Site Rebuild Open Thread

Several of you have asked for the email address for the suggestions for the site rebuild, so here it is again:

The rebuild will not happen until the second week of February, but we will start the fundraiser tonight and end it as soon as possible. To donate to the rebuild, click here:

As soon as we raise enough to pay the designer, I will holler and tell you all to stop.

68 replies
  1. 1
    amk says:

    windows 8 or vista version?

  2. 2
    Maude says:

    Win 7
    Time stamp on posts.
    Plz put back original header.

  3. 3
    Maude says:

    There are a lot of tornado warnings for the middle of the country.

  4. 4
    Nemo_N says:

    I HATE IT!

    Oh wait, too soon, right?

  5. 5
  6. 6
    amk says:

    @Nemo_N: preemptive poutrage is the left’s strong suit.

  7. 7
    MikeJ says:

    Next and previous at the bottom of the comments instead of/along with the top.

  8. 8
    muddy says:

    Yes please to timestamps. I realize it could be embarrassing how they are grouped, but it still would be nice.

  9. 9
    MikeJ says:

    Timestamps are something I used to complain about until I noticed the yellow block has it. Granted, it’s not where a sane person would look for it, but they do exist.

  10. 10
    muddy says:

    @MikeJ: Yellow block?

  11. 11
    handy says:

    So is the balloon guy making a comeback?

  12. 12
    MikeJ says:


    This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 29th, 2013 at 10:47 pm and is filed under Site Maintenance. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

  13. 13
    Comrade Mary says:

    @MikeJ: Having a timestamp inside the post is nice. Having it ALSO appear on the main page of the blog would be even better. The front page “timestamp” we currently have in place only shows the date of each post (that is, just add the freaking time to the current date-only version. We don’t need all the extra text from the yellow box.)

  14. 14
    muddy says:

    @MikeJ: Ah, I get you. It’s a kind of a pink color on my computer, not yellow. But it doesn’t show until you click on the post.

    I would like to see the timestamp on the front page. Once you have clicked you may as well just see the time of the first comment. Close enough?

  15. 15
    General Stuck says:

    I do support going back to a sidebar on each side of the center posting/commenting area. Over the years, I’ve come to believe that at least one reason I came and stayed here is the superior layout as a matter of comfort and utility. From the font to the simple matter of making and reading comments. So unless you want to get rid of my cranky ass, leave it mostly as is for my vote.

  16. 16
    Poopyman says:

    Can you put more reverb in the comments section? When I say

    I. am. POOPYMAN

    in my basso profondo it really needs the reverb.

    That is all. Thanks.

  17. 17
    mainmati says:

    I have a great credit rating and have long had a good job but because I was working in Egypt in 2004 and discovered the wonders of Skype and then tried to use it, PayPal branded me as a thief. (I am so not that.) Turns out that at that time, for PayPal anyone who had a credit card account in the States but lived overseas (PayPal was then based in GB) was regarded as a thief by PayPal. Subsequently, for years, I tried to convince them that I was not a crook but they demanded SSN, extensive bank account information and other personal information that no other online ordering (SSN) ever requires and so I was (I think justifiably) worried about identity theft, given their negative behavior. So I am (reluctantly) convinced that PayPal is a criminal organization. Ironically, I regularly use Skype, which is great for my business. I just can’t buy Skype-Out time because that involves PayPal. Too bad. Lousy business model.

  18. 18
    The Dangerman says:

    More rotating tags AND cowbell.

  19. 19
    handy says:


    A Don LaFontaine button would be cool too.

  20. 20
    Poopyman says:

    OK, as a serious answer I’ll second the request for main page timestamps.

  21. 21
    Poopyman says:

    @handy: “In a world where pets rule, one rotund cat stands above them all….”

  22. 22
    catdevotee says:

    I’ll never use PayPal because of the numerous horror stories I’ve read about their business practices. Is there another simple method of donation you’d like us to use? A snailmail address, perhaps?

  23. 23
    dance around in your bones says:

    I’mma just say what I do every time the site rebuild comes up – ‘member this? member this?

    John Cole’s Balloon Juice? The cool little dude with the cane and the bullhorn or whatever it was? The actual balloon floating away in the sky (not the striped candy thing we have now!) The elegant grey curved numbers? The sort of floating platform for each comment, not confined in a box but free on each side?

    It was just so kind on the eyes, and it stood out in a sea of ugly websites. Gawd damn, I miss it, the old layout. But then, who listens to me?

  24. 24
    jeffreyw says:

    Put me down for really missing the nav arrows on the bottom of the page. And moar kittehs,dammit.

  25. 25
    Seanly says:

    Moar pr0n plz

  26. 26
    handy says:

    @dance around in your bones:

    Well, Holocaust Oven B.O.B. pops up into that thread outing himself as a birther. I guess you could argue that added to the aesthetics of the layout.

    ETA: But yes, the site logo was superior.

  27. 27
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    I think we need to have a long video of Tunch that autoplays at top volume everytime the site is refreshed. If you try to close the video before it’s finished the blog will default to a picture of Rosie with an embedded virus that steals your personal data and sends all your money to pet rescue charities.

  28. 28
    dance around in your bones says:


    Yeah, it was funny seeing B.O.B. pop up in that thread (chosen completely at random just for the layout). I just miss the uniqueness of the older, softer style.

    Shit, does that make me a conservative? I think not, since what I remember actually existed.

  29. 29
    Bago says:

    Holy effing shiz! The 27% argument is brought up in a discussion of the holocaust by a writer for the National Review.

  30. 30
    Ash Can says:

    You goddamned kids get offfa my goddamned lawn.

  31. 31
  32. 32
    Another North Carolinian says:

    Would you write to about half my “clients” to remind them that some people actually PAY for web work?

  33. 33
    honeybooboo says:

    If wrong way Cole had half a brain he would put this backwoods swamp blog on Drupal. Although more complicated, search engines love it and at the end of the day SEO is the most important thing by far

    However, Cole cannot even figure out how to set up WordPress properly which, although a lot easier than Drupal, is just a toy in comparison.

  34. 34
    handy says:


    I just clicked your link. Having never been to that site before all I can say is: What is up with the comments? They’re actually sane. Were all the raging wingnuts too busy infecting youtube or yahoo news?

  35. 35
    NotMax says:

    Open thread?


    Tragic, totally tragic that literally tens of thousands of irreplaceable scrolls may have been deliberately reduced to ash in Timbuktu.

  36. 36
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @NotMax: There is so much wanton destruction of the past – with news of the latest massacre in Syria still reverberating, one small piece that never makes the news is that the conflict there is systematically flattening the amazing medieval cities of the eastern Med. It’s not as tragic as the violent death of people, but it’s still a tragedy.

  37. 37
    NotMax says:

    As for site rebuild – every third time or so a page is refreshed, the mobile layout comes up on the ol’ PC – fixing that in WP would be greatly appreciated.

    Oh, and please, please update the link in Blogroll for Silver’s 538.

    One step down from stark, sanitary bright white to gray (perhaps ghostwhite F8F8FF) in background color would be nice, too.

  38. 38
    Alison says:

    The only thing I ask is that you never ever ever ever introduce Facebook commenting. I know it’s mostly professional sites that do it but JUST IN CASE, please don’t because it is the worst thing ever and I fucking hate that so many sites use it now (and often *only* that, so you can’t comment any other way, such incredible bullcrap).

  39. 39
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    I would like complimentary martinis and backrubs, please.

  40. 40
    bago says:

    please don’t do a wonket and tack on every plugin and script on to the site. Remember, each domain you add is an additional point of failure.

  41. 41
    handy says:


    Heh. Cole can barely manage the hamsters running FYWP as is. Adding Zuckerborg tech into the mix would probably drive him to a permanent bender.

  42. 42
    honeybooboo says:

    I just did an SEO check of this site and there aren’t even any friggin metatags. Jesus titty fucking christ. Yea they aren’t considered that important now a days but it’s such a simple basic thing that every website should have anyways. Also keyword relevancy to titles is totally off. I don’t think there has been any SEO work done on this site at all.

    I know there are a few of you out there who know a bit about SEO. You should take pity and throw Cole a bone.

  43. 43
    FlyingToaster says:

    @honeybooboo: No. WordPress is a fucking pain in the ass. Drupal is a nightmarish fucking pain in the ass.

    There are no perfect solutions, unless you want to roll your own (cf Slashdot or GOS), with the “rolling-your-own” attendant nightmares.

    Keep WP. But bring back the old logo; my [now]5-year-old loved it.

  44. 44
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Ash Can:

    Well, holy shit. Mil grazi!

    I really DO miss the old layout. It had class, it had style, it was a contendah!

  45. 45
    Suzanne says:

    The awesome balloon illustration. Bring it back, pleez.

    AND THE LARGE POST NUMBERS IN (I think) BODONI. I miss them. So much.

    Between liberal politics, food, and pets, this blog hits three of my favorite things. If you could incorporate typography, Legos, and mani/pedis, I’d never leave.

  46. 46
    Violet says:

    @dance around in your bones: Thanks for linking that. I’d forgotten how much I liked the old header with the balloon in it. Also how great the layout was. Vastly superior to this one.

    I also would like timestamps on the posts on the front page.

  47. 47
    dance around in your bones says:


    I’m glad you agree with me…..I am nostalgic for the old layout. Also, the “next/previous” links at the bottom of the page. Made it easier if you have multiple tabs of BJ open (as I always do) to jump forward. Yes, any less clicks I can do makes life less difficult, haha. First world problem.

  48. 48
    NotMax says:

    One more thing (and maybe it’s just me): The list of categories (tags) is very, very long and takes up way more valuable acreage than it is worth.

    If they must be displayed, a dropdown box would be preferable.

  49. 49
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @Suzanne: add tea and archaeology and I’m right there with you.

  50. 50
    WaterGirl says:

    @dance around in your bones: I was so happy to see the old layout!

    I want the old layout back, too!

    I think the mistake with rebuilds in the past were that they have changed the look of the site when what we (or at least me!) really wanted is for it to BEHAVE better. Some extra features would be nice, but I really LOVED the original look and it was so much more readable by over-40 eyes.

    I would love to see a list of the top 10-15 from your blogroll and then a pull-down list of all the rest. When there are 150 on the page, it sort of loses something.

    And how about having a separate pull-down list of blogs by fellow Balloon Juicers? And maybe a featured blog from the blogroll once a week?

    But mostly I want the damn time stamps back on the front page AND the old look like in the archive.

  51. 51
    WaterGirl says:

    Have you considered allowing us to preview before posting, like they do on Booman?

  52. 52
    Anne Laurie says:


    One more thing (and maybe it’s just me): The list of categories (tags) is very, very long and takes up way more valuable acreage than it is worth.

    I’d vote for this, too.

    Actually, I wish it were possible to have a ‘second tier’ for categories that hadn’t been used in, say, three months. Even without arguing about funny-onces, not many people are going to scan for ‘Election 2010’ or ‘Perry-tinnitus’ or ‘Nixonland’ on a day-to-day basis.

    Having that Categories block just show, say, the 50 most recently used entries, plus a “more entries” drop-down would be very useful. But as a tech-illiterate, I have no idea how (or even whether) this could be implemented!

  53. 53
    dance around in your bones says:


    I think the mistake with rebuilds in the past were that they have changed the look of the site when what we (or at least me!) really wanted is for it to BEHAVE better.

    This. Give us back our cool Balloon Juice layout but just make it behave oh yeah!

  54. 54
    SG says:

    Please change the Mobile Theme tyranny. It refuses to turn off 99 times out of a hundred. I’ve tried tricking it to turn off in a dozen different ways on my iPad, and the thing just mocks me. Add to that the necessity of scrolling down to the bottom of the page each time for each and every futile attempt to be rid of the loathsome “Theme”, and I curse the yobbo who wrote the crappy code. At least relocate the useless on/off control to the top of the page. Finally, when I’m ready to give it up, the damned thing will sometimes — only sometimes — revert to the full web version of the site. Please, please fix it.

  55. 55
    MikeJ says:

    Remember on the last rebuild when the text was lightmedium grey on a light grey background at about 3.2 pts?

    And when it added javascript to every single link, breaking the ability to open in a new tab, or a new window, or the same window as the user would prefer, or to copy and paste the url?

    Don’t do any of that shit.

    I don’t really know why a rebuild is needed, unless it’s just boredom with the current look (and that’s a perfectly valid reason).

  56. 56
    MikeJ says:

    @SG: On firefox mobile and chrome there’s a “request desktop site” entry on the app’s menu, and it remembers the setting.

    Which isn’t to say that it wouldn’t be better for it to work right, but the tools built into your browser can help alleviate the annoyance until it is properly fixed.

  57. 57
    The Pale Scot says:

    I believe the “1st architect in the smashing video up above in the open thread is the way you ought to go. Rotating knives, chutes for blood, that sort of thing.

  58. 58
    Raven says:

    Delete Pat Lang.

  59. 59
    Closeted epistemic (formerly Lojasmo) says:

    Back/forward on bottom (make sure it links to the TOP of the next/previous post)

    Preview button (but not required before post)

    “Reply with quote” arrow along with “reply”

    Ban Ted and Hellen’s IP.

  60. 60
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Two words:

    Live TunchCam.

  61. 61
    Niques says:

    Please PLEASE number the comments on the mobile version. I saw it there on ONE VISIT, and then it was gone.

  62. 62
    gvg says:

    A sports board I used to visit had it set up so you got an automatic emailed copy of anyone’s direct reply to you so you could notice without repeating visits for days if someone was responding to one of your posts. If I make a point, I’d like to know if someone agree’s or has a valid criticism I should respond to. The system I remember did it automatically from your email you gave the site, but the poster didn’t see the email, nor did you see theirs.

    I’m afraid if I read a 90+ comment thread and then comment, I never go back and reread so I am a drive by poster.

  63. 63
    gogol's wife says:

    @dance around in your bones:

    As always, I agree with you.

    I also always ask for a snail mail address for contributions but never get one, except once from ABL.

  64. 64
    gogol's wife says:

    @dance around in your bones:

    My God, I went to that link. That was SOOOO much easier to read! I’d almost forgotten.

  65. 65
    Maude says:

    I want it the way it was before.
    I am going to sulk now.

  66. 66
    dance around in your bones says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    Truly, it was so much easier on the eyes and pretty to look at, too. I understand some people had trouble finding the reply arrow even though it was right there by the time stamp(and I remember how startling the ‘hover and it pops up’ reply arrow was when it inexplicably appeared).

    Plus no stupid “X person Says” baloney – well, of course X person says, they are commenting fer chrissake!

    And I loved the sweet kinda retro look of the old logo. Not the wrapped candy look of the half a balloon.

  67. 67
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    How much do we have to donate to get the lovely rotating taglines back? And Pat Lang deleted? Oh, and the old design back, with better behavior?

    As already noted, WP may be a nightmare, but Drupal is a pscyhotic nightmare that bleeds into waking life. For the sake of all front pagers’ sanity, do not even consider switching to Drupal. Trust me on this – I inherited a Drupal site at work, and I’m in the process of switching it to WP so that I can fucking keep it current without spending 2 hours per update.

  68. 68
    WaterGirl says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): So does that make WP like democracy, which is the worst form of government, except for all the others?

Comments are closed.