Sit down, kick off your shoes and cozy up to the new BetaNews
Please pardon the dust, and watch out for falling debris. BetaNews relaunched overnight August 20. The site has moved from a custom content management system to (a very customized) WordPress.
BetaNews founder Nate Mook and his developer team have done a great job getting the new site up and running on WP, which will offer lots more flexibility curating and presenting content and allow for better reader engagement. Expect more changes as we tweak the look and feel. I'm looking forward to lots of (cough, cough) work this creates for me as managing editor. It will be fun.
We're already getting some reader feedback and encourage more, which is one of the purposes of this post. Please use comments to tell us what you think of the site and what you want from it. For example, one reader made an important observation about the fonts that we will look into.
Once we're sure the plumbing all is in order, we can look to further improving presentation, which right now is cleaner for all the white space. There your feedback matters much. The new BN will be more about you the readers than ever before. There are more social plugins, and they're just a start, and we've changed the comment system. Hello, Disqus!
But getting here was a long process that will have an appropriately beta feel, even if briefly.
Murphy Knows Best
When I was in high school, I learned that Murphy had not one law but three. I treated them and Occam's Razor as gospel. Strangely, or perhaps not, they apply to the BetaNews relaunch.
1. Everything will always take longer than you think.
2. Reconsider all the possibilities, because you've missed at least one.
3. Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong, and at the worst possible moment.
Nate and his team have been working on this relaunch for a long time. There was a decade's worth of content and comments to migrate. That wasn't an easy process to accomplish in such a way that would maintain continuity.
Little things cropped up yesterday that weren't anticipated, or perhaps couldn't be. For example, at one point unsaved draft posts published when WordPress autosaved. That's fixed.
Finally, what could go wrong launch day? Disqus was down for much of Saturday. So BetaNews relaunched without the commenting system working right. Hey, it wasn't our problem, but how would you know that?
They say Murphy was an optimist. I most certainly am not. Look at me, as I write my BetaNews photo is Sean Connery. Sorry to break the news, he's not writing for the site. Say, now why is that? :)
Photo Credit: Joe Wilcox