April 3, 2006

· Internet

The New York Times’ website just got a new design, and at first glance passes the test of being better-designed than my homepage. (It had been failing this test for the past five years or so.) As I write this, the new look is set off by a photograph of Bill Frist apparently demonstrating the best technique for strangling cats you have “rescued”, but I presume this will not be a permanent feature. My first reaction is that the page is pretty largeā€”it looks like it’s a full 1024 pixels wide, and there’s a lot of stuff squished onto it, too. Too much, really. They could have cut out that right-hand quarter (with all the market/investor garbage) and just stopped the front page at the big six thematic blocks (Arts/World/etc). I’m sure the likes of John Gruber or Cameron Moll will have more informed things to say.

Lurking in one corner is an ad for that awful contest to Win a Trip with Nick Kristof. I haven’t seen too much comment about this since it launched a few weeks ago, but I know I can’t be the only one to have winced. At present, my favorite candidate to accompany Kristof is Tom Friedman, with Anna Nicole Smith a close second and Christopher Hitchens (belligerently drunk version) trailing in third.

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I am Associate Professor of Sociology at Duke University. I’m affiliated with the Kenan Institute for Ethics, the Markets and Management Studies program, and the Duke Network Analysis Center.



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