Hello AFC Redesign! Nice to Meet You!

by Paddy Johnson on June 22, 2010 · 69 comments From the Desk of AFC

nathan cooley, there will be no miracles here, art fag city
Nathan Cooley, There Will Be No Miracles Here, 2009, Installation at Dean Gallery, Edinburgh

Readers wondering why posting has been a little sparse lately are looking at the product of my recent efforts. Thanks to Veken Gueyikian, Going Off Script’s resident business guy for marketing and strategic advice, Designer and Programmer John Sexton and this year’s support from readers and Creative Capital, AFC got an update. This means a lot of changes I hope will improve the reader’s experience on the blog. For the sake of ease, I’m going to go through a few of the updates via bullet point.

REDESIGN: You’re looking at it. I’ll be experimenting with the look of the posts a little, but for the most part, the front page will look much the way it does now, with small excerpts with click throughs leading to the full post. Image heavy posts will take up more space, and we’ve added a lot of multi media options so we can handle a lot more images. This means our invited artists participating in our annual IMG MGMT series will have a lot more flexibility and choices.

IMPROVED COMMENTS! Um YAY! Commentors will have to sign up with their full names, but once approved will now be able to post their comments directly to the blog without moderation. This not only saves me the time of having to approve each manually, but will help improve the flow of conversation. Those who wish to add videos or images in the comment section will can do that as well. Unless the post happens to be a call for cocks, I ask that readers refrain from uploading their own.

CONNECT WITH ART FAG CITY: There are five hundred ways to read Art Fag City on the web, but I’ve narrowed the list to the services I actually use. The social media section includes links to my Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and Delicious account as well as my RSS feed. If you want to read AFC via email, I’ve now got a mailer too. Don’t forget to sign up for that!

In other sharing news, facebook like and tweet buttons now follow each post so readers can discuss articles they like, hate or have ambivalent feelings about in the medium of their choice.

RECOMMENDED SHOWS: Answering the regular requests I receive for show recommendations, I’ve added a feature called Five Shows, maintained by AFC Curatorial Fellow Dave Harper. Every two weeks Dave will give us his top show picks so we don’t have to scour the listings to figure out what’s worth a visit. We’re using a plug-in called Gigpress for this, which has a lot of great features, including one that allows readers to subscribe to the individual RSS feed.

FRESH LINKS: We’re experimenting with this a little. The new side bar format admittedly has some draw backs — you have to click through to see the commentary and or follow the actual link — but it clears up a lot of problems in the RSS Feeds and our back-end, which until now gave everything the title “fresh link”.

ART FAG CITY MOBILE: For the uber-nerd who wants to read Art Fag City on their smart phone, we’ve set up a plug-in to make sure the site is a little more readable when it loads on the phone. Phew, right?

  • http://hypothete.blogspot.com Hypothete

    Congratulations! The registration can be a bit tricky (especially if you try to link accounts with OpenID or the like), but I think I speak for all of your regulars in saying yes, yes, 1000 times yes to image replies and faster posting. :D

  • http://hypothete.blogspot.com Hypothete

    Congratulations! The registration can be a bit tricky (especially if you try to link accounts with OpenID or the like), but I think I speak for all of your regulars in saying yes, yes, 1000 times yes to image replies and faster posting. :D

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/zacharycohen Zachary Adam Cohen

    congrats on the new design…everything looks great!! won't be surprised now when you take over the world

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/zacharycohen Zachary Adam Cohen

    congrats on the new design…everything looks great!! won't be surprised now when you take over the world

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/tom_moody tom_moody

    Hi, I now have an underscore but it's still me. Site looks good. Some unsolicited feedback: Can you expand your content window on the front page? I read you on RSS where I get the full text of your posts but there's a delay so I also still visit the front page to see what's going on. Right now I only see your headline plus a few lines of summary of what the post is about. I like the classic blog format where you read a post, get pissed off (or joyful!), check to see if there are comments, and then click through to whatever page next awaits. Now it's all riding on your teaser. Curious what your other regulars think.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/tom_moody tom_moody

    Hi, I now have an underscore but it's still me. Site looks good. Some unsolicited feedback: Can you expand your content window on the front page? I read you on RSS where I get the full text of your posts but there's a delay so I also still visit the front page to see what's going on. Right now I only see your headline plus a few lines of summary of what the post is about. I like the classic blog format where you read a post, get pissed off (or joyful!), check to see if there are comments, and then click through to whatever page next awaits. Now it's all riding on your teaser. Curious what your other regulars think.

  • Man

    Woot! Reading on iPhone now. Looks great!

    And I’ll resist a cock comment. Although I admit I’m having a hard time.

  • Man

    Woot! Reading on iPhone now. Looks great!

    And I’ll resist a cock comment. Although I admit I’m having a hard time.

  • http://jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com/ Jesse_P_Martin

    You can edit and/or delete your own comments now, and it doesn't appear to show when people do this (it just shows the "post time" of the original comment). This will require the honor-system so people don't exploit the crazy revisionist possibilities of this feature/flaw. For example: I could edit to be all "Hey! You should have the Guggenheim post on the front page," thereby making tom_moody look like he was biting off MY comment. I'm concerned about this – it could easily throw a comment thread into utter chaos if people were to exploit the "customizable" comments. But I like that you can go back and fix typos (and meddle with the space/time continuum).

  • http://jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com/ Jesse_P_Martin

    You can edit and/or delete your own comments now, and it doesn't appear to show when people do this (it just shows the "post time" of the original comment). This will require the honor-system so people don't exploit the crazy revisionist possibilities of this feature/flaw. For example: I could edit to be all "Hey! You should have the Guggenheim post on the front page," thereby making tom_moody look like he was biting off MY comment. I'm concerned about this – it could easily throw a comment thread into utter chaos if people were to exploit the "customizable" comments. But I like that you can go back and fix typos (and meddle with the space/time continuum).

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/tom_moody tom_moody

    Paging back through older posts I notice this one doesn't have a headline or teaser now: http://www.artfagcity.com/2010/06/16/the-guggenhe… That was a very good post where you, ahem, suggested people with some savvy about judging web content. It may not have been applicable since the Guggenheim is only judging "web lite"–no State enemies, submissions by would be stars only, no searching for outsider cooties–but I hope the post can be restored to the front page archive.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/tom_moody tom_moody

    Paging back through older posts I notice this one doesn't have a headline or teaser now: http://www.artfagcity.com/2010/06/16/the-guggenhe… That was a very good post where you, ahem, suggested people with some savvy about judging web content. It may not have been applicable since the Guggenheim is only judging "web lite"–no State enemies, submissions by would be stars only, no searching for outsider cooties–but I hope the post can be restored to the front page archive.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/tom_moody tom_moody

    Hmmm, that last comment was supposed to be pre-approved now that I'm logged in but it looks they're still going into the moderation queue.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/tom_moody tom_moody

    Hmmm, that last comment was supposed to be pre-approved now that I'm logged in but it looks they're still going into the moderation queue.

  • artfagcity

    Hey Tom,

    You should be approved now. I hadn't fixed the settings properly. I hadn't noticed that post had disappeared from the front page — thanks for that. Somehow it got the wrong tag attached and was sent to nowheresville. It's working now.

  • artfagcity

    Hey Tom,

    You should be approved now. I hadn't fixed the settings properly. I hadn't noticed that post had disappeared from the front page — thanks for that. Somehow it got the wrong tag attached and was sent to nowheresville. It's working now.

  • http://jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com/ Jesse_P_Martin

    @AFC: Please read my "edited" comment above. How do you feel about commenters being able to repeatedly change what they've written? Can you turn that feature off?

    Also, the description of the some of the post images appears in the same font as the beginning of the content text on the main page (i.e. "Ryan Shultz puts his hands on his head in frustration" for the last WANGA post).

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/artfagcity artfagcity

      Hey Jesse,

      Sorry about that. The comment system will take a bit of time to get used to, but basically once there's a reply, you can't edit your comment, but until then you can. This means if you've made a spelling mistake then you can correct it.

      Anyway, there's a bunch of things I'm working on fixing – those weird clips amongst them, though some of that work will have to occur manually and will just take a bit of time to fix. There's not a script to remove everything I've done over the last couple of years to compensate for tools that now exist!

    • http://www.tommoody.us tom_moody

      OK – testing – I am replying to an upstream Jesse comment and about to make a deliberate TYPING ERROR and will see if I can edit and where the comment goes. – Typing error fixed but my reply is nesting under under Jesse's comment.

      • artfagcity

        That's not good. I notice you fixed the error.

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/artfagcity artfagcity

          I just re-enabled threads. It's easier to see the replies with this function on and turning them off doesn't seem to be very easy right now.

  • http://jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com/ Jesse_P_Martin

    @AFC: Please read my "edited" comment above. How do you feel about commenters being able to repeatedly change what they've written? Can you turn that feature off?

    Also, the description of the some of the post images appears in the same font as the beginning of the content text on the main page (i.e. "Ryan Shultz puts his hands on his head in frustration" for the last WANGA post).

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/artfagcity artfagcity

      Hey Jesse,

      Sorry about that. The comment system will take a bit of time to get used to, but basically once there's a reply, you can't edit your comment, but until then you can. This means if you've made a spelling mistake then you can correct it.

      Anyway, there's a bunch of things I'm working on fixing – those weird clips amongst them, though some of that work will have to occur manually and will just take a bit of time to fix. There's not a script to remove everything I've done over the last couple of years to compensate for tools that now exist!

    • http://www.tommoody.us tom_moody

      OK – testing – I am replying to an upstream Jesse comment and about to make a deliberate TYPING ERROR and will see if I can edit and where the comment goes. – Typing error fixed but my reply is nesting under under Jesse's comment.

      • artfagcity

        That's not good. I notice you fixed the error.

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/artfagcity artfagcity

          I just re-enabled threads. It's easier to see the replies with this function on and turning them off doesn't seem to be very easy right now.

  • http://www.digitalmediatree.com/sallymckay/ LM_LM

    I had to double my initials to sign up, but it works fine now.

    Just curious, do you still retain magical editing powers over all your commenters?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/artfagcity artfagcity

      I can edit commentors, but I never edit anyone after they've posted something unless it's to correct a spelling mistake I think they'd be upset about. It seems like people can do this for themselves now, which frankly, will also save me A LOT of time. I receive a fair number of spelling mistake correction requests on comments.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/artfagcity artfagcity

      I can edit commentors, but I never edit anyone after they've posted something unless it's to correct a spelling mistake I think they'd be upset about. It seems like people can do this for themselves now, which frankly, will also save me A LOT of time. I receive a fair number of spelling mistake correction requests on comments.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/artfagcity artfagcity

      I can edit commentors, but I never edit anyone after they've posted something unless it's to correct a spelling mistake I think they'd be upset about. It seems like people can do this for themselves now, which frankly, will also save me A LOT of time. I receive a fair number of spelling mistake correction requests on comments.

  • http://www.digitalmediatree.com/sallymckay/ LM_LM

    I had to double my initials to sign up, but it works fine now.

    Just curious, do you still retain magical editing powers over all your commenters?

  • http://www.digitalmediatree.com/sallymckay/ LM_LM

    I had to double my initials to sign up, but it works fine now.

    Just curious, do you still retain magical editing powers over all your commenters?

  • http://www.digitalmediatree.com/sallymckay/ LM_LM

    I had to double my initials to sign up, but it works fine now.

    Just curious, do you still retain magical editing powers over all your commenters?

  • http://www.digitalmediatree.com/sallymckay/ LM_LM

    I had to double my initials to sign up, but it works fine now.

    Just curious, do you still retain magical editing powers over all your commenters?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/artfagcity artfagcity

      I can edit commentors, but I never edit anyone after they've posted something unless it's to correct a spelling mistake I think they'd be upset about. It seems like people can do this for themselves now, which frankly, will also save me A LOT of time. I receive a fair number of spelling mistake correction requests on comments.

  • http://www.digitalmediatree.com/sallymckay/ LM_LM

    Sorry, I was playing with the little thumbs on the side of each comment and gave Zachary a negative little thumb score.

  • http://www.digitalmediatree.com/sallymckay/ LM_LM

    Sorry, I was playing with the little thumbs on the side of each comment and gave Zachary a negative little thumb score.

  • http://www.digitalmediatree.com/sallymckay/ LM_LM

    Sorry, I was playing with the little thumbs on the side of each comment and gave Zachary a negative little thumb score.

  • http://www.digitalmediatree.com/sallymckay/ LM_LM

    Sorry, I was playing with the little thumbs on the side of each comment and gave Zachary a negative little thumb score.

  • http://www.digitalmediatree.com/sallymckay/ LM_LM

    Sorry, I was playing with the little thumbs on the side of each comment and gave Zachary a negative little thumb score.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/tom_moody tom_moody

    Testing self-moderation… (Ha ha, self-moderation, that's me.)
    Paddy, bughunt wise I noticed in the Intensedebate page that has all my saved comments for various blogs the link back to Art Fag City (the main site, not this thread) is still a wordpress core link, so it is breaking. Just FYI.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/tom_moody tom_moody

    Testing self-moderation… (Ha ha, self-moderation, that's me.)
    Paddy, bughunt wise I noticed in the Intensedebate page that has all my saved comments for various blogs the link back to Art Fag City (the main site, not this thread) is still a wordpress core link, so it is breaking. Just FYI.

  • http://www.tommoody.us tom_moody

    Yay. Paddy, if you have the option to make these "straight" comments (as oppose to commenters being able to make and nest replies upstream) I pray you will use it–otherwise your threads will turn out like those Rhizome threads the geeks are so proud of, notable for their confused mess, I mean democratic free-for-all.

  • http://www.tommoody.us tom_moody

    Yay. Paddy, if you have the option to make these "straight" comments (as oppose to commenters being able to make and nest replies upstream) I pray you will use it–otherwise your threads will turn out like those Rhizome threads the geeks are so proud of, notable for their confused mess, I mean democratic free-for-all.

  • http://www.tommoody.us tom_moody

    Yay. Paddy, if you have the option to make these "straight" comments (as oppose to commenters being able to make and nest replies upstream) I pray you will use it–otherwise your threads will turn out like those Rhizome threads the geeks are so proud of, notable for their confused mess, I mean democratic free-for-all.

  • http://www.tommoody.us tom_moody

    Yay. Paddy, if you have the option to make these "straight" comments (as oppose to commenters being able to make and nest replies upstream) I pray you will use it–otherwise your threads will turn out like those Rhizome threads the geeks are so proud of, notable for their confused mess, I mean democratic free-for-all.

    • artfagcity

      I've turned that function off…and yet there's still a reply button…can you still edit comments? If so, I'll probably just return to "embed threads" because at least you can see the responses. I've seen comment communities that seem to use that reply function pretty well, but I think there are limitations to what you can do with a plug-in. I suspect for example that all those broken links are there to stay. I used Intense Debate because commentors have the ability to post comments if they like, and this being a visual art blog, it seemed to me that this would be a good addition to the comment section.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/Jesse_P_Martin Jesse_P_Martin

        It's still "nesting" replies, and I can still edit my first comment (though not the one you replied to, like you said).

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/artfagcity artfagcity

          I turned nesting back on because right now, I can't turn off the reply function.

    • artfagcity

      I've turned that function off…and yet there's still a reply button…can you still edit comments? If so, I'll probably just return to "embed threads" because at least you can see the responses. I've seen comment communities that seem to use that reply function pretty well, but I think there are limitations to what you can do with a plug-in. I suspect for example that all those broken links are there to stay. I used Intense Debate because commentors have the ability to post comments if they like, and this being a visual art blog, it seemed to me that this would be a good addition to the comment section.

    • artfagcity

      I've turned that function off…and yet there's still a reply button…can you still edit comments? If so, I'll probably just return to "embed threads" because at least you can see the responses. I've seen comment communities that seem to use that reply function pretty well, but I think there are limitations to what you can do with a plug-in. I suspect for example that all those broken links are there to stay. I used Intense Debate because commentors have the ability to post comments if they like, and this being a visual art blog, it seemed to me that this would be a good addition to the comment section.

  • http://www.tommoody.us tom_moody

    Yay. Paddy, if you have the option to make these "straight" comments (as oppose to commenters being able to make and nest replies upstream) I pray you will use it–otherwise your threads will turn out like those Rhizome threads the geeks are so proud of, notable for their confused mess, I mean democratic free-for-all.

    • artfagcity

      I've turned that function off…and yet there's still a reply button…can you still edit comments? If so, I'll probably just return to "embed threads" because at least you can see the responses. I've seen comment communities that seem to use that reply function pretty well, but I think there are limitations to what you can do with a plug-in. I suspect for example that all those broken links are there to stay. I used Intense Debate because commentors have the ability to post comments if they like, and this being a visual art blog, it seemed to me that this would be a good addition to the comment section.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/Jesse_P_Martin Jesse_P_Martin

        It's still "nesting" replies, and I can still edit my first comment (though not the one you replied to, like you said).

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/artfagcity artfagcity

          I turned nesting back on because right now, I can't turn off the reply function.

  • amttf

    The five shows bit is great – just enough to assimilate. I did like the comments aspect of the Fresh Links – half the fun was in reading what Paddy Johnson wrote about each one – but it makes sense that it's a bit of a back end nightmare. And a "contribute" button? Not sure the best way to handle it, but something to consider.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/artfagcity artfagcity

      You can still see what I've written about the fresh links, just not at a glance. Frankly, I'm pretty bummed about that too, but it really just depends where you want to experience the problem. I mean there's custom code that can correct the problem, but that would be very expensive.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/amttf amttf

        nah, expensive custom code not worth it – this is a solid upgrade

  • amttf

    The five shows bit is great – just enough to assimilate. I did like the comments aspect of the Fresh Links – half the fun was in reading what Paddy Johnson wrote about each one – but it makes sense that it's a bit of a back end nightmare. And a "contribute" button? Not sure the best way to handle it, but something to consider.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/artfagcity artfagcity

      You can still see what I've written about the fresh links, just not at a glance. Frankly, I'm pretty bummed about that too, but it really just depends where you want to experience the problem. I mean there's custom code that can correct the problem, but that would be very expensive.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/amttf amttf

        nah, expensive custom code not worth it – this is a solid upgrade

  • jamesphillips240

    Re: post picture. This sits across the road from Nathan Coley's work: http://www.nationalgalleries.org/media/source/eve

  • jamesphillips240

    Re: post picture. This sits across the road from Nathan Coley's work: http://www.nationalgalleries.org/media/source/eve

  • http://www.tommoody.us tom_moody

    Hi, Paddy,
    I know I sound like someone who's never happy – I greatly appreciate being able to self-edit and self-moderate. I replied to a comment of Jesse's upstream and was able to self-edit. It doesn't appear visible in the main thread unless someone clicks the "2 replies" and then it appears in the thread. My experience from Digital Media Tree and Rhizome is that not being able to reply upstream forces people to be more polite and deal with the comments immediately ahead of theirs (that are "on the table,"so to speak), as opposed to passive-aggressively going back upstream and talking to whoever they want to bond with. Eventually you can have multiple conversations going on re: completely different topics, cliques form, etc. If there is any way for you to force a linear thread with this software, I hope you will use it.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/artfagcity artfagcity

      You don't sound like someone who's never happy. I've noticed this myself and it's not something I love either. In any event, I'll try and work on the customization of these threads some more today, but until I figure out a solution for this, the reply and nesting function is on.

  • http://www.tommoody.us tom_moody

    Hi, Paddy,
    I know I sound like someone who's never happy – I greatly appreciate being able to self-edit and self-moderate. I replied to a comment of Jesse's upstream and was able to self-edit. It doesn't appear visible in the main thread unless someone clicks the "2 replies" and then it appears in the thread. My experience from Digital Media Tree and Rhizome is that not being able to reply upstream forces people to be more polite and deal with the comments immediately ahead of theirs (that are "on the table,"so to speak), as opposed to passive-aggressively going back upstream and talking to whoever they want to bond with. Eventually you can have multiple conversations going on re: completely different topics, cliques form, etc. If there is any way for you to force a linear thread with this software, I hope you will use it.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/artfagcity artfagcity

      You don't sound like someone who's never happy. I've noticed this myself and it's not something I love either. In any event, I'll try and work on the customization of these threads some more today, but until I figure out a solution for this, the reply and nesting function is on.

  • cmonster

    looks super clean and all-around awesome… congratsssssssss!!!!

  • cmonster

    looks super clean and all-around awesome… congratsssssssss!!!!

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