Make Tim’s blog great again

I can’t be the only person who has found the new (now old) blog format for Tim Blair and Andrew Bolt to be incredibly annoying. It is very annoying! It’s like the old mobile format – that gave everyone the sh*ts. Like there is strict a data limit and we don’t want the  whole page to load and chew our valuable internet time. Really, really annoying. Have I mentioned how annoying it is? It is worse than New Coke.

Certainly so annoying that I’ve cut back on my visits to both Blair and Bolt. Seriously I’ve had people asking me if News is trying to sabotage their best blogs.

But not to worry – the computer people are onto our concerns and have fixed things. The abomination is now labelled “the classic site”, we have a “new look” blog – and the changes are set out.

What we heard from you:​ ​‘We want to be able to easily scroll from one post to the next – without having to go back to the homepage’

What we’ve done: Introduced on-page ‘previous and next’ swipe functionality onto all blog post pages. Now you can easily click (or swipe on mobile) through to the previous or next blog post without having to return to the homepage each time. This should help improve the speed of your page loading for those in remote areas and help you navigate from one post to the next more easily. On desktop we will also show you a preview of what’s next so you can decide whether to keep reading or return to the homepage.

For. The. Love. Of. God.

When Coca Cola finally realised that New Coke was a dog of a product, they didn’t go to Even Newer Coke – they went back to the old Coke.

People don’t want to go the blog site, log in, then click on the blue strap at the bottom of the page, click on a story headline, read that story, and then swipe left or right to read another story.  Keep it simple: go the blog, scroll up and down to read stories, click on headline if you want to read the comments.

It’s not hard. Really.

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74 Responses to Make Tim’s blog great again

  1. Geriatric Mayfly

    Keep it simple: go the blog, scroll up and down to read stories, click on headline if you want to read the comments.

    You forgot – ‘Scroll By.’ A very important function.

  2. Delta A

    Well said!
    Now, let’s hope that Blair or Bolt… or their lackeys, read this.

  3. entropy

    The problem with making the blogs as user friendly as they used to be has two key problems for the designers:
    it does not maximise ad revenue.
    it would require the hipster work experience wankers at news.com.au to have to admit they fucked up.

  4. entropy

    in fac the only thing more annoying than news ltd blog page design is autoloading videos in articles. Nobody has ever wanted that.

  5. cui bono

    They just gettin’ ready for the coming Turmination.

  6. johanna

    I’ve commented on this before. They are horrible sites.

    Even Breitbart, which is chockers with dozens of video clips and other crap all over every page, is more user friendly and quicker to load.

    I used to check in two or three times a day. Now, it’s more like every couple of days, while a favourite TV program is on, so I don’t have to sit and wait for it as I go through the numerous steps.

    Unlike this site, BTW. Jacques has done wonders to fix it up in the last few months. Thanks, Jacques!

  7. Marcus

    Will I have to subscribe to the Telegraph/Herald Sun online in order to view their blogs?

    At the moment all I have to do Google “Tim Blair” or “Andrew Bolt” and their blogs come up first thing, easy peasy. I hope nothing the tech heads are doing will change that.

  8. Mark A

    johanna
    #2411626, posted on June 13, 2017 at 8:04 pm
    I used to check in two or three times a day. Now, it’s more like every couple of days, while a favourite

    Same here, but I only go there now on recommendation by other cats.
    And never bothered to register.

  9. Mr Black

    Same for me. It used to be a daily or twice daily read on a big news day. Now I might visit once or twice a week. If they want to annoy me to generate more page views by forcing me to click through to every story to see what it’s about, I’ll just use my little piece of market power and avoid it altogether.

  10. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Keep it simple: go the blog, scroll up and down to read stories, click on headline if you want to read the comments.

    Division of labour here. I go to the Cat where it’s easy (a model site). Hairy copes with Bolt and Blair.
    We exchange snippets.

  11. Baldrick

    No, it’s still shit. They won’t be getting my traffic.

  12. You must be easily annoyed.
    What really annoys me is something that one hears repeatedly.
    I BELIEVE in climate change.
    WTF is that supposed to mean?

  13. stackja

    I have old Tim bookmarked on my desktop computer. Click on the headline read story. And use the back arrow. Or I can right mouse on the headline read the story and click close the story tab.
    My comment at Tim:

    Looking here, using the old alpha, beta not better.

  14. Elle

    I am a long time supporter of Tim Blair and Piers Akerman. Have been a contributor for many years and a paid-up subscriber. I want to hang in there, but the changes are doing my head in. I understand the changes are out of their hands. What to do? I think I’ll sleep on it.

  15. MsDolittle

    Yep, same here too, I visited twice with new format, can’t be bothered.

  16. BrettW

    Whilst I look into both have not posted on Bolt since the change as my first attempted post did not go up.

  17. kc

    Thank god it wasn’t just me. It was all of us “grumpy old white men”. =)

  18. Token

    Good post Doomlord. Newscorp is working hard to kill off Blair & Bolt through amazing incompetence.

  19. Adelagado

    (Off topic but.)

    Tonight on The Drum…

    “More people have died falling off ladders in the past 10 year than have died from terrorism.”

    And everyone else on the panel just nodded.

  20. Seco

    Blair is Australia’s best blogger by a mile. It’s about the content stupid.

  21. rickw

    Roof clutch syndrome

    The IT wankers can’t bare to think that conventions and arrangements that just work exist. If they were left to their own devices building cars they would put the clutch on the roof and claim it was better.

  22. Cannibal

    Web business analyst – another one of those bullshit jobs mentioned earlier.

  23. Anthony Park

    My reading if news Ltd columnists has decreased to nearly nothing. The RSS feature is also gone so they dont appear in my feedly RSS. I really only read if I see a link on here or social media.

  24. Adelagado

    I have a website for my small business. I am regularly getting messages from Google saying that my site is not ‘Mobile Friendly’ and it will suffer accordingly in the rankings.

    To make it sufficiently ‘mobile friendly’ for Google’s liking would require me to reduce it to such juvenile simplicity that it would be no different to my competitors websites who sell products vastly inferior to my own. I have resisted changing the website, preferring instead to reach customers who are prepared to properly research the field and read more than a dozen words on the subject.

    My sales have not suffered. If anything they have grown.

    Fucking around with formats, to suit Google and Apple rather than your customers (or readers), is a very risky business.

  25. Aldrydd

    I must confess, I too have stopped visiting Bolt & Blair since the format change. I did try a few times but gave up in dispair when I couldn’t resize the page or read the full article without opening a new window…

  26. DaveR

    If you think the Blair and Bolt sites format changes are bad, there has been an even bigger disaster in New Zealand in the last few weeks: just look at the NZ Herald – a moderately good rag but now digitally unnavigable; and just look at the NZ earthquake monitoring service at geonet.org – now impossible to quickly find information. In both cases, approx 50% less information in a standard desktop screen view.

    I bet it was “time for an update’ in each case because the in-house IT sections had nothing to do.

  27. Michael

    I agree with this 100%. I used to visit several times a day for both Blair and Bolt.
    Now might visit once a week.
    On the positive side, my visits to the Cat have increased! Much friendlier format

  28. Chris M

    Well to me it seems not so dissimilar in function to the prehistoric software from this site.

  29. Noodles Romanoff

    Yep. Used to check in on both blogs multiple times a day. Now only go to either when linked to from here. New format has lost me.

  30. Ubique

    I’m one of the refugees from Tim Blair’s old unmoderated site, just as quite a few of the Cats are. The old Blair site was where I first came across the acerbic, irreverent and witty Habib and IT. Timbo may have had his wings clipped by the Daily Telegraph, but he’s still by far the best journalist-blogger in the country.

  31. Elle

    Timbo may have had his wings clipped by the Daily Telegraph, but he’s still by far the best journalist-blogger in the country.

    Hear, hear!

  32. NewChum

    What entropy said.

    Page views are the ratings of the digital world. Advertisers pay per thousand or million page views.

    Simple way of making more money, until the advertisers figure it out. But then most of them are just clueless people with a corporate budget, and they get paid to spend the marketing money, so spend it they do.

    Whatever they lost in return clicks from regulars they probably made up for by integrating the blogs into the home pages of the sites.

    But it’s all circling the drain anyway. I don’t know how guys like Tim are going to make money in ten years.

    My guess is they’ll have to pimp books and work tv, radio and video to stay relevant.

    Sucks to try and make a living at something other people are happy to do for free.

    Don’t let your kids get interested in journalism.

  33. EvilElvis

    When Coca Cola finally realised that New Coke was a dog of a product, they didn’t go to Even Newer Coke – they went back to the old Coke

    Replace ‘Coke’ with renewable energy or a myriad of other government imposed problems and you have the reason why this country is fucked. It’s ok to look back occasionally, history sometimes has answers…

    And, yes. The new blog sites are shite. I can’t even post a comment under my real name like I can here.

  34. Zatara

    I quit reading or attempting to participate at Bolt’s when his moderators when full on leftwing. The format change was just the final straw.

    Not allowing carefully crafted reader posts (which happens more often than not if you are of the right) to appear is frustrating and insulting, particularly when their resident pet leftist trolls can post all they want without fear of contradiction.

    Either put a boot up those moderators or switch to a Drudge-like format with no comments at all because as it is you are losing frustrated viewers Bolt.

  35. Duane Walker

    I scroll down the page and open each post in a new tab and go through the browser tabs.

    This probably doesn’t work on a tablet or phone.

  36. Entropy

    Fucking around with formats, to suit Google and Apple rather than your customers (or readers), is a very risky business.

    Modern mobiles have no trouble viewing desktop websites, the only problem with s download limits due to all the cap hipster web designers infest websites with. . This is easily dealt with by an install of adblockers on an iPhone or iPad you don’t have to deal with the video and ad served dreck and pages load quickly. It isn’t Apple, but Google that wants a mobile version of a website, preferably using google friendly tools so its revenue stream, selling you to advertisers, is preserved. so you don’t chase adblockers.
    Mobile sites are always crippled. Adblocked full websites are not.

  37. The IT nerds at news.com.au designed the sites first and foremost for mobile use. Don’t you know that everyone, bar a few Luddites, use nothing but mobile phones to access the internet? Long live the Luddites.

    And if you now have to register an account to read any of the blog posts, Tim et al might as well start their own independent blogs, they will lose a lot of visitors. Your email box will be flooded with crap from news.com.au and everyone to whom they sell your email address.

  38. Alexi the Conservative Russian

    Could not agree more! I’ve really cut back my accessing Bolt’s blog because of this new format. The old one was so much better. I could skim read the first and last paragraphs to see if I wanted to read the lot or not. As Tiberius said go back to the Round Wheel, the square one don’t work.

  39. Mother Lode

    I still frequent Blair’s, but half my comments don’t get up. Some of them quite innocuous – not defamatory or even snarky.

    I used to comment regularly at Bolta’s. I got tired of posts not going up or replies to idiotic trolling comments being ignored. I rarely post there now.

    Bolta is a good enough guy. His moderators seem to come from left leaning thought-policing pool.

  40. Rabz

    I can’t even post a comment under my real name like I can here.

    I’ve got the opposite problem – can’t post at Bolt’s or Blair’s as Rabz and have to use my real name.

    The comment moderation policies are also beyond comprehension. I get more comments posted on the Oz than at either of the two blogs mentioned above.

  41. OneWorldGovernment

    Apart from checking what their headlines are, who’d be bothered.

  42. Y

    I’m one of the refugees from Tim Blair’s old unmoderated site, just as quite a few of the Cats are. The old Blair site was where I first came across the acerbic, irreverent and witty Habib and IT. Timbo may have had his wings clipped by the Daily Telegraph, but he’s still by far the best journalist-blogger in the country.

    Me too. Spleenville was great.

  43. incoherent rambler

    Performance Metric that should by on all web technician’s wall.

    You get paid when the bandwidth consumption is reduced to a minimum (very small number).

    Great way to get traffic.

    Works for me.

  44. Oldozzie

    Entropy
    #2411900, posted on June 14, 2017 at 6:53 am
    Fucking around with formats, to suit Google and Apple rather than your customers (or readers), is a very risky business.

    Modern mobiles have no trouble viewing desktop websites, the only problem with s download limits due to all the cap hipster web designers infest websites with. . This is easily dealt with by an install of adblockers on an iPhone or iPad you don’t have to deal with the video and ad served dreck and pages load quickly. It isn’t Apple, but Google that wants a mobile version of a website, preferably using google friendly tools so its revenue stream, selling you to advertisers, is preserved. so you don’t chase adblockers.
    Mobile sites are always crippled. Adblocked full websites are not.

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  45. Oldozzie

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  46. John Bayley

    in fac the only thing more annoying than news ltd blog page design is autoloading videos in articles.

    That can be solved. Use Firefox (or even better, Pale Moon) as your browser.

    Type about:config into the address bar & accept the warning, and type autoplay into the search box.
    Then set both media.autoplay.allowscripted and media.autoplay.enabled to false.
    Done.

    My beef with the news.com.au blogs is firstly no RSS (as has been pointed out above) and also recently I get DNS-related problems with the auto-forwarder from tags.news.com.au, so the sites don’t resolve.

    Overall, I also hardly bother to read them any more. There are other sites out there with much less hassle.

  47. arrrr

    People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

    I don’t think the comments layout on this site are much better- if you want to see a good format go have a look at ozbargain.com.au . Up and down votes keeps the trolls away and being able to reply to specific comments allows for a conversation to develop.

  48. I prefer the style on Jo Nova, as there too you can reply to individual posts and maintain the context of the discussion.

  49. Adelagado

    John Bayley
    #2412046, posted on June 14, 2017 at 10:26 am

    in fact the only thing more annoying than news ltd blog page design is autoloading videos in articles.

    That can be solved.

    Just done it. Thank you.

  50. Robbo

    I was once a three or more times daily visitor to the Tim Blair site but that stopped when they changed to the new page design. I will not be returning until they go back to what they once had. What is it with the idiots who can’t wait to turn something that is successful into a screaming failure?

  51. Robbo

    Forgot to add to my previous post that I gave up on the Bolt site a long time ago. Like others who have commented here I got sick and tired of posting comments that never appeared and now the Bolt and Blair sites are not on my visiting list.

  52. mh

    Sinclair, I arrived on your website after exhausting all other possibilities. Tim Blair’s loss is your gain.

  53. EB

    The news blog section is probably the worst format I’ve ever seen. I’m sure geocities from 15 years back would be more functional.

  54. Tim Andrews

    Absolutely. I have significantly cut back on reading both Bolt and Blair because of the abomination of the new website and this does little to fix 🙁

  55. DM OF WA

    Reminder:

    Newscorp is a commercial for-profit business.
    The purpose of its websites is to generate revenue.
    Bolt and Blair are employees of Newscorp.
    Their job is to generate revenue for Newscorp.

    This is all perfectly respectable but needs to be made clear.

  56. mh

    DM OF WA,
    The Australian newspaper hasn’t made a profit since 2008.

  57. EvilElvis

    I’ve got the opposite problem – can’t post at Bolt’s or Blair’s as Rabz and have to use my real name.

    Haha, that’s what I was getting at Rabz.

    Although, Theodore EvilElvis Dalwinkle does have a ring to it…

  58. Cassie of Sydney

    My visits to both Bolt and Blair are becoming fewer. Most of my comments are not posted and quite frankly, I am fed up. I commented this morning on Blair and it still has not been posted. I am very careful with my tone and language so I regard this as straight out censorship. I have been loyaloly visiting both blogs for many, many years. I think that the moderators they are using are probably young, leftist, university educated journalism graduates who are not interested in free speech and are pushing an activist agenda. I think that both Blair and Bolt need to address this issue as it is getting very, very annoying.

  59. notaluvvie

    Entropy has picked it like a nostril.

  60. Supplice

    At least Tim seems to be interested in his audience’s views and issues, even if that “digital editor” Peter Brown doesn’t give a rat-fuck.

  61. Y

    Ozzie, try the Ghostery plugin for desktop browsers (Chrome and Safari, can’t comment on others). It’s excellent and easy to use, and has whitelisting and pretty fine-grained ‘allow’ features.

  62. Tim Blair has to wake up to the fact that his blogsite is his bread and butter.
    Being away for 2 – 3 days at a time is unacceptable.
    Going to the US and neglecting his site for a week is why I stopped visiting.

  63. Would it be technically feasible to have a site that ran Cat/Bolt/Blair/Akerman/Nova/* etc?
    Like a newspaper, but without the Leftards?

  64. Richard

    Well said!
    Now lets hope that Blair and Bolt… or their lackeys, read this.

  65. iain russell

    Doom Lord, the only thing worse than New Coke was Malcolm Turnbull. But I get your drift.

  66. L.B.Loveday

    I posted on their Management Announcement of the new blog “And after all that effort (and cost) it’s nearly as good as the original site was”.
    Of course it was not allowed by the moderator.

  67. Andreas

    I have visited their blogs maybe once or twice since the changes. Used to read nearly everyday.

  68. gbees

    I don’t use them much either. Some other annoying things:

    1. Once you have an account. you cannot change your screen name. You get stuck with your first name. There are many others with the same name.
    2. On Bolt’s blog your posts are denied if you use strong words like ‘wanker’ or ‘leftard’. If you complain those posts get deleted also. Not sure if Andrew is moderating or someone else. Whoever it is needs to get a life.
    3. It’s not easy to locate your posts for follow-up if people comment.
    4. Apparently there is no moderation on weekends so nothing much gets posted.

    It’s getting to hard to post. So I don’t visit as much. I’d be guessing the blog posts are way down.

  69. Cassie of Sydney

    but without the Leftards“. Wouldn’t that be nice!

  70. Leftardsareevil

    Let me apologise that my comment reads like a “testimonial advertisement”, but not I’m typing it all again.

    Brave web browser (Windows7 or later 32bit/64bit, MacOS, Linux. Mobile versions of iOS and Android also available) – See link – https://www.brave.com/

    It will solve a lot of the concerns posters have mentioned regarding Bolt and Blair, Steve and Sinclair, Michael Smith, Bernard Gaynor, Quadrant etc, (publishers of on-line content) surviving in a digital world. Visit the website link to see how this browser could help them and you!

    I’ve only started using the Brave browser in the last couple of weeks on Windows 10 and have found it, practically speaking to run faster than other browsers including Firefox which I have used for over 10 years.

    Now if I could just get bloody Linux Mint 18.2 (Cinnamon) installed on a separate SSD on this ***king ASUS motherboard by turning off Secure Boot, and then installing the Brave browser, I’ll be happy.

    Anyway, the whole point of the browser is too block adds, malware, clear browsing history and other things whilst rewarding online publishers (such as the Cat) and yourself.

    So whatever dollar amount you contribute per month, the sites you visit will be rewarded. So, my money would go to the names listed at the start of my comment, not leftard sites like Crikey.

    This is not an advertisement, do take a look though at the link above. I don’t know how popular it is yet, I but even I can see the HUGE potential in the way it works.

    WRT to Winston’s comment above, that’s (in essence) what Breitbart is and in answering your question – Yes, absolutely and easily.

  71. Chris

    Yes.
    I was an hourly visitor to Bolta and a three-times-a-day to Timbo since maybe 2005.
    Now its more like weekly to one or either. Its mostly because the format is so terribly unrewarding.

    Tim is still a really good writer. His wit is huge; I love the car (BMW sandshoe! Iowahawk!) posts, the Frightbat campaigns were inspired, and his ‘overfed kookaburras lolling about on branches’ (!) was first order.

    But Andrew shits me these days. When I started trying to watch him on Skye it was terrible, overtalking of his guests and not doing the homework. And headline-plus-video blog posts suck dog balls. I won’t click.

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