Emdashes—Modern Times Between the Lines

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Before it moved to The New Yorker:
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Best of Emdashes: Hit Parade
A Web Comic: The Wavy Rule


Seen the New Yorker Website Today?

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It’s taken the waters, it’s had an extreme makeover (aided by the wizards of Winterhouse), it’s wired for sound, it’s ready for its closeup, it’s full of poetry, history, and animation, it’s taken some busy Bobolinks under its wing, and, in the words of the old television ad (which would make a great multimedia addition to—to Emdashes, actually!), it’s probably the best New Yorker website that ever was. Hats off to redesign captains Matt Dellinger and Blake Eskin! Not to mention the entire rest of the staff, who’ve been toiling for months and can finally take a fraction of a break.

As you can imagine—since this event blends some of my most beloved preoccupations, magazines, design, the web, and The New Yorker—I’ve been waiting for months for this afternoon. I was out of the office when the redesign sprang to life, and when I returned the always current Jason Kottke had already posted his first impressions, including useful technical notes for the web team. Michael Stillwell weighed in, too; his post links to other reactions. (The site’s archive page addresses some of the concerns listed: “Coming Soon: Most New Yorker articles since 2001 and selected pieces from before; thousands of brief reviews of books, movies, recordings, and restaurants; and a searchable index, with abstracts, of articles since 1925.”) And what do you think, reader?

While you’re touring the new site, by the way, be sure to read this week’s best Talk of the Town—GOAT-herding wunderkind Michael Schulman’s practically McPhee-like journey through all nine hours of the recent Tom Stoppard marathon. It sparkles like a glass of Breaky Bottom à la méthode champenoise. The boy has a bright future, mark my words!


And a splendid Talk of the Town it was.

I thought I saw another typo in this week’s issue, but my eyes deceived me. Maybe next time…

Das Schreckliche MädchenMarch 08, 2007

The thing I like most about the redesign is that, at first blush, it manages to approximate those big breathless layouts that a lot of fiction pieces got in the late 1990s. They don’t do those so much anymore. Big splashy picture, lot of white, the title announcing itself importantly.

I tend to be forgiving toward sites that are a bit compromised by a corporate identity, in this case that of Condé Nast. I think they did a nice job given the constraints.

I love the 404 page.

The theatre-marathon bit was the best Talk of the Town, true. I liked the ending.

I didn’t find any typos, either, but my eye labored mightily on this sentence, in Gopnik’s lead-off ToT: “What was moving about the so-called Jesus tomb…”

Oh, as in ‘touching.’ Well, the point was, something was moving about, no?

The site is a delight and a breath of fresh air! Although it’s loaded with stuff, it seems uncluttered, elegant and, unlike most magazine websites, inviting (like emdashes, in fact). I’m a convert. But will it cause people to drop their subs to the print mag?

Gertrude StrongMarch 09, 2007

I wish you hadn’t brought this to my attention. I was supposed to be getting work done this morning. Oh well….

What a wonderful website. Simple, elegant, but loaded with delicious items. And unlike most magazine websites, it’s inviting. I do worry that people will now peruse the website rather than subscribe to the venerable print edition.

Gertrude StrongMarch 09, 2007

It’s fantastic, and it’s about time.

I love that Eustace Tilley’s butterfly is animated.

notbatgirlMarch 13, 2007

Is it just me, or did they lose the forums? Not that I mind …

Hey, that’s true, thanks! I just deleted the forums link from the Rossosphere below, and am about to take off the contributors’ bios link, too, which is also dead. But both may come back—seems like they’re reintroducing some stuff gradually, phasing out others. I liked the contributors’ bios, so I hope they come back. As for lively discussion of New Yorker content, it’s fine with me if that happens exclusively right here on — —.

I was just reading Nancy Franklin’s review of The Riches when I switched from regular view to print view. In all honesty, print is what the regular site should look like. Regular site view is waaaay too cluttered, ultimately. The only thing print view lacks to be perfect is the embedded cartoon.

See for yourself.

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