A Link List Apart

A LIst Apart's new home page
The new A List Apart home page, viewed at my browser’s full height. No, I haven’t scrolled down.

A List Apart have embarked on a redesign, and I have to say that I am not a fan. Let me very briefly lay out the reasons why:

  • the cut-off logo looks weird. Not cool—just weird. I keep checking whether my scrolling has gone haywire.
  • it has massive text. Why does it have massive text? Seriously, why would you want to force me to scroll more than I already have to? And yes, I do have a scroll-wheel at home; but no, I do not have one at work. And that applies to Zeldman’s site too.
  • the RSS Feed is now full of endless links to other endless resources. If I spent every hour of my day checking them, I would be unemployed.
  • part of the excellence of A List Apart was its carefully selected articles that did not clutter my RSS Reader with endless link lists of other people’s things to read. I thought that ALA’s principled stand against the constant barrage of information whoring was admirable—it showed a confidence in its format and writing. Now it is just another Daring Fireball or Shawn Blanc.
  • I wouldn’t mind lots of link lists to interesting articles if all of these massively profitable sites—like Daring Fireball and Shawn Blanc and, now, ALA—weren’t basically linking to the same stuff. (I know, because they are all in my Feed Reader.)
  • yes, I do know that I can modify my ALA Feed: but why should I have to…?

I don’t pretend to be the world’s most amazing designer—and, even if I did, you certainly wouldn’t know it from this largely unmodified template—but I rather think that ALA’s redesign is not an improvement.

And I really wish that people would stop trying to make money by piggy-backing off the time and effort that other people put in. I mean, I don’t always agree with them, but at least the denizens of Boagworld write their own material.

The increasing prevalence of blogs consisting of little more than daily link lists is a bit like having a bunch of friends who think that repeating Monty Python sketches word for word for an entire evening is either amusing or interesting.

Eventually, the tech internet is going to consist solely of link lists of link lists.

At which point, I shall pray for the Apocalypse.

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