New Year, New Look

Siberian LightTo belatedly celebrate Russia’s Old New Year, Siberian Light has a new look.

Ditching the traditional blog layout of one post after another, newest at the top, I’ve decided to go with a magazine style design which, I hope will make Siberian Light much easier on the eye and much easier to navigate.

The magazine style format lends itself to featuring some articles more prominently than others. I plan to start writing a few more in depth articles over the coming weeks and months, interspersed with more traditional, shorter, blog posts, so I felt I needed a way to highlight those posts that would be of interest to readers for longer than the current day’s hot news story.

As far as I can see, most everything is working properly. However, I haven’t had chance to check the site in a few web-browsers, so if you spot any glitches, please do let me know.

Anyway, here’s a quick guide to the new features.

Featured Articles

The focus of the new Siberian Light homepage is the latest featured post. A big picture right in the middle of the page means you shouldn’t be able to miss it. And, just underneath the latest featured article, you’ll find a series of smaller pictures – click on these, and details of earlier featured articles will be brought to the fore.

Click on the title of any of these featured articles, or the ‘continue reading’ link, and you’ll be taken the article itself.

A few of Siberian Light’s older posts are already featured – keep an eye out for the next one in a few days.

Regular Blog Posts

Just because there will be more features at Siberian Light doesn’t mean there will be less regular blog posts. Right underneath the featured articles, you’ll find links to the 10 latest blog posts, with a brief introduction to each post.

The Sidebar

The sidebar on the right has been completely revamped. The big grey box you see is to help you navigate around the site. It contains details of the most popular recent posts (ranked by a behind the scenes formula), the posts with the most comments, a list of featured articles, and a tag cloud which you can use to navigate the site by topic.

Below the navigation box, you’ll find a more traditional sidebar, with links to other blogs about Russia, as well as links to the Siberian Light archives. These are sorted by both category and month – click on the title to reveal the links below.

Oh, and there are a few colourful ads rotating around the sidebar help to pay the hosting costs for Siberian Light.

Subscribe!

Did you know that you can subscribe to Siberian Light? You can either choose to receive a daily email digest of posts, straight to your inbox, or you can have every post delivered almost instantaneously to your RSS feed reader of choice. Subscription options are at the top right of the page, next to the big orange RSS button.

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9 Responses

  1. Lyndon says:

    Andy, congratulations on the new format. As always, you are at the forefront of Russia bloggers in showing off the full potential of the medium. So far it seems to be working fine in Firefox, although (as I’m sure you’ve realized) you’ll now have the task of coming up with a thumbnail image for each post, otherwise they all look the same in the “10-most-recent” list. Anyway, best wishes for a successful 2008 with the new look.

  2. James says:

    Wow, Andy! This is one sleek looking website! You put the rest of us to shame!

    Congratulations and good luck – we love reading your stuff, so keep up the good work!

  3. poemless says:

    Wow, very swank, Andy! I love it. And I’m looking forward to the “more in depth articles over the coming weeks and months.”

  4. Jesse Heath says:

    Wow…the new format looks great!!

  5. Russophile says:

    I had looked at this template before and thought it would be great for a website. I was right. It does look great!

  6. The young pioneer is at it again.

    Along with a few other blogs, SL’s web design has been more advanced than some of the on line magazines.

    In addition to being at the forefront in web design, SL is a success because of its diversity of topics and open mindedness to different views.

    I look forward to those stated in depth pieces.

  7. Andy says:

    Thanks everyone for your comments – I’m beginning to feel some pressure now to come up with those feature articles now…

  8. Easy tiger.

    Unless it’s really time sensitive: sometimes it’s best to wait a bit for quality control purposes. Waiting for the dust to settle with additional points has merit, even if the topic is “time sensitive”.

    As per your recent post regarding a Dmitri Minaev feature, you gave me an idea of writing a review of a little known (at least in America) and excellent Russian made documentary on the Russian Civil War. With some American assistance, the film provides great insight from the not so well known (as some think) White perspective.

    There’s planty of ground to cover when it comes to FSU issues.

  9. That’s plenty. It has been a long past 24 hours or so.

    Operation Kick Ass 2008 is in full swing.