Changes coming to libcom.org

Changes coming to libcom.org

Behind the scenes, we’ve been working hard on a major redesign of the website.

Some of this, like the new ‘libcom TV’ video tag users may have noticed already. Other features are in the works (more on which below). We’ll be rolling out the changes in stages rather than all at once, to make it easier for us to fix any problems as we go, and to make it easier for users to adjust to. So, what changes do we have planned?

  • A complete redesign of the site theme. In plain English, this means we’ll be changing the look of the whole site, from the front page, the article pages, the lot. The new theme will make space for more user-friendly features and easier to navigate index pages (like the home page). We should be posting up some teaser screenshots soon.
  • Expanded blogs section. The new design will include a much-improved blog index, and to compliment this we’re actively expanding the pool of libcom bloggers. You’ll be noticing new bloggers on the site, and many of our existing bloggers will be looking to make more regular contributions as we increase the prominence of the blog section. We’ll do a run-down of libcom bloggers once more of them are up and running.
  • Updated and more prominent posting guidelines. In response to user feedback, we’re updating the posting guidelines and trying to make moderation more proactive to make the site more friendly and accessible. Posting guidelines are now linked from every single forum page, as well as the forums index. The 'report' button allows users to flag offending posts for moderators' attention.
  • Improved newswire. Once we’ve phased in the above changes, we’ll be looking to improve the newswire. We already have many excellent contributions from around the world, but we’ll be looking to take a more systematic approach with people adopting different areas and/or languages to give the newswire a more global coverage. We'll also be looking to expand local UK coverage, as there's a range of excellent local publications we might be able to republish.
  • The new, aforementioned libcom TV, where we’ll be hosting whatever videos we can get our hands on related to contemporary struggles, class struggle history, or any of the other topics you’d expect to find in the library. If you have any recommendations, please post them on this thread.
  • Audio content. As well as video content, we'll be looking to add audio content to the site. Please let us know your recommendations of interviews, radio programmes etc which could be added to the library.

Building the new website in the shell of the old!
libcom group

Comments

Rob Ray
Dec 5 2011 15:19

Sounds good folks 8)

Cooked
Dec 5 2011 19:49

Great stuff

Hope you're prepared for the whiners though... there are always people who get annoyed as hell when things change. They usually shut up after a while so don't act to quickly on requests to change stuff other than bugs.

Maybe you've all done this a million times before and know what to expect. Just thought I'd warn you anyway.

Baderneiro Miseravel
Dec 5 2011 20:30

Is there going to be a change to this horrid comment form?

Martin O Neill
Dec 6 2011 01:51

Will you be asking more women to do blogs and become moderators?

Juan Conatz
Dec 6 2011 02:06

Looking forward to seeing all the changes!

Tojiah
Dec 6 2011 03:05

There better be taglines. THERE BETTER

Harrison
Dec 6 2011 11:37

This'll be great.

I was talking to a prospective member of my SF local the other day, and even he had heard about libcom.org

So improving it even further is great - it seems to be a lot of people's first point of contact for the libertarian left.

Looking forward to the changes!

Joseph Kay
Dec 6 2011 11:50
Cooked wrote:
Hope you're prepared for the whiners though... there are always people who get annoyed as hell when things change. They usually shut up after a while so don't act to quickly on requests to change stuff other than bugs.

Maybe you've all done this a million times before and know what to expect. Just thought I'd warn you anyway.

Don't worry, it's started already! The 'problem' is that by definition, the users of any website are those that like it the way it as, or are at least tolerant of it. Which means the existing users are a self-selecting sample of people most opposed to changes. While the changes we're making are aimed at improving things for regular users, they're also aimed at making the site more welcoming and accessible for people who rarely use it, who again by definition are less likely to chip in with opinions on the changes. That's not to say we aren't interested in feedback of course, and we may well have some kind of public testing for the new theme depending on how happy we are with it.

Baderneiro Miseravel wrote:
Is there going to be a change to this horrid comment form?

The form itself, or the display of comments? The new theme isn't finished yet, but I'm pretty sure the display of comments will be improved, with more contrast between them.

Martin O Neill wrote:
Will you be asking more women to do blogs and become moderators?

Most (/all?) of the women we've asked have refused because libcom is seen to be full of aggressive, hostile dick-waving and the existing mods aren't seen to be doing enough about it. Which is partly what tightening up the moderation, updating and making more prominent the posting guidelines etc is about. So yes we've asked, but the answer has mostly been no at present. But we're working on it.

Ramona
Dec 6 2011 14:02

Of course more women writing blogs would be very, very welcome, so if you or anyone you know would be interested in contributing please do get in touch!

Armchair Anarchist
Dec 7 2011 09:12

are you looking at the accessibility of the site as part of the redesign?

snipfool
Dec 7 2011 18:52

there are a few things that mildly frustrate me when using this site, perhaps someone could advise me on workarounds. otherwise i'm hoping they'll be considered for the redesign, which is why i'm posting this here.

if i read something that's on the front page, a few days later it can be hard to find again because it could be under one of several sections. a pager on the front page or an "all" section would be useful. another thing is the lack of date next to articles, which would help with tracking down articles as well as generally being quite a useful bit of basic info!

one thing that confused me for a little while when i first started browsing the site, which is actually tied into my first point, was the fact there's no explicit link to the home page next to news, library, history, etc. it seems pretty standard for sites to have its front page as the first tab/link along the top (e.g. Ars Technica, Neowin). with this missing, it gives the impression that "news" is the home page which threw me off a few times.

i don't mind dealing with these mild frustrations, my only worry is they deter newcomers.

Rob Ray
Dec 7 2011 19:59

Easiest way atm if it's within a few days is to click the "tracker" button which does a list of everything by most recent update, and then scroll down or back a page or so. Otherwise, if you know what you're looking for there's some search functions which can help track it down.