The Atlantic Re-Redesigns Its Web Site

theatlantic03032010.pngTheAtlantic.com’s redesign went so well on Friday, they decided to do another one on Monday.

To anyone who was reading The Atlantic’s stable of bloggers following the initial redesign, it certainly looked like something was going to have to give. Friday’s changes to the Web site raised hackles among The Atlantic’s bloggers, in part because it shuffled the author-based blogs into topic-based categories. The idea was to bring readers to a greater variety of Web content, but had the unintended consequence of breaking the blogs into mere series of links, severely disrupting their continuity. Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic’s Daily Dish, along with James Fallows, voiced extreme skepticism over the move. Sullivan was quite ruffled:

[T]reating blogs as a series of headlines, designed to maximize pageviews, is a deep misunderstanding of blogs, their reader communities and their integrity. I hope they get restored to their previous coherence, and these amorphous “channels” gain some editorial identity. I hope writers like Fallows and Goldberg aren’t treated as random fodder – anchors! – for “channels”. I believe in the Atlantic as a place for writing. The redesign seems to me to ooze casual indifference to that and to the respect that individual writers deserve.

The “new” new site tones back the earlier overhaul of The Atlantic’s blog content. Atlantic.com blogger James Fallows is already celebrating the move.

Thankfully, the re-redesign has eased tensions between The Atlantic’s bloggers and the site’s redesigners. However, the main thrust of the new Web page remains the same. It continues to place greater priority with the Atlantic brand than on the individual authors. Its channels, which distribute content across the site, remain geared toward uninitiated readers and (one would presume) search optimization and ad placement. That’s a big change, one that reflects greater integration between the Atlantic’s print magazine and its online presence — blogger tantrums aside, of course.

CJR: “The Atlantic Tweaks Its Web Redesign.