Version 6.1

You may have noticed that last week we launched a modified design to this website, and I didn’t want to say anything about it for a few days because I just couldn’t get enough of the disgruntled email. I sort of inadvertently conducted a little social experiment, one where the longer I remained silent about the changes, the angrier certain people became. In fact, it started when I failed to update the masthead at the very beginning of February, when I dared to subject people to the words JANUARY 2009 for several unbearable days. Here’s what some of you had to say:

Are your Christmas lights still hanging outside? Perhaps your tree is still in the corner of your living room, dropping needles and ornaments on a regular basis? It’s February 9th. As in NOT January any longer. Please change your masthead. It’s an embarrassment.

And this missive sent on February 5th…

You make LIVING off of this website. Therefore; I feel you have a responsibility to your readership and sponsors to keep your site current.  I don’t have the slightest clue as how to design a masthead or a website or anything else for that matter.  But Dude, it’s mid-February.  Where’s the new masthead?

Some just cut to the chase, like this one sent on February 2nd:

It’s February and you haven’t changed your banner. So unprofessional.

Truth is, I was hoping that we could launch the major website design changes at the beginning of the month, but that date kept getting pushed back, and the February masthead I had designed fit the new layout. So I didn’t think it would upset the rotation of the Earth too much if the masthead remained in its January clothes for a few more days. Oh, how I underestimate the testiness of certain readers! I’m going to let you in on a secret… sometimes, when I’m feeling sinister, I like to use “your” when I mean “you’re” and “there” when I mean “they’re” because one or two or thirteen hundred of you find such a mistake so insufferable that you cannot help but send me an email that begins with, “I don’t usually do this, but…” and ends with your heads spontaneously exploding. It’s that popping sound I love so much.

And then the redesign… dear lord god, I don’t think I would have received such a strong response if I had visited your house and taken a shit in your Cheerios. There are several reasons I wanted to change things up a bit, and in the interest of being totally honest, the main one is BECAUSE I’M PREGNANT. The fact that I have not shaved my head and covered my face in tattoos can be explained only by my unwavering lethargy, and if I had maybe one or two cups of strong coffee I’d be out there right now looking for someone to dye my entire body blue. The need for change is as overwhelming as it is inexplicable, and this trickled right down into the design of my website. It’s probably all the hormones, but I was tempted for just a second to replace everything with a giant picture of my lily-white ass and a thought bubble shooting out of my crack. It would say: DUDE, IT’S MID-FEBRUARY.

Other reasons for the changes: many of you complained that the text was too small to read, so we enlarged the size of the text and added a bit of space around everything. Many of you complained that I never updated my website unaware that I post pictures and commentary every day in the Daily Photo, Daily Chuck, and Daily Style section of this website. Since I moved those thumbnails into the main content area, I’ve received countless emails to the tune of, “I like this new Daily Photo section you added…” A section that has been around for almost five years.

For those of you who found the relocation of those thumbnails a personal insult, I am terribly sorry, I did not mean for it to upset you so badly. We have since added tabs above the masthead that take you directly to the most recent post in those sections. I’m hoping this solves the navigational issues that frustrated so many of you.

Yes, I still plan on updating and changing the masthead every month, and I promise I will try to avoid using hot pink in future versions, although, did you read that paragraph above about spontaneous explosions? In the coming weeks we plan to launch several other changes mainly to the layout and function of the archives, changes that should make it so much easier to navigate through older content. It’s still a work in progress, and I’m listening to and taking notes of the more constructive suggestions. Best one so far:

I hate your new layout. Such a hassle to have to scroll. Two words: lame.

I asked Jon if he could please fix this bug.

  • http://www.grilled-cheese.org/blog Christine

    I have no complaints! :)

    I wish I could design my web site as great as you do yours. :)

  • MKH

    I like you new blog design! Interesting that so many people don’t but then change is hard for some people.

  • Mindy

    I don’t normally do this…but ohmygod, readers with the picky comments about the new layout–WTF?!!! Maybe it’s because I deal with this on a daily basis at work, the tediousness of picking on every little detail by people who apparently have way too much time on their hands, but seriously–do you nitpickers have nothing better to do than critique someone else?! Put down the Twinkie and get a hobby!! Heather is the goddess of all things, plus hello hormonal pregnancy–just nod your heads “OK” when she decides to change HER website and go with it!

  • http://37pence.org Lauren

    Okay, I wasn’t one of those who sent you an e-mail, but I just wanted to thank you for adding those tabs at the top! As someone who has been fully aware of your daily photo/chuck/style sections since their inception, I’m not going to lie – the removal of their links from the top totally bugged me lol.

    Otherwise, I like the changes!

  • Kat

    I am also pregnant and I empathize with you heartily. The fact that I manage to get up and go about my day at all is a small miracle; never mind that I also try to accomplish grown-up things like teaching tender minds, trying to keep a household from falling into shambles, and finishing my final semester in graduate school.

    As a friend of mine said recently when I complained of insensitive folk sharing their unrequested horror birth stories, “Give ‘em a kick in the junk!”

  • http://www.happylivingdesign.com erinn

    Thanks for making me laugh. Daily. I am sorry that it is at your expense sometimes. But you seem to take the dumbness fairly well.

  • http://heymrswilson.net Mrs. Wilson

    1. I LOVE the hot pink.
    2. I actually really like the new design.
    3. I love your attitude toward people who criticize you. Totally hilarious. I also love pissing people off with small things and think you do a great job of it. Thank you for the entertainment.

  • Jeni

    For the record, I think the new changes are great. And I like the hot pink. And since I don’t depend on your website to let me know what month it is, the January banner had no effect on my life at all. It amazes me that there are people out there that care that much about things like that. I have two words for the changes to your site – awe some :)

  • http://blackninjakitty,com Jenn H

    People actually give a shit if you’re a bit behind in updating the header graphic? People need a life. Seriously. That or the RSS feed =P Given, I still come to your site to read what the feed picks up (yay for advert revenue), but even then I don’t give a crap if it says December or March up there =P

  • April

    I am laughing so fucking hard at the emails you have received about your layout. Fuck me. People really do take this a bit too seriously don’t they.

    I clicked over, saw the hot pink and had a momentary “whoa. it’s pink.” then shrugged my shoulders and continued to the post I was there for. I think it looks great. I didn’t realize you were obligated to announce with a whole lengthy post every time you change anything on your website.

    Silly people. The world does not revolve around you.

  • cari

    If you really could make their heads explode with your awesome powers of design, you would be doing us all a big favor. In fact there are a few uptight people in my little world who I am going to encourage to check out your blog, daily. Hopefully, they’ll become so comfortable with the February masthead that when it changes to March, their heads will explode. I think it is referred to in nature as “thinning the herd.”

    Thanks in advance!

  • http://simplyblissful.blogspot.com/ tracy

    I was the reader that Jon alluded to when he wrote “change is hard, get used to it”, and while I was not a fan at first, wouldn’t you know it, I DID get used to it! I love the larger typeface & I love the family photos in the masthead. My only complaint/suggestion is that I miss being able to click on your photo to see a larger version (I have been living vicariously through your haircuts). But, rest assured, I will never complain about the currentness of your posts as I have managed to post on my blog twice since having my daughter 9 months ago. Bottom line, your (I’m feeling sinister today, too) awesome, your site is awesome, and I’m hoping to meet you in Seattle in March.

  • http://37pence.org Lauren

    P.S. You should totally make the tagline to your next masthead: “Two words: Lame.” LOL

  • Teri

    The haters can go!

    Change is GOOD!

  • http://www.starvingartistink.com erin

    hahahaha
    oh goodness.. i love you
    and i love that you still write even when you get the fucktards from godknowswhere that have the time to write that crap to you.

    really–i don’t know how you continue. it’s hard enough for be to want to write on MY blog when my mother says something, let alone if i had pooped on cheerios from people-again-reading MY blog.

    wtf people. seriously…

    damn it Heather, TAKE YOUR SPACE BACK. it’s yours–just take it back and tell us all. this is the mother ship-and she is about to take off, so board up or feck off.

    also. how the feck are you doing this with those crazy pregnant hormones, it’s hard enough for me to keep to a normal routine internet-wise with just PMS hormones-let alone growing A HUMAN.

    take your space back woman!
    i think the site looks great,
    and so you know-i didn’t notice that January was up for too long, but then again-I didn’t change my underwear for all of December… and I still have a twig in the corner of my sitting room with lights on it-for some unknown reason.

  • http://aheadofthewave.blogspot.com Kate

    Heather; everything about you and your blog rocks in my book.
    If people can come up with the sort of nonsense you describe, I say to them: Take a hike, don’t come back if you don’t like it!

    Wow is all I can say. (actually could say more but won’t; I’ll be nice).

    Dooce is the bomb, girl. I love the photos (especially the Chuck series) and I love what you write about; family, pregnancy, and LIG (life in general). I laugh out loud most days when I read your blog and that’s a blessing. Truly.

    “Alls I know is….you rock”.

    kate

  • Tinare

    Wow, some people totally need to get a life. A hobby. Something. Could never imagine having so much time on my hands as to spend a portion of it firing off a nasty gram about a masthead for a blog. (The irony being that I’m commenting on it, though.) I’m just happy to read the content and enjoy your photos even if you do use the wrong “you’re or your” or “there, they’re or their” occasionally. I’m certainly not one to cast stones on spelling or the intermittent brain fart. I enjoy the site even if you are living in January in mid-February, and am looking forward to hearing about the new addition to your family in the months to come.

  • http://www.xanga.com/Bratfink Brat

    Although I did not complain, I do find the navigational tags for the pictures to be very helpful. Thank you.

    As for the small print, I use the zoom feature on Firefox when I need to. :) I wish my eyes worked like that! LOL

    Hey, as long as I get my Daily Chuck, I’m easy to please.

  • Katie

    Oh how I love your (or should I say you’re) hate mail. I miss the occasional insight into the crazies that look for people to make their heads explode.

    Two words: awesome. (Well, at least it’s two syllables.)

  • PamS

    How funny! I can’t believe people take the time to point out how much they dislike things. Really – does it affect their life so much to get so upset at your new format or that you didn’t change your masthead?

  • KSterling

    Wow. Some people need to get a life. And get out of yours. Can’t believe they’d waste actual, usable energy to post comments on stupid stuff like the date, especially since the entertainment value of the site hasn’t diminished one bit.

    Heather, you rock.

  • http://jonesberry.blogspot.com Becky

    YOU! CRACK! ME! UP! Seriously!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for putting the “Daily” tabs up top where I can find them fast. Sometimes I only have time for that in the morning – got to get my Chuck fix!

  • sybann

    Dooood! I’ve never been pregnant and I knew you needed a pass ferchrisake.

    Permission to keep messin’ with their heads, granted.

    Goddess.

  • http://thephotofather.com tom

    I SO LOVE THAT crazy Chuck’str…

  • Tracey

    Just like complete losers to complain about something that is FREE and fun at the same time… I will admit, I did get that momentary twilightzone/stroke moment when I went to the page and it was different,but I figured it out, I like it, and after all…it IS your page!!!
    anyway..have a dandy day and I love your stuff.

  • Lara

    I actually like the new layout. Especially now that you added tabs at the top for the dailies. Nice job! :)

  • http://www.thereallifesurvivalguide.com Bruce Barber

    I fuckin’ LOVE it, and I never swear in my comments.

  • Danielle

    Aawwww, #677
    Get the stick out of your ass. I think Heather will do just fine without you reading her blog and leaving annoying comments. You realize she gets like 4 million readers a month right?

  • Tracie

    I find it insane that people get so caught up and are so opinionated! I love the site, the layout, etc. and if you change it because you feel like it, then it’s YOUR blog so change it!

  • http://www.katherineemmons.com Kathie

    Oh will you quit complaining about all the complaining! I’ve been writing a blog for months now and would thrash and kill for the kind of readers and interaction you’ve got going here. (Nice work, I’m your biggest fan:)…

    While we’re lodging complaints: 1)I always want to comment on the dog photos, all of which are exceptional (BTW: the brown dog’s ears are too small for his body); 2) Like one other commentor, I also get a script error whenever I sign out of your redesigned site. I double-click three times and then I’m able to exit. Seriously. And no red glittery shoes need be worn.

  • Mer

    I do admit that before you added the tabs for daily photo/daily chuck/daily style I hated the new design. But the tabs fixed it. It can only get better with time people, give suggestions if you’re so knowledgeable about all that is right with the world. And blog design.
    It was nice to see a change.

  • http://theartofpanic.blogspot.com Dan

    Welcome to the world of inertia. Most readers/users have a certain resistance to change. It upsets their comfort level and sense of control.

    Long live change!

  • LesleyG

    All I can say is if you dare have that baby on or near the first day of the month and the new masthead isn’t a picture of the damned placenta, I am SO NEVER COMING HERE AGAIN.

  • http://lovelaughslice.blogspot.com Domestic Goddess (in training)

    Is it worse that I never even noticed that you change your masthead on a monthly basis? No hate mail from the clueless!!!

  • Corine

    What? It is February? When did that happen??
    I love your site no matter what the format. I keep coming back for you writting, not what color scheme you are currently using!!

  • http://verybloggy.com Beth in SF

    Wowza, people are so overly picky and lazy. I’m going to keep reading, and happen to love the new look. Didn’t even notice the January masthead (and I’m an editor). But now life can go back to normal now that you’ve changed it :)

  • Meg

    Wow, people are insane. It’s a wonder they can function day to day with terribly annoying duties such as scrolling through a blog. Love the new site, loved the old site, could care less when you exactly when you change your masthead. ;)

  • Kate

    FINALLY!

    You are such a pretty woman and I could not for the life of me understand why you would choose such unflattering photos of yourself for your main page.
    This photo of you is lovely — almost as good as the pregnant princess!

    Also, re wearing the Target trench after pregnancy. It has been my experience that you are so sick of wearing maternity clothes that all you want to do is BURN THEM — whether or not they still fit.

    I have been enjoying your website for many years now — keep up the good work!

  • http://d2dmad.blogspot.com/ Dani

    Well I like the new layout. I’ve been wanting to say so but was not on here when comments were open (until now) and didn’t feel it was important enough to email.

  • Liliana

    I so totally knew you were torturing certain readers by not commenting on the changes and that itself made me smile when I saw them. My first thought was “I bet Heather’s laughing maniacally at hate mail right now”.

    Blessings on you and your mean streak!

  • http://cocakolla.blogspot.com/ Kolla

    Since I normally read your blog through Google reader (I know, in two words: lame), I’ve been blissfully unaware of all those major offenses.
    Reading today’s post I dressed up in my best and ventured out to the proper internet to sneak a peak at the new look – and dig it. Congrats on the upgrade, nice work.
    You inspire a lowly little Blogger blogger like myself to come back to the “new post” page on a semi-daily basis.

    Keep on rockin’ and please give my best to the 2 beasts.

  • http://jonniker.com jonniker

    There’s a weird sort of ownership over you that doesn’t happen with any other celebrity-type author or … God, I can’t even come up with a decent parallel here, but the point is, I find it very fascinating.

    I mean, I’m a big fan of Peter Gabriel’s music, right? But when he does something I don’t like, I might politely complain about it, but I wouldn’t feel like he OWED me something because I pay his salary by buying his music for so many years. People clearly feel like they’re owed something from you by the very nature of them being fans and/or readers. That’s … very strange. Or maybe it isn’t, and there’s an entire contingent of Peter Gabriel fans who are sending him hatemail because he did the theme song for Wall-E and they were OWED something edgier, because after all, they bought MELT back in the day and are RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS SUCCESS. I don’t know. But you know, even that is more justifiable than this, because even then, they paid for it, unlike your content here. (Not that it’s justifiable at all, really.)

    Like I said, I don’t have a problem with criticism — I think any of us who write in any public forum, either on a blog or in a newspaper, magazine or more traditional outlet should expect it, and be willing to take it gracefully — but what does creep me out is the idea that people have the right to expect something from you because they click on the site, and as a result, feel some sense of ownership, either over you, or over your content. That’s … that’s odd. And entirely inappropriate.

  • brit groveller

    Of all the people who might ever take a dump in my cheerios, you’d be my number one choice, but only if you did it in MID FEBRUARY DUDE!
    I like hot pink too
    and I have loved finding out what all the bits on your new layout do (not much more than before, but I’m easy pleased – see dumping in cheerios for reference)

  • http://www.mackcook.blogspot.com Shannon

    Wow, I cannot believe people have the audacity to even comment on such things. Most of us do these things because we love doing it and we comment because we want others to know how we feel about reading it – not to be mean, crude or unappreciative. My advice to those negative readers – “if you don’t like it, don’t look at it”. Nobody is forcing them to stay on your site.
    Keep up the good work and don’t sweat the small stuff. It looks great!

  • Andrea

    Oh, and this reminds me…

    We haven’t seen an Exclamation point post in a looooong time.

  • Anonymous

    Do what you want with YOUR website! I love the pink and the pictures of the rest of your family at the top…tell everyone else to SUCK IT!

  • http://eastofabsolutelyeverything.blogspot.com/ Lee

    There are still Christmas decorations out all over my block, and I love it.

  • Jen

    I’ve been reading you for years, since Leta was just a teeny little babe. I am going to be honest and say that I really, really don’t like the new layout. Which is fine. It’s your blog and you can do whatever you want. But combine that with the low frequency of new content, and I find myself coming to visit far less often. Given that you earn your income off this advertising revenue, it would serve you well to keep in mind those of us readers who have helped you build your brand. Unless you are focusing most of your energy on your books, in which case I just think that you’ll start to find your online readers drop off.

    I hesitate to write this, because there has been this feeling of late that everyone who disagrees with you must be a villain or the antichrist. You’ve gone from a very down to earth person to having near celebrity status and it seems to have gone to your head a bit. Just my 2 cents- I hope I don’t get written off as one of the crazies, because I really am just a normal loyal reader.

  • Tatyana

    This is a great post! It made me laugh out loud! People just need to get a life – so much anger over nothing – like the masthead image is what is keeping the world from achieving universal peace and happiness! :)
    I love change, keep changing it up!

    P.S. I read your blog through Bloglines, so I didn’t even know about the change to your layout. I like it.