My Kitchen
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The Scholarly Kitchen is contemplating a remodeling job — a new layout, a new system of categories, some new features. While we have our own ideas of which sites do a good job of featuring a panel of interesting authors, frequently updated content (daily or better), and a wide range of topics, we’re wondering which sites you think we should look at for inspiration.

Here are the things we want to do better:

  • Deprecate posts more gradually, so perhaps a full week of posts is available at a glance, rather than just the latest post
  • Provide better sidebars — ones that are clearer, provide glimpses into the archive or important categories, and also let some key Twitter feeds shine
  • Retain the scholarly feel. We don’t want to look or feel like a “content farm” or visual assault.

I’ve put a poll below so you can vote on some options — specifically, Inside Higher Ed, the Chronicle of Higher Education, O’Reilly Radar, and Gawker. But these are just a starting point. If you have other sites to recommend, please leave a comment. If not, please vote.

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Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson is the CEO of RedLink and RedLink Network, a past-President of SSP, and the founder of the Scholarly Kitchen. He has worked as Publisher at AAAS/Science, CEO/Publisher of JBJS, Inc., a publishing executive at the Massachusetts Medical Society, Publishing Director of the New England Journal of Medicine, and Director of Medical Journals at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Opinions on social media or blogs are his own.

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Discussion

7 Thoughts on "The Kitchen Remodel — Which Sites Should Inspire Us?"

I recommend developing the iPad like interface. It would help us see the way from apps back to the web and away from Apple and others.

I’d like there to be an option where one can print out either just the main article or the main article plus all the comments.

I’m a big fan of the Freakonomics blog. Like us, they have many contributors, multiple themes and lots of comments. Their interface allows them to manage all of this quite well.

Current model plus some changes.
What I like about the current model:
It is like reading a good column that I want to read regularly. I consider each contributor to be a columnist I want to follow. Whether in print or online, I think the look and feel of reading a column (even on a news page)–offers connection to the reader in a way that news articles and blogs flying around the site do not.

News is constantly in flux, so we depend on a columnist to interpret or filter through their awareness of more sources and direct experience on a subject that the average person does not have or that their colleague doesn’t have time to chase down.

The current graphic structure offers the feel of a column–BUT, I think it would be an effective use of this site if we were easily enabled and encouraged–by suggestion of the design–to have access to share reread cite previous posts by particular author or subject, recently or in previous months.

Inside Higher Ed was effective in making info highly visible. I liked that–but the “look” didn’t feel right.

Chronicle of Higher Ed–Good for that site, but I like the idea of sticking with the look of a column and not necessarily the look of a newspaper.

Liked O’Reilly–signed up, offers lots of info. Much busier than SK needs.

Gawker had video–which is fine but not necessary. Busy. Content is interesting but disposable.

I trust you will keep the pieces that work and add to this in ways that further enhance readers’ access to the material. It is good material and should be seen.
–BMM

I like both Gawker and O’Reilly Radar for the highlighting of stories across the top section of the sites (Radar edges it for me as there’s arrows to advance through the story selections). Note: Gawker’s recent ‘redesign’ on a number of their sites is a hideous failure – don’t copy that!

Seeing as the comments are such a part of SK, can you do something to sort out the replies? each reply in a thread ends up in progressively narrower space – real shame. there’s got to be some better comment layouts available out there. Disqus looks good, and would allow folks to use their facebook/twitter etc profiles to connect up their comments.

The tags and categories in each post always like out to WordPress rather than back through SK.

Look forward to seeing whatyou come up with!

I can’t stand the Gawker remodel and have actually stopped visiting any of their sites as I find them incredibly annoying (though their mobile sites still work well).

That said, their sites are very different from this one–we post one, maybe two stories per day. Gawker posts many, many times throughout the day. So where one wants to actively go through the day’s new content on Gawker, that’s less of an issue here, as there’s less daily content (though, of course, it is of much higher quality).

I’m with Phil. I like the Freakonomics blog design and communication style.

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