So as you’ve probably noticed things look different. For this, we thank (and thank and thank) Derik Badman, who has not only worked his butt off to make this happen, but who has also had to deal with my incessant obsessive carping, a fate that no self-respecting web designer should be forced to endure. So thorough was said carping that Derik has in fact disavowed all design input, and insists he was only responsible for tech. I will abide by the letter of his wishes in this regard…but I still feel strongly that if anything looks good, you should give him credit, and if anything doesn’t, you should blame me.

Also, I want to extend groveling appreciation to the incomparable Edie Fake, who designed our new banner just as he designed our old one. If you pine for the old one, I thought I’d put it here, where the nostalgic can still visit it as they wish.

And since this is HU, we will now move to the cranky criticism portion of the post.

Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!

Or as my dear friend Bert Stabler put it:

Ugh. Crowded, confusing, clashing colors. Maybe I would like it if I liked reading magazines, which I distinctly do not. But on web pages, less is emphatically more. The TCJ design (which I think carried over from pre-TCJ) was perfect.

I’m sure Bert won’t be the only one displeased. I’m quite happy with our new format, but obviously some people are going to pine for the simpler, more streamlined days of yore.

So…why’d we do it?

Well, basically we were outgrowing our old digs. HU has been moving fitfully towards a magazine format with more contributors and more content. As a result, long ambitious articles get knocked off the top of the page by shorter (albeit still brilliant!) chatty, bloggy pieces. That doesn’t seem fair to either readers or writers. The new design will help us feature the bigger pieces for longer…and should give us room to grow and put out more content if it should come to that.

A ton of people were kind enough to look at the new design in various stages and offer advice and guidance. The site looks and works much better thanks to their input. Many, many thanks to Melinda Beasi, Ng Suat Tong, Kinukitty, Bert Stabler, Derik Badman, Sean Michael Robinson, Kate Dacey, Bill Randall, Robert Stanely Martin, Caroline Small, Craig Fischer, Erica Friedman, Jared Gardner, and Tucker Stone. (And if I’ve forgotten you, please email me to tell me I’m an ingrate/remind me to thank you publicly.)

Despite the help of so many folks, I’m sure there are bound to be bugs and bumps as we get used to the place. Let us know what they are and we’ll try to fix them and/or ignore them, as the case may be. In the meantime, I hope you get a chance to look around. We’ve got a bunch of exciting posts coming this week — and we’re also pleased to welcome a new temporary blogger, Anja Flower, who’ll be writing regularly with us for at least a couple months. Also, scroll down to the right and you’ll see we’re going to be featuring some posts from the archives. This week, we’ve got Caro’s post on Anke Feuchtenberger.

Also, we’re now enthusiastically social mediaing. You can follow us on twitter, or on facebook. Or you can get our RSS feed.

We haven’t managed to do quite everything I’d hoped. Enabling editing of comments turned out to be harder than I thought; I still need to put together a blog roll, damn it…and I really want, sometime, to move our old blogspot material over here….

But for now this is what we’ve got…and not so bad, I hope. Thanks again to Derik, to everyone who helped with the design, and of course to all of our regular writers, commenters, and readers. If you have a compliment or complaint you can email me at noahberlatsky at gmail. Or leave a comment!

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