Jason Fried of 37 Signals is fellow traveller on a road called, Less is More. Their web-based offerings are a good example of paying attention to the needs of the end customer and how they consume. Less is More philosophy is applicable to what I do […]

Jason Fried of 37 Signals is fellow traveller on a road called, Less is More. Their web-based offerings are a good example of paying attention to the needs of the end customer and how they consume. Less is More philosophy is applicable to what I do here on a daily basis. Lots of high level stuff, but then some quirky links just to make reading GigaOM fun. I have struggled with that philosophy and the design of the blog, for a very long time. Joel Johnson once accused me of changing the site design more often than he changed shirts. A few weeks ago at Blog Business Summit, I ran into Matthew Oliphant, who is one of the co-founders of Business Logs and the 9rules Network.

Like 37Signals, they are a virtual company, which conducts most of its business through cellphones, Skype and AIM. They are in geographically diverse locations, and have bootstrapped their business the old fashioned way. 9rules, to me represents the third way of building a blogging network, quite different from what Jason did and what Nick is doing. (Each approach has its own merit, and each one is different!)

Talking to Matthew, I confessed that I loved the elegant simplicity and modernity of their website, and how could I get some of that goodness. Mike Rundle was the answer. One of the most creative designers on the web, Rundle can do magic. Over the next few days, we exchanged emails, and for some odd reason, the Business Logs team decided to do a “Queer Eye for The Straight Guy” thing on GigaOM. A makeover. So here we have it. Less is more!

You see Mike’s efforts, and work of Colin D. Devroe, 9rules’ Word Press Jedi. I am not sure, how you receive the new design, but if you are in the market for some Web 2.0 goodness, I enthusiastically suggest Business Logs. I think I got many times more than what I paid. So here are a few new features, that incorporate a lot of reader feedback:

1. GigaLinks, a daily link blog, for quirky goodness about broadband, and other Internet related stuff.
2. GigaProjects, where you can find my Business 2.0 writings, links to Broadband Wiki and other stuff I am tinkering with.
3. The ads are in a separate box, so as to not confuse the readers.
4. The Google Text Ads are now going to show up on individual posts, and not on the home page.
5. The Tag Line: I cropped Om Malik’s Broadband Blog to well, Om Malik’s Blog. The tagline is reflective of the changing times.

While for last 24 months, the digital lifestyles, voip and broadband were the key issues, the focus for me personally has become the “next generation internet.” Why? Because the broadband is becoming all pervasive. Broadband, has become a platform, and it needs a new approach from me. I think it is time for the blog to reflect these changes. This doesn’t mean, the content is going to change very much. Its just going to be a bit more expansive and cover “application of broadband and related technologies.” I want to write more long, thought-provoking pieces about how it relates to all of us, and perhaps its a change that you folks would like. If not, then do let me know. I think in the end, the blog is the community, and I want you to shape the content and perhaps the future of this effort. In addition, I want to throw open the comments to what could be a viable business model for a blog like this.

Thanks and look forward to your feedback!

  1. Om, I think the new site looks great. I sub to your RSS feed so don’t get to check out your site all that often. But I’m glad I checked it out today! The site looks great!

  2. Thanks Om!

    (Comments are now working correctly.)

  3. Being a WordPress Jedi requires minutes and minutes of arduous training

    Gigaom.com redesign notes….

  4. [...] The redesign was fun and I kind of just got throw into it near the end of the process. Mike is an incredible designer so 99.8% of the credit for a project like this goes to him. Almost any WordPress Jedi (this is the second time I’ve been called this in public) will tell you that what I did was the relatively easy part. [...]

  5. While I can see the intended goal of the minimalistic design was successfully implemented, I much preferred the previous incarnation.

    The site now feels too basic and visually does not represent the terrific content.

    Just my opinion.

  6. Dorian-

    I hear ya, this design is much cleaner than the previous one. Many readers gave feedback on the previous look saying that it was overcomplicated, difficult to read (due to a serif font used in body copy which kills readability), and generally busy, so Om wanted to make sure usability mis-steps encountered in the last one didn’t translate over to this design.

    The biggest change is that there are 2 columns now instead of 3, which definitely gives it a simpler look. We consolidated a lot of information into the right column in an effort to keep the main area visually uncluttered, and I think it does the trick.

    But then again, Om was the client and he’s satisfied… so as the designer I’m not going to argue!

    Thanks for the feedback Dorian.

  7. One shortcoming–the comments are hard to follow. Specifically, the line that lists the comment author is centered halfway between comments, and a quick scan doesn’t make it obvious if it goes with the comment above or below. Other then that, it looks great.

  8. Great finally you have comment section and trackback, I missed them before many a times earlier.

    100 times better than what you had OM.

  9. I agree with Scott above about the comment author confusion.

  10. Scott – yeah the comments still have to be designed. Om fast-tracked the redesign so some things are a bit goofy, but will be fixed :)


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