The Right Wing News Upgrade Is Now Complete

As many of you know, Right Wing News has been going through some changes over the last couple of weeks.

Well, they are now complete and I thought I’d give you a rundown of what has been happening with the page.

First of all, RWN is now a group blog — and not just on the week-ends.

During the week, I will be regularly posting along with Dr. Melissa Clouthier & Van Helsing from Moonbattery. I’ll probably be adding one more regular guest blogger as well.

Also, you will be seeing occasional (probably 1-2 posts a week) from Atlas (an anonymous congressional aide), former congressional aide and tech junky, David All, and E.M. Zanotti from The American Princess.

Once I get the final guest blogger in place, it’s going to mean that the amount of content on RWN is going to have roughly doubled each day from 6 posts to around 12.

Additionally, there were some other changes made, some of which you’ll be able to see and some of which, you won’t.

* At the top of the page, you’ll now notice a new “features” section. It has a “featured post,” a “secondary featured post,” and the 30 latest posts grouped by author. This will make it easy to cycle through the large amount of content RWN is putting out each day.

* RWN has moved to a new private server that should keep the downtime for the page to a minimum and make posting comments easier.

* The version of Movable Type powering the page has been upgraded.

* Some minor, but significant changes have been made to the look of the blog. Essentially, I’ve gone with snazzier looking buttons instead of text in a lot of areas.

* RWN now has a brand spanking new Forum, which is something people have been requesting for a long time.

* Registration at RWN can now be opened and closed at my leisure. It is currently closed and will be opened at random periods so that the page’s regulars can join, but so that trolls that can shift around their IP will have much more difficulty coming back after they’re banned.

* You’ll notice headshots for all the authors — well, actually just Melissa and me so far =D — but, I’ll be getting more people to submit their headshots and you’ll be able to get an idea of what the people writing the articles look like — most of the time any way.

* There are now buttons for My Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn page on the left although I have to admit that I mainly use Facebook these days.

* You’ll see a new star rating system on each post — and it actually makes a difference. When you click on a headline in the feature section and it goes directly to the post, you’ll see the top 10 most starred and top 10 most commented upon articles over the last 10 days. Your rankings and where you make your comments help determine which articles make that list.

* The “ad” in the feature section and the “referrers” used to have to be changed by hand. That’s no longer the case.

* A problem with spacing in the RWN archives was corrected.

* Trackbacks were dumped because spammers were hammering that feature so hard that they were actually knocking the page down at times.

* You can now submit RWN articles to a number of different websites via links at the bottom of each page.

* At the very bottom of RWN, we now have a banner ad (Starting price $100. For that, you get a single banner ad (no sharing the slot) that runs on every page of RWN. You’ll also see a section called “Earlier this week,” which should display all the articles that have dropped off the page earlier this week.

All this work was done by Danny Carlton, who is, without a doubt, the best designer and scripter a blogger could ever have working for him.

Last but not least, I think these changes are going to improve RWN considerably. The page is going to have much more content, will be easier to navigate, will have more features, be stickier, and should generally just deliver a better experience for readers. Hope you like the changes!

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