Bil Browning

Welcome to the New Bilerico

Filed By Bil Browning | May 24, 2011 4:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Site News
Tags: new design, new site, site redesign, site relaunch, site statistics

Bilerico Project 2.0 has gone beta. What do you think of our new look? Would you buy this old girl a drink?

472028910_ec8f1fde23_z.jpg We're still doing tweaks and bug fixes this week, so be sure to let us know if you find something that doesn't work. Since we're showing Projectors the site before it's official launch, we're counting on y'all to help us get it shipshape in time for a pride month grand opening. To entice you to help us make Bilerico Project the best site possible, we'll be hosting several contests over the next couple weeks based around the redesign.

It's been almost four years since we started Bilerico Project and our look has stayed pretty much the same since. It was time to get a dramatic update worthy of a reality show contestant. After all, our emergence on the scene and ascendancy through the ranks of the big LGBT blogs is nothing short of amazing considering our roots.

I started looking back at some of more interesting aspects of the past four years and thought y'all would enjoy them too.

  • This is the 21,197th post to run on the site. I've written about 5,000 of them.
  • Bilerico became a blog in September of 2004. In 2007 it became the Bilerico Project site.
  • When we started offering an RSS feed at the end of October 2008 as our original effort to keep our content as convenient as possible, we had 59 subscribers.
  • Now we have a mobile specific-site, a Kindle ad-free version, video content, and social media accounts that have helped to expand our reach. Over 16,000 followers have a daily connection with Bilerico now across the web.
  • Since we launched as Bilerico Project in 2007, over 7 million visitors from over 200 countries have stopped by to see what we've got to say about LGBTQ issues.
  • The top three countries sending traffic to Bilerico Project are the United States, Brazil and Canada. We're sooooo Western Hemisphere.
  • The top posts during that period of Bilerico's life were about LGBT statistical research (2010), an elderly gay couple (2010), a transgender hate crime (2011), a French pop song (2009), an Israeli porn movie (2009), and a nudist art project (2009).

Be sure to let us know if you find any flubs in the site's new design. You can leave a comment here to report any bugs. Please check out the thread though so you're not repeating the same thing over and over.

Welcome to the new Bilerico Project!


Recent Entries Filed under Site News:

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.


Gratz! I'm excited for the more simple comment system.

What a wonderful new home! Thanks, Bil and Jerame!

Congratulations! The site looks great. Thanks to you both (all?) for all your hard work!

Jaime Dunaway Jaime Dunaway | May 24, 2011 8:10 AM

I like it, but the nice little "New" thingy isn't there by new comments anymore.

We're working on getting that back soon, Jaime.

Nice clean look. Reminds me of how Gawker & i09 changed, but must simpler and intuitive. I also appreciate that the photos for contributors are crisper and clearer.

Congrats, totally! I like the look very much. Very cool, visually. My eyeballs are working to adjust the the newness of it all!

In the immortal words of Thomas Dolby, "Good heavens Miss Sakamoto - you're beautiful!"
I -
I don't believe it!
There she goes again!
She's tidied up, and I can't find anything!
All my tubes and wires
And careful notes
And antiquated notions

LOL! Just kidding around. Looks great!

sarahallison48 | May 24, 2011 10:07 AM

Looks Awesome, nice and clean. Good job!!!

The old girl looks good. I'd definitely buy her a drink. :-)

I think it looks great!!

My only small "dream request" would be for a "ReTweet" button to appear next to the Facebook buttons rather than Twitter button at the bottom of each post. Minor thing - but I've been finding myself doing a lot of extra scrolling without this. :)

Before you're sorry that you asked us all (too late?) - I also noticed that clicking the Facebook Like button defaults to displaying the "Donate" graphic next to the text added to my FB Profile Wall declaring I've liked the posting (or at least it does for me).

I seem to recall running into this when I was building a site. I could try to find the notes and send over them over if you'd like - just send me an email. :)

Wow! This is different. It will take some getting used to but I like what I see of the new site thus far. My compliments to Nathan Strang. :)

Eric Payne | May 24, 2011 10:44 AM

The site certainly has a much different aesthetic, Bil. I haven't decided whether I, personally, like the new look or not. Has HTML hand-coding in the comment section been disabled, or will it no longer be supported? I tried a bold-face encoding, then previewed the comment... and instead of a word being in bold, the word was bracketed by the and tags.

Thanks for reporting that, Eric. You can still use HTML to format text, so that's a bug with the preview system.

First, congratulations on getting this new version off the ground.

As for the look, I'd have to live with it for a while (speaking of which: "while" in the "Leave a comment" section, above, should be capitalised, as should "Please," since they both begin sentences. Unless you're going for some kind of stylistic/political statement).

For now, what I find odd about the site is that the content looks like it's an afterthought to the ads and such. It seems like announcements, like the one for the contest, and ads are the primary content, with actual posts thrown in afterwards. To be fair: I still need to live with this for a bit.

The comments section, with the name appearing above the comment and the prominent "reply" and "report" buttons is confusing - it takes a while to figure out whose comment appears where. And like the commenter above, I'd like to see the "new comment" feature return. I don't sign up for notification of further comments and just return to a site to see if anyone's posted new comments - and I suspect others may do the same thing, to avoid inbox clutter.

I'm a little confused by the Contributors page, which might be still in progress - are we listed in alphabetical order or not? First names or last names? Do I read it left to right or top to bottom?

Regardless, thanks for all your time on this project!

Jaime Dunaway Jaime Dunaway | May 24, 2011 11:27 AM

Thanks for saying something about the reply and report buttons. I couldn't see them with IE8 for some reason, but I can in firefox.

As Yasmin said, I'll have to try this for a few days to really figure out what I think about it. One thing I definitely miss is that I like to be told how many comments have been posted -- that tells me how much interest this particular post has generated, and yes, I sometimes read the comments in order to decide whether I will read the post carefully instead of just scanning over it. On the good side, you are using the screen real estate more efficiently, and I do like that.

OK -- I just now noticed where to look to find the comment count. As gilda Radner used to say, "Never mind! ..."

It's interesting that you got the impression of more ads, Yasmin. We did this design to try and get more posts on the front page! There are fewer advertising spaces and more posts on the front page now than in the previous version. There is more internal advertising (various sections or the mailing list) than before.

The order of contributors is supposed to be alphabetical. Thanks for the bug notice.

I may be responding to the home page, which is much busier than the rest, and distractingly so. But there's also something about the font size and tone (as in colour) in the rest. Right now, I don't see a logic to the different font sizes/tonalities on the page, and more consistency might help the eye. For instance, right now, some commenters' names appear in bold font, along with the date next to their names, others don't. That might have to do with how they sign in, or if they're contributors, but an outside eye looking at this page doesn't have to know of these distinctions and to them, it just seems a bit disorderly. The eye, like the mind, does seek logic when it comes to a website, and it's fine to have subtle distinctions, but there needs to be a reason for them, and consistency.

On the home page: there's a large banner, which currently reads "Action Alerts" and now "Enter a Contest," and changes to other messages, which is confusing because its proxmity - right above the "entertainment," "media" and other segments - suggests that "entertainment" etc. are the "action alerts," or whatever that banner might read. When, in fact, clicking on it takes you to a different grouping of posts than, "entertainment," etc. I find this segment quite confusing and likely to not let random visitors see what's going on in TBP. Btw, the "The Movement" and "Living" headings just moved over to the right blocks as I wrote this - but that's presumably something that will be easily sorted out.

And is the American Independent bit an ad? It looks like one, albeit with content, but it's also set up to look like it's part of TBP content, and I'm leery of that kind of editorial crossover look.

I like the updated look of it, but I think you'll figure out more about differentiation between various aspects of the site as it moves on. Right now, some things are blending in while a few could be moved around: like "recent entries filed under site news" could be elsewhere, instead of coming right after the end of the blog post. Right now, there's too much for the eye to gather before coming to the comments. And do you need "subscribe to the TBP" right before the comments - is that the right place for it - or could you have it to the side or just on the home page?

I'm aware that all this has taken time and sweat - so congrats again on the relaunch.

Also, clearly - I need to figure out that I should hit enter twice for better para breaks! And I agree with Alex that simply having more excerpts on the front page would work.

Congratulations, Bil! The new format looks great, is easier to navigate and loads much faster.

I like it. Looks much more commercial now. The only thing I would change in the beta is more vibrant colors and text. The teal should be traded for a bold green, the font at the top would look better as a white or yellow (canary yellow, maybe?) and bold. Good job! I know how long you've been working on this, and it shows.

I like the idea of sorting the posts into categories (Politics, Entertainment, Living, etc...) and putting each category on a tab in the menu bar belos the logo -- but I would like a visual clue about which tab I am on currently, and I'd suggest you highlight the selected tab by just lightening the tab's color. ... Or turn the tab white. Or make it blink. Or play a tiny porno movie inside it ... Uh, no, just lighten it ...

Great idea: Just leave the little mouse-over indicator in place while the user is on that tab. Now I'm outta here, I got lots of other blogs who also need me to micro-manage them ...

Let me see if I understand what you're saying.

A user goes to the Politics subcategory page. You'd like to see "Politics" in the green bar at the top highlighted?

I can see how this would be helpful. I'll add it to the list.

I agree with Yasmin that the content feels buried now that the posts are only a list of headlines on the main page.

I liked how we used to get the first paragraph or two and a picture on the front page, rather than just a bunch of disembodied headlines. Before, even when I wasn't particularly interested in a post, I would quickly scan the beginning of it and sometimes be drawn in to read more. With only a headline now, I'm unlikely to click just to get a sample.

My favorite blogs, like Ta-Nehisi Coates on the Atlantic site, or Andrew Sullivan's blog, feel like an ongoing conversation. In fact, Andrew Sullivan made the sort of change you've just made a while back and his readers revolted so he switched back to a couple paragraphs of each post on the main page.

The new design looks attractive but it doesn't reveal the personality of the Bilerico community, which is I think our strongest draw. I hope you'll consider adding a little more of the text of the posts on the front page.

Duly noted Steven. It was a hard decision to cut the front page content down to a 40 word excerpt, but with so much content we had to do something to keep more posts up front and center. So far I'm not sure that 40 is the magic number yet, but we'll see over the next couple of days as I play with it.

David Castillo David Castillo | May 24, 2011 12:33 PM

Totally diggin' the new look, Bil! Kudos!

That's for all of the bug warnings and suggestions, folks. Keep 'em coming. I'm not ignoring any of you - we're working on fixing things all day today so we're squashing those bugs as you report them. :)

I really appreciate the constructive suggestions everyone is offering as well. We're planning to incorporate some of them as we work today.

Great job! I know you have been working on hard on this. It certainly shows. I love it!

First look and this seems pretty slick.

I love the new format and how easy it is to search for posts categorically by area of interest.

Looks great! Congratulations!

I would agree, a little more of each post before the jump.

Also, it took me a while to figure out that the MSNBC logo at the top of the page is the image for Becky's post... kind of looks like an ad for them!

I agree, the MSNBC thing and the contest thing together made that look like an ad section.

Other notes I have: There needs to be much better contrast on the tabbed navigation bar between the background and text. And the Facebook button on the tab should have the familiar white background, I think, because it looks strange against the green.

Also, the post title should be in a much bigger font, and the contributor picture should be larger too, perhaps. Just make it really clear where to start. Right now my eye is being drawn to the bar-across-the-story ad that appears a paragraph or two down. That ad is especially confusing with Bilerico ad content in it because it makes it seem like it should be related to the story but it's not. If it were obviously an ad for a movie or something I don't think it'd be as puzzling to my eye.

On the whole, I really like the new design though. :)

Oh, also, on the page after you post, you should embiggen this text:

"Confirmation...
Your comment has been accepted! There may be a short delay before it appears on the site. Please be patient.
Return to the original entry"

so it doesn't blend in so much with the rest.

Also I don't like how my paragraph breaks are going away unless I put in paragraph tags with HTML.

That's good to know about the MSNBC logo as an illustration.

I'm with you on the size of the headline font and as I've been using the site, I had the same thoughts about changing that ad space from an internal spot to a paid ad. I think you're on the right track when you say it seems like it should be more pertinent since it's an internal ad - a paid ad would stand out more dramatically and make it easier to see/overlook.

The paragraph breaks thing is a bug and is on the list to be fixed ASAP. The comments confirmation page is FUBAR currently and is sitting right behind the paragraph breaks on the Bucket List.

I don't know if it helps, but when I do Inspect Element on the post title, it's an H2, and it looks like a CSS file called reset.css (http://static.bilerico.net/css/reset.css) is overriding the rule in the stylesheet that should be setting h2's size to 1.5 cm. There's a whole big list of tags being set to font size 100% (which would be the default font size) in that reset.css file.

I don't know how Movable Type's theme system works so I don't know where reset.css comes in or why; maybe deleting or changing it would ruin everything. But maybe if you at least took h2 out of that reset tag it would help.

Om Kalthoum | May 24, 2011 3:04 PM

The "Receive notification of further comments" has NEVER worked for me in either Firefox or Chrome.

If you have entered your email address correctly in your profile, it should work. It works on Firefox and Chrome for others, so it's not a browser specific issue.

Om Kalthoum | May 24, 2011 3:24 PM

Yes, my email address is correct in my profile. This feature still does not work. I've never had any such issues with email notification of replies on other forums. I wonder if anyone else has this problem? But thanks for the reply.

Om Kalthoum | May 24, 2011 3:09 PM

When I click on my user name at the top right corner of the page, I receive the following message:

An error occurred
Publish error in template 'Profile View': Error in <mtInclude> tag: error in module Header: Publish error in template 'Header': Error in <mtSetVarBlock> tag: Error in <mtIfBlog> tag: Error in <mtLink> tag: Can't find template 'styles'
Go Back

Got it on the list. Thanks for reporting it.

Love your new set up look forward to signing in through the facebook feature sometime so people can get a chance to see me beyond amym440.My first name is actually Lisa, Amy is my middle name.You guys are the best thanks for all the hard work.

First, I have to say - wow! I'm blown away. Of course I haven't had the chance to absorb the details. But my overall impression is very positive. I was afraid that it would seem too busy and overwhelming, and it isn't. I'm also famous for fearing change, and this redesign isn't triggering the fetal position in me.

I agree with some of the comments that I'd like to see some more text of the articles before the jump. I also realize from Yasmin's comments that I am unable to see a reply and report button on the comments. I am using Internet Explorer 9 (which I don't like, BTW).

And thank you for the commenters names on the top which I had been asking for for years. Congratulations to you and the team. Well done.

And you thought we didn't listen to you, Rory!

Thanks for confirming the IE bug. Got it on the list.

I truly appreciate all the work it must have taken to put this together. Big props and congratulations. The "Reply" function and "Preview" is a big improvement.

From a design standpoint, I wish there were a little more white space because I think it looks crowded. The text in the posts seems a little harder to read than before. I also think a lot of the elements are the same size and tend to blend together. I'd prefer if there were a little more visual variety. The site looks more exciting than before, but I just want to keep the same level of legibility.

Interesting. I just realized from having posted my first comment in this format that it doesn't show the double space paragraph breaks I put in. That I don't like. And the lack of the "new" tag on comments is a problem.

Like the new site. I'm not around as much as I usually am to check for bugs, so I trust that the thousands of readers will send in comments on that to Bil and J.

I think that some of the issue with the lack of content on the front page could be solved with just having a longer list of posts. I prefer excerpts, as I've been lobbying for them for years now, so I don't have a problem with that, but the 10 posts we normally keep on the front page looks like a lot less now.

OK, flog me for not responding to the bug check emails now. I know! But I'm going to Korea to have surgery tomorrow, so i have an excuse.

Alex ... Alexis? ... bring what's left of your pee-pee back for me ... you know how I've always wanted it, and how I am one to settle for whatever "sloppy seconds" I can get ...

[ * Hey, new meaning for the expression "sloppy seconds" ... ! ... creepy, huh? * ]

Alex ... Alexis? ... bring what's left of your pee-pee back for me ... you know how I've always wanted it, and how I am one to settle for whatever "sloppy seconds" I can get ...

[ * Hey, new meaning for the expression "sloppy seconds" ... ! ... creepy, huh? * ]

Wow, now that Its up.. I believe it. Thanks for letting me do the redesign, sorry it took a little while. I'll totally help fix the bugs, just no more ad units!.. seriously, i'm happy with it.

I like the new site very much. It's smart, and for reasons I can't put my finger on, it invites participation. I think we will be spared many trollish comments that used to drag down the material, and that is a huge relief.

Okay, so a couple of more things. I signed up to get the e-mails of the comments, and I didn't get any. I came back to the site to find that there were more comments. Also, I'm finding that the cursor seems to freeze up periodically on the comment form, and then disappears.

I'm also missing a place to click on to find older posts that used to be at the bottom of the list of current posts.

I was also wondering if you're going to color code, or some way differentiate between "guest" commenters from registered (regular) commenters the way you used to. I liked that.

Awesome work! Super smart, clean, easy-to-navigate layout.