Forgive me, father, for I have sinned; it has been several weeks since my last confession. I wanted to come here and talk with you before now, but I have been so busy that it has not been possible.
I wish to atone for a great wrong that has been done. We launched a new version of the iLounge page some time ago, but something important wasn’t working. One of my favorite things about the old iLounge site was the drop-down navigation bar at the top of every page. No matter where you were in the site, you could easily jump someplace else with a single button click. Now that feature is back – improved even, but still not finalized. Its absence has caused us, and many readers, pain. And for that, I apologize.
(The new navigation bar again allows one-click access to virtually every major section from the site. Today, there’s no drop-down: the choices for each site section appear on the gray bar as soon as you move your cursor over a section on the orange bar. We’re going to continue to tweak the new bar to get it looking exactly like we want it to look, and further easing access to portions of the site. Your suggestions, as always, are welcome.)
I wish to apologize for another wrong: my lack of communication. Many, many other positive changes are taking place right now at iLounge, both behind the scenes and publicly on the site’s pages. I have wanted to communicate them to everyone, but for various reasons have had to remain quiet while they’ve been in progress. Some of the things we have rolled out may surprise you if you look around.
(Have you tried to reload the site’s main page (www.ilounge.com) several times in a row? If you haven’t, you’ll notice that we now feature many more articles than ever before at the top of the page – typically three reviews, three features, and a collection of must-see information from the rest of the site. Some of these spotlit articles and reviews will change every time you reload the page. But if you don’t want to reload, you can always find everything that’s new on the left hand side of the page next to the news section, under Recent Reviews, Recent Articles, and so on. We’ve decided not to spotlight every single review we do, because there are way too many products – some of only moderate interest – to do so.
You may also have seen our new “Ratings” feature, but if not, choose “Accessories” on the orange navigation bar, then pick “Ratings.” With this feature, you can get a quick snapshot of our product ratings we’ve given in different categories of iPod accessories. After putting the Report Card into the Buyers’ Guide, we’d wanted to implement this on the site for a while, but we waited for the redesign to make it happen. There’s more in store on this, too.)
My lack of communication has also impacted Backstage, which was originally designed as an “editor’s blog” but quickly became more than that – a place for product sneak peeks (which we’ve now moved into First Looks on the site’s main page) and looks at items outside of the iPod world. There will definitely be more of the latter, and perhaps more traditional blog-like personal stuff here, too.
From my perspective, the greatest way I can make good is to continue generating as much quality content as possible for the site… and re-open my dialogue with all of you. I’ll look forward to hearing your comments in the thread below.