I'm just half-working this week, so I'm not quite up on the news. However, having posted about SJ's absence recently, I feel compelled to close the loop.
Briefly, the new site has a different look and feel. The text is bigger and bolder, with a bright white background, so it's easy to read.
The logo/header - that's another story. It's really quite bland, and hopefully it's a work in progress. The tagline - "Independent News, Views and Service" - what does that mean? For those of us familiar with SJ, we probably don't give it any thought. But if not, I'd say it doesn't make much of an impression. At minimum, I'd have the Skype logo up there, guys. Most people recognize that right away, but a plain sans serif "Skype Journal" header doesn't really grab your attention.
SJ is a labor of love, but the contributors are also open for business and do consulting. You'd never know it from visiting the blog - but maybe they want to keep it that way. I guess that's the "Service" part of the tagline, but wearing my Marketing hat, I'd say most people won't make that connection.
On that note, the site right now is just content and search categories. There's no "About Us" or "Contact Us" info, or even a blogroll, so it's not very engaging beyond reading the posts. Again, maybe this is in the works, or maybe it's not. I hope it is!
Finally, I don't know much about how blog pages are formatted, but who came up with these layout templates? There is SO much wasted real estate here. Basically, only 2/3 of the vertical space is available for the content, which is what really matters. Why devote the other 1/3 to the LONG list of categories that readers can search on? This seems so wasteful, especially since the content within this column only scrolls down the page a little bit. After that, it's just empty space, and from that point on, you have to keep reading all the good stuff that's squished into the left side of the page, while everything on the right is a sea of white. Is it just me? There's gotta be a better way to do this.
All told, it's great to see SJ back, especially with all the management changes going on recently. Hopefully, you'll take my comments in good spirits. SJ is a very important voice in the blogosphere, and to me, the updated website sells SJ a bit short, and could stand to be more engaging.
Technorati tags: Skype Journal, Jon Arnold, Jim Courtney