Comment: My take ...

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My take ...

... there are times when "top down" is the best way to go, and there are other times when "bottom up" is the best way to go.

When it comes to any business, there are times that the "brain trust" who runs the company comes up with an idea and decide to implement it. Steve Jobs was good at coming up with new ideas that people didn't even know they would like.

But most businesses are not like that. In most cases, it is a good idea for a company to test an idea in the marketplace to decide if it would go over well or poorly.

When it comes to an internet business, it is ALL about the user experience. Big companies like Yahoo employ designers who's sole mission is to figure out what a good overall design is. This is independent of the graphics and look & feel of the site, but it is specifically the UX UI specialists (UX UI stands for "User Experience, User Interface"). It is all about where various parts of the website are located.

When someone comes to a blog site, the front page is everything (except when they land on an article page, but even then when they hit "home" that first page is all-important in determining what they think of the site).

Despite the hard work that went into this design, and I KNOW Drupal is no easy beast, I think it was a bad decision to roll this out without testing. Such could easily be done by using a subdomain (leaving in place and testing with and asking the CUSTOMERS what we think.

Personally, I side with others who say they do not like the new concept. It does not have a community feel, just a web portal "list of links" feel. Not a blog, not an IMPORTANT list of stories. It is a blah kind of feeling. If I were to come to this site for the first time, and saw that first page, I would be more likely to leave than if I saw those same articles in the old format.

Finally, I agree with the idea that personalizing each user experience so much will dilute the effect of the most popular articles.

Think of some of the most popular websites, mainstream and libertarian, and think of how much they customize for each user versus how much is the same for each user: Google, Yahoo, MSN, CNN, Alex Jones, Lew Rockwell, etc. One experience for all users is a better way to go IMO for a website that is trying to promote a message.

If the problem is a lack of time that it takes to decide which articles go on the front page, then maybe there are other solutions. IMO, this is not the decision that will best promote this website or serve its long-term best interests.

My vote on the new design: No.