The New York Times website was redesigned recently. You can read about the technology behind it. Personally, I’ve been waiting for a behind-the-scenes about the WordPress at the core of their blogging operations. Scott Taylor delivers with an article entitled Rethinking Blogs at the New York Times.
Because we are turning WP content into Module content, we no longer want our themes to produce complete HTML documents: we only to produce the “content” of the page. Our Madison page layout gives us a wrapper and loads our app-specific scripts and styles. We have enough opportunities to override default template stubs to inject Blog-specific content where necessary.
Overall, it’s less about a visual redesign and more about an architectural redesign. The NYT’s legacy system seems like it was an absolute nightmare. I tried to condense Scott’s article into a short blurb, but I can’t. So, if you’re remotely interested in the structure of large scale online publishing systems go read it (regardless of your opinion about WordPress). If you are a WordPress developer, there’s some cool stuff going on, like abstracting the away the visual structure.
Dan Wybrant has a collection of photos with descriptions of the typesetting and paste-up techniques used by a campus daily in 1970. We bitch about InDesign crashing, but we don’t have to type blind with a machine that punches holes onto paper tape. There’s also a lot of fun to be had with a wax machine if you happen to come across one.
From an old news report — it used to take about two hours to download an electronic newspaper with connections fees of five dollars per hour. Oh, and the newspapers weren’t in it to make a profit.
Gene Weingarten on the current state of print journalism and its bastardization online.
Call me a grumpy old codger, but I liked the old way better. For one thing, I used to have at least a rudimentary idea of how a newspaper got produced: On deadline, drunks with cigars wrote stories that were edited by constipated but knowledgeable people, then printed on paper by enormous machines operated by people with stupid hats and dirty faces.
The article skewers the online practice of writing headlines for machines, rather than readers. A good headline will likely garner just as much attention after being picked up by a human, and subsequently blogged, liked, retweeted and carrier-pigeoned, as it would from being a top search query.
The Los Angeles Times has redesigned their website to make it cleaner, crisper and more innovative. I’m liking the new look, finding that it’s more newspaper-like and ties into the print aesthetic better.
It’s the 40th anniversary of man landing on the moon. Kottke has created a giant Apollo 11 post with links to photos, videos and loads of other information related to the event. In related news, I have an copy of the Globe and Mail’s moon landing issue, which I’ve been meaning to scan for awhile. The interesting thing about it, is the front page headline which was printed in large green type.
Newspaper Club is developing a service to help people print their own newspapers. It doesn’t necessarily mean a traditional newspaper per se, but anything with ink on newsprint. It sounds like an amazing idea to me, hopefully they can make a successful go of things.
The American newspaper industry had its worst quarter in modern history, with advertising sales declining almost thirty percent. Not that anyone didn’t see it coming. We’ll see which organizations can adapt to different models with professional and grass-roots journalism, in a combination of print and electronic media.
Can design save the newspaper?
Give power to designers. You can work for a small company, in a boring branch. You can have no budget, no people, but still can put your work to the highest possible level. Everyone can do it, you just need inspiration, vision and determination. And you need to remember, that to be good, is not enough.
A short, but inspiring TED presentation.