We are very grateful for the continuing loyalty of our subscribers in the face of delays, irregularities, and lapses. I won't bother to offer my usual apology--the lack of staff--but I do want to alert you all to an upcoming renovation of the site. Planning this renovation and getting up to speed on some of the technical processes has taken a good deal of time and partly explains the slower pace of my posting. While the basic form will be retained, including the featured articles on the front page, we are making a number of changes that should enrich the experience and facilitate use.
First, we are removing most of the small feature boxes on the left and bottom and replacing them with categories linked to content: Autodidact, Poetry, Podcasts, etc. Two significant additions will be a section called something like "A Walk in the Forum," which will be an open forum in which subscribers can raise issues, respond to each other, pursue threads, with minimal editorial intervention. As a parallel to this, the editor (me) is going to monopolize one of the spots for brief comments. This will make it possible for me to sound off on the news of the day without committing myself to hours of study, reflection, and writing. In the near future, I hope to make some of these commentaries in audio form.
We also plan--though this will take some time--to interlink the Reading List with relevant articles, e.g., if you see a title like Euripides' Hecuba highlighted in the reading list, the link will take you to a podcast or article.
With the help of Rex Scott, we have rapidly improved our capacity for audio recording. At last, I am in a position to record, on a regular basis, telephone interviews with colleagues and friends. (The problems have been with the irregularities of Skype and Facebook, glitches in a canned podcasting program that did not keep up to date, and--worst of all--the insane malice of Apple that designed the past 3 versions of the iPhone to make recording impossible. We have, in despair, reactivated an iPhone 5 which works like a charm with our recording system.)
Why am I nattering on about technical changes? Because we are looking for suggestions and criticisms. For example,
1. Now is the time to tell us what you don't like about the website--and what you especially like.
2. We are looking for names for the Forum section and for my column. We want to use the image of the Forum, although it is a bit of a cliché, because it is part of our logo and, indeed, our identity--seeking beauty and sanity among the ruins. As for my column, I have experimented over the past year or two with one or two names, for example, "Between a Rock and a Hard Place"--a somewhat silly title I used at The Southern Partisan, and the somewhat inscrutable "Ransom Notes.
3. Are there are any features you would really like to see? For example, we have been talking about a rubric for popular culture, which now gets put in Best Revenge or some other grab-bag. Several people have asked me to do an explicitly "Paleoconservative" column or feature, which I have been loath to do. Perhaps I could kill two birds with one stone by using the Simple Simon rubric--giving realistic definitions of political terms.
So, please tell us what you would like to see as we step by step improve the site.