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May 31, 2005

Requests for TPM Cafe

Josh Marshall's blogospheric power grab finally manifested in a non-"more later"/"stay tuned" form this morning, and all seems well with it. John Edwards is the week's special surprise guestblogger, Matt's got his new home, and the place is generally humming along nicely. But in the spirit of Josh's declaration that the Cafe is a work-in-progress, here are some requests:

• Full RSS feeds, please. You guys have too much content to content (hah! repetition!) yourselves with one-line teasers. Let me get the posts and read 'em at my leisure.

• I know the theme is caffeine, and thus a hectic, crowded, stimulative template is to be expected, but could the design calm down a little bit? I'll probably get used to it one way or the other, but there are too many buttons, tabs, links, ads, medieval murals, aggregators, and offers screaming for attention. If you're not going to let me RSS the site, at least chill those guys out a bit.

• Put up a blogroll, for god's sake. I know TPM Cafe will be the whole world's single stop for trenchant political commentary and it'll soon render all other online outposts unnecessary, but use that power for good and offer some of these new readers a map to other sites. It's the neighborly thing to do.

Otherwise, it looks like it'll be an interesting set of blogs. As the kids say, check 'er out. And by the way -- is Marshall moving over to the new site? Or is he remaining separate but equal over at TPM?

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Comments

How about the tiny Times Roman font? I don't see anyway to change it, but maybe there is, or will be, something available to increase the size sometime in the future.

Agree w/Ezra: Very busy. And that font for TPM Cafe (and other TPM entries) is wild.

Oh well, at least the writing should be good.

Posted by: Quiddity | May 31, 2005 11:39:43 AM

That's so funny, Quiddity -- I think the font is too big for the site. Perhaps that should be one of those configurable user settings? There's a setting for "font size" but it doesn't appear to change anything other than the size of the text in the comment input box.

Also, they really need to make the center column bigger. It takes 6 or 7 screens to view a post with just a few comments.

Posted by: Becks | May 31, 2005 11:57:54 AM

I fully heartedly agree with the full RSS feed comment, I do all of my RSS reads from within my newsreader and I much prefer that the RSS feed load completely rather than having teasers.

Posted by: Greg | May 31, 2005 12:08:50 PM

Er.. that should be whole heartedly...

Posted by: Greg | May 31, 2005 12:09:12 PM

And it really should be Anonymous Coward, dammit. Not "Hero".

Posted by: Becks | May 31, 2005 1:07:22 PM

The Anonymous Hero thing comes from using Scoop. Scoop calls them heros, its progenitor, Slash, calls them cowards.

The layout really isn't all that busy once you've been through it once with adblock.

As for the text size, install the greasemonkey extension for firefox. Just a quick couple of lines of javascript to fix obnoxious style sheets.

Posted by: bunny | May 31, 2005 1:18:41 PM

Thanks for the etymology of Anonymous Hero. My gripe is with Scoop, then, not TPM Cafe. I think Slash has the right idea -- the people who post without being logged in aren't exactly the Deep Throats of the world.

Posted by: Becks | May 31, 2005 1:48:05 PM

Becks: It's got to be the difference in terminal resolution. I use 1600x1200 or 1280x1024. And on occasion I use somebody else's 800x600 setting. It's like a whole 'nother world. GIANT text.

I only made my comment because TPM Cafe has the smallest font relative to everything else out there. If you think TPMC is too big ("for the site"??), then you must also think that Salon, the New York Times, TAPPED, and all sorts of other places have even larger, and hence, undesirable sizes.

Anyway, you say there is a setting for font size. I missed that, so thanks for the pointer.

Posted by: Quiddity | May 31, 2005 2:38:07 PM

By "too big for the site" I mean that the font is too big in proportion to the width of the text column. The font isn't too big in absolute terms and is comparable to Salon, NYT, etc. but the font size + the narrowness of the column means there are too few words per line for optimal reading. Either the column width or the text size must change. This is a gripe I have always had with TPM.

(And I will admit this is less of a technical/browser problem than me being overly pedantic about these things as someone who has done document typesetting and performed web usability studies.) And, unfortunately, I doubt the font size setting will help you -- it only changed the size of the text in the comment box for me, not the general site text.

Posted by: Becks | May 31, 2005 4:02:36 PM

it's not fair. i want to be on tpm cafe. marshall's taking all of my oxygen. he's out to get me, personally.

Posted by: mikey | May 31, 2005 5:35:13 PM

A rule of web design: between serif and sans-serif families of fonts, you must make a choice. Ezra went with sans-serif, I went with serif. TPM's mixture is an abomination!

Posted by: Neil the Werewolf | May 31, 2005 6:00:06 PM

Power grab? You think he's monopolizing the blog market? Time for the anti-trust boys at Justice to step in? Of course, this will put Don Luskin in a real bind. If he wants to attack the Justice Dept. for enforcing anti-trust laws, he'll have to side with a couple of LIBERALS. Oh my!

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