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Perhaps You've Noticed a Change ...

Yes, yes, since February and March 2005 I've been searching for something both stylish and readable for Notablog. I've gone from a "Stormy" stylesheet to a "Georgia Blue" stylesheet for the site. I then returned to Stormy, but many complained that it was just too difficult to read. And with nearly 60 comments on my "Reason, Passion, and History" essay, I simply had to make the move back toward a more "readable" format. So "Georgia Blue" has resurfaced with a few custom twists to "jazz it up." Until or unless I can implement a "stylesheet" switch option, practicality wins out over aesthetics. I've gotten a lot of positive feedback from readers on this switch, and I hope it does facilitate the reading experience.

Also, in response to this comment from Kernon, I've now worked with NYU's Jodi Goldberg to enable HTML tags in the comments section! I will, however, have to close comments after a reasonable period of time on open entries in order to keep the spammers from placing their links on Notablog.

Speaking of which, one person at SOLO HQ took exception to my having closed the comments section on the "Reason, Passion, and History" thread after a week of debate (and he took the opportunity to attack my scholarship as well). As I explain here (and here):

I come from a scholarly culture. In a scholarly context, the typical model is: review-reply-rejoinder. Sometimes, it goes a bit further. But I don't have an endless amount of time to debate issues when the lines are so clearly drawn and there is not likely to be any movement one way or the other. ... I should also mention that it is not fair to my readers to allow a comments section to go on endlessly when I don't have the time to pay close attention to that level of traffic, given my other research, writing, and editing commitments. I love blogging and I love cyber-culture, but I do have a life.

I conclude: "I am the host of Notablog. I wrote the review at Notablog. I have the last word at Notablog."

And that is as it should be.

Though I'm deeply involved right now in the preparation of the Fall 2005 issue of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, I'm still delighted to see the comments section humming along, and enjoy the engagement.

So, let me know what you think of the new format.

Comments welcome.

Comments

Chris,

I like the new look. Always easier to read dark on light. I Hope you are doing well. As always, looking forward to your future projects.

Best,

Shane

Definitely prefer the new look, Chris, good call.

Chris,

This looks is definitely better :-) And of course you are right on the money about your right to close a comments thread on your own site ;-)

MH

Thanks, gents, for the feedback. I'm sticking with this ... until or unless we find a "stylesheet switcher" that allows readers to pick the option they prefer.

BTW, with regard to the comments section...

As I explain in the "contact" post highlighted on the main sidebar: it is due to security against spam that NYU actually recommends that I shut down the comments sections for older posts. I've now gotten into the habit of closing ~all~ comments on ~any~ post after a week or two (depending on the amount of traffic being generated). I should also note that my "default" option for the blog is "no comments." In fact, the vast majority of posts---"Song of the Day," for example---are closed, on principle, to any comments whatsoever. Notablog didn't even begin taking comments until February 2005, and it has been around since July 26, 2002 (yes, I ~just~ celebrated the 3-year anniversary of the blog, though the "Sciabarra Update" was around for many years prior to that time).

Cheers,
Chris

Agreed - a clean, readable site is the best way to go. A good blog is about the content, and content that is readable is the best kind.