lift.

    • Thanks. Yeah, I know it’s my choice, and the results of the poll are only one factor in my consideration. No guarantee I’m going to use the result of the poll when it comes to how this site will look. Still, if I go the Tumblr route (or similar image heavy look), it’s likely the most drastic change I will ever incorporate on this site. From the beginning, most of my updates have been evolutionary, but this one would change the entire design philosophy of this site, I think.

      Like you said, there is a mental perception that a lot of images means “dumbed down.” I promise that that won’t happen; linked articles will be the same as always. But the perception is there. Still, that’s almost the same struggle that comics have had since the beginning since words were incorporated with images. Like, there’s no way a comic could be better than novels because there’s pretty pictures and stuff. So in a way, switching to an image-heavy format (at least for the front page) would almost be … appropriate?

      I don’t know, probably thinking out of my buttocks here. :)

      • Honestly, I think a tumblrized design is kinda counterintuitive for wordy blogs like this. I follow an ESPECIALLY long-winded tumblr blog, and while I enjoy the content, the design really dosen’t helps it. It’s mostly the amount of scrolling it requires that’s the most agravating, and his posts(and some of your reviews El Santo)can be essay sized. So I think the current setup is much more convinient.

  2. For anyone claiming tumblr isn’t suitable for wordy blogs like this, I point your way to Websnark’s new site. It works. It’s not really a problem.

    My biggest problem with Tumblr is that it seems to be horribly averse to commentary, and so are its users, the worse part being that you can enable people to write notes on your posts, but you can’t reply to them, closing the communication. Yay?

    Eh, whatever goes, good luck with that.

    • Well, to be fair, I’m not going to convert this site to Tumblr. I agree with you… the commenting system is non-existent. (I sorta hate Tumblr in that respect. You can’t get any sort of discussion going.) It’s still going to be on the WordPress platform, which I like… but I’m thinking of perhaps incorporating the visual aesthetic, which a lot of websites like The AV Club seem to be incorporating these days. Notice that The AV Club my look like a Tumblr-style site, but the comments system is pretty much intact since the website refresh.

    • I know El Santo just clarified that he would make it more inspired by tumblr designs than actually migrating to tumblr, but for the record, you can put Disqus on your tumblr so people can actually have discussions like a traditional blog.

  3. I’m actually thinking of going with something like this, actually:

    http://twentyfourteendemo.wordpress.com/

    But, like I said, I’m not 100% on switching formats anyway. I’m going to play around with it for a while before I make any decisions.

  4. I dislike the AV Club redesign. It probably works for tablets and mobile devices, but for a desktop it just looks so empty. If you go for a redesign, I hope you pick something that isn’t Web 2.0 light gray gradients and large buttons.

  5. Hi! What is the name of this blog’s template?

  6. Аwesome! Its really remarkable post, I have ɡot mucҺ clear idea concerning from this piece of writing.

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