Welcome aBlogtoWatch, The New aBlogtoRead

Welcome aBlogtoWatch, The New aBlogtoRead

Welcome aBlogtoWatch, The New aBlogtoRead   evolving the blog

You've probably noticed a few changes around here. Welcome to a redesigned and renamed aBlogtoRead.com, which will from here on out be known as "aBlogtoWatch.com." I'd like to tell you a bit about some of the new features, and what we feel is a great new way to enjoy your favorite watch website.

Five years ago in 2007 when I started aBlogtoRead.com I didn't know that it was going to be an "all watch" website - which might explain the original name of the site. A few weeks after I started the blog it became clear to me that it was going to focus on watches, perhaps exclusively. For a while I toyed with the idea of changing the name, but it never happened. I even went so far as to register a few possible new domain names. One, that was an obvious choice (as even indicated by early readers and friends of the site) was "aBlogtoWatch." I don't need to explain why the new name makes sense, and hope you welcome it.

The reason for my long-standing hesitation in changing the name has a lot to do with the site's relationship with search engines and social media websites. As a favor to us (because aBlogtoWatch is now a dedicated team effort), we'd like to ask you to become a new fan/friend/follower of possible new social media accounts such as the aBlogtoWatch Facebook page (which is live but still being developed out). Over the next few days and weeks we will attempt to transition social media accounts, etc.. to reflect the new aBlogtoWatch name (let me know if we miss anything, and stay posted on that).

Welcome aBlogtoWatch, The New aBlogtoRead   evolving the blog

With the new name comes a brand new look and feel in the visual redesign. Allow me to help explain how to use the new aBlogtoWatch website. We've really changed the core aBlogtoWatch/aBlogtoRead experience in a big way along with the new look. One of the most important new features for me is the "persistent" navigation bar. No matter where you are on the site the navigation bar is right there at the top giving you easy access to browse watch brands, search article archives, or easily send us a note via the contact page. Related to persistent top navigation bar is a persistent social media bar and search bar on the right side of the site.

The right-hand bar starts with a "click-to-pull-out" aBlogtoWatch site-wide search bar. You then have access to a range of handy social media sharing, liking, exploring, and subscribing features for major social media tools and websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google +, Pinterest, and more. It ends with a link to the aBlogtoWatch RSS feed for your reader of choice. It was our hope to offer each of these features in a convenient, but not obstructive manner. You also have the more traditional social media sharing buttons located on single post pages in the "Share This Post" section. You can even share individual pictures via Pinterest with ease. I've found that social media sharing and discussion has been an integral part of the aBlogtoWatch experience for myself and many readers - so it was my desire to build that in to the core functionality of the new site.

Welcome aBlogtoWatch, The New aBlogtoRead   evolving the blog

We've created a more simple and attractive way to search for brands on the Watch Brands page, as well as a new archives section called All Articles. All Articles is your all-purpose archives page, which people can use in tandem with aBlogtoWatch's search bar on the top right of the site to find anything they are looking for. The All Articles page will allow new readers to cycle back in time one article at a time, or allow people to search by month or author. Which leads me to the new aBlogtoWatch home page.

Our goal for the homepage was to design it less like "page 1" of a blog, and more like a portal to articles and other media that we produce. Under the header, aBlogtoWatch starts with a carousel of the five newest articles. Under that you can go a bit back more in time or visit the All Articles pages to see what new articles you've missed. Further down is the new Media Showcase section that highlights related media produced by aBlogtoWatch - such as on YouTube, or my watch-related content on other sites such as Forbes.com or the HourTime Show podcast. There you'll have easy access to new videos, Instagram pictures, and more. Closer to the bottom of the site is an interesting new feature that shows you the top 10 aBlogtoWatch articles of the last month as measured by traffic.

Welcome aBlogtoWatch, The New aBlogtoRead   evolving the blog

When reading article pages on aBlogtoWatch you'll probably notice other features such as polls and a place where you can see recent reader comments. Reader ('watcher') interaction is important in furthering the aBlogtoWatch community, so we want to encourage it where possible. Change is always difficult, even for us, so give aBlogtoWatch a chance, and please feel free to contact us with suggestions, ideas, or most importantly, bug issues and needed fixes. While the aBlogtoWatch and the new site are now officially launched, we will be tweaking and adjusting the site where necessary until we are happy with it. Let us know if you found something we missed via the Contact page.

Let me last take an important moment to thank not only aBlogtoWatch's growing team of writers and contributors, but also the people who helped design and build the new site. It wasn't easy, and development on the new site required months of planning and work in between all the other things we normally do (like write about watches) and the efforts my developer - Kristin Kramer from Kramer Publishing Interactive, designers, and other talented supplemental developers and designers. And thanks again to all the veteran (and rookie) aBlogtoRead - now aBlogtoWatch - readers and fans.

21 comments
daottaway
daottaway

Feedback is good, but rake these guys over the coals for moving forward.

Will it take getting use to? Yes

Will it make everyone happy? Of course not

Does it look Pro? Yes- because it is

Keep up the good work.

aBlogtoWatch
aBlogtoWatch moderator

I wanted to inform everyone that since the aBlogtoWatch launch we have tweaked the new site a lot - adding mobile browsing functionality and more. Please check again to see that minor launch bugs have now been resolved.

Rsheeley
Rsheeley

Very nice, forget the naysayers, it's a good evolution and I am sure will be tweaked and further refined over time. Works fine on my iPad, too.

Invic
Invic

Hi Ariel....I have to say, I agree with the others, I really don't like the look or feel of the new site. It may make sense from a Social Media/Business point of view but in terms of what you used to do best (showcase watches) it's a disappointment.

Greg S
Greg S

Echo the point on the side bar, quite irritating, especially on mobile.

ChristianSofL
ChristianSofL

Good morning Sirs,

It's nice to see that a valuable source of watch news is evolving, but it's also a little shock for me like if you go to your favorite, smoky, dark and comfy old bar only to see that it is now a completly renovated, lighter, stylisher and modern bar like the dozend others in the street. Ok, the drinks and the host are the same, but ... *deepsigh*

I think I need just a little time to get used to it ;)

But what I really miss is the old, dark scheme, which was for me allways some sign of distinction and exclusiveness (it's hard for me to find the right words in english).Now it looks to me only as a source of information but without the 'atmosphere' the former scheme transported.Like the difference of a stylish LCD watch with lot of obvious functions and a classy, well worn swiss auto.

But this is only my private, humble opinion, others may see this with different eyes.

Thank you Ariel for your effort and devotion and keep up the good work!

jbiss
jbiss

I hate that it doesn't correctly fit on OS X default page size (makes using tabs a lot worse). And i also dislike the scrolling and unhide-able social bar and top bar. Lastly, the two bars also overlap which is jus bad design. 

I like that is is being updated, but it doesn't seem like it was well planned.

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

Hmm.  It's interesting.  More functional perhaps.  I would've preferred a dark theme rather than this sterile white affair - maybe it wouldn't be too hard to allow regular visitors to pick a theme?  I guess what i'm trying to say is that it looks a little too close to a generic blogspot theme i've seen around.  Perhaps instead of a 'watch what-if' you could do a 'ABTW what-if' and see what new and interesting designs people come up with.  I'm surely there are plenty of visitors with some web-design experience.  I'm also wondering if that link to your video reviews will ever make a reappearance, unless i'm missing something from the new layout.

Ryan B
Ryan B

Very nice, like the new title

pepecasas
pepecasas

Dear Adam:

Thank you for dedicating so much effort and time to this extremely good New Blog. CONGRATULATIONS!!

My best regards and Goog Luck!!!

Jose Casas

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

Sorry, this new site is crap. This is evolution in bizzarro world. I'm having awful experiences both on a mobile device and on my PC.

Excellent example of trying to fix what's not broken.

vferrava
vferrava

This does not display well on an iPad!

SN0WKRASH
SN0WKRASH

I'm THRILLED!!!!!  Congratulations, Ariel! Russ did a nice design job :-)

Ariel Adams
Ariel Adams

Change is gonna be hard for a lot of people, but I assure you that the core navigation experience is really improved. In terms of showcases watches the dedicated articles pages are the same offering the same size images. Thanks and keep the comments coming. We are working hard on a long list of tweaks.

Ariel Adams
Ariel Adams

Thanks for the comment. This is all being worked on. A lot of stuff is still being played with and tweaked, and we appreciate the feedback.

Ariel Adams
Ariel Adams

There are links to the videos right on the home page. There is also a link to the YouTube channel on the right-hand persistent side bar of social media buttons.

Ariel Adams
Ariel Adams

Mobile compatibility is not done yet, and if you are using a browser like IE 8 then it will look bad for the time being. Browser scaling is also being worked on. Have patience as everything gets worked out. I assure you we are working tirelessly on it.

aBlogtoWatch
aBlogtoWatch moderator

@vferrava No worries. We are still working on full mobile and iPad compatibility. It will be no more than a few days. Thanks.