So it looks considerably different, but in many ways this refresh is just setting the scene for a whole mess of upgrades we've been waiting to unveil. Not to say I'm unhappy with the new look, complete with our sterile new logo (thank you) and the retro-modern background by the talented (and annoyingly handsome) James White of SignalNoise.com that looks like something we'd have found on the cover of a science textbook in 2070.
It's not all just twerpy looks. The page should load much faster than before, thanks to endless hours slashing through Movable Type templates by our own Rob Beschizza. (Who really did 99% of the heavy lifting, bless him and keep him.) There's also less metadata cruft on the front page, although we make up for that with even more metadata on the permalink pages.
The "Stars as comments" thing might be irksome, and to be honest I could be persuaded that they're dumb—maybe. I like the way they look, for one. I like the implication that comments are a sort of positive vote, or at least an indication of activity. But I'm certainly open to discussion, provided you don't get upset when I decide to just stick with it.
We really are trying to build the site around providing more content to you with a minimum of hassle. Images and videos can now be even larger, while tiny reblogs posts, when we simply want to pass on a link or embed an MP3, can be done without taking up a whole lot of space. Scannable, but readable.
We may end up putting less posts up on the front door, however, because larger pictures mean larger pageloads—and we're already pushing it. If it were up to me, we'd just make it so we loaded more content when you scrolled to the bottom (and we may!), but there are issues with that, too. In the meantime, the headlines-only block at the bottom will continue to be fleshed out. It's been my dream for five years to try to figure out how to get people to click on to read Page 2 of a blog. It's one of the great mysteries of blogging.
Anyway, welcome back, and thank you very much for reading.