The Rumpus
January 2, 2009 10:41 AM   Subscribe

The Rumpus
I'm starting this online magazine. We're still in beta, hopefully with our finished design up and ready by next month (when I'll announce it here). I'd love any feedback people have.

I'm a writer, not a tech person (though I'm not totally tech retarded), and we have very low funds. But there's a bunch of cool writers doing original content, like Rick Moody is doing a music blog and Jerry Stahl has a blog on aging. We also have really good interviews with Malcolm Gladwell, James Frey, and others. We're going to update the site ten to fifteen times a day, so we're kind of a combination literary journal/webzine. The site is divided into three sections, "Around The Web" "Rumpus Originals" and "Blogs". Basically I just want any feedback, from marketing (how do we get people to link to us?) to design (gotta be simple and clean) to content (that interview is stupid).

Right now none of the archive or permalink pages are designed, but they will be by launch.
posted by Stephen Elliott (4 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Oh hey, you've got Ainsley Drew working for you. You've got my vote.
posted by Caduceus at 1:27 PM on January 2, 2009

Hmm. Not loving the design just yet (those boring default blue links gotta go), but the content and contributors seem to be solid. Definitely will keep an eye on this.
posted by limeonaire at 7:48 PM on January 2, 2009

Good for you! I love bootstrapped media start-ups; they're always so enthusiastic. A few quick reactions:

You're an editor, so edit. There's way too much stuff on here. Focus on your unique content, and kill all the rest. (Blog roll, "around the web", etc.)

There's no voice to the site. Maybe it's drowned out by all the other stuff, but as of now there's no point of view or signature tone/voice. Thus there's no real reason for me to come back.

The design is a mess. If you want Thurberesque (like your logo seems to be aiming for), then go full-Thurber. Personally I dislike the twee/naif approach, and McSweeney's already owns that for the web. So perhaps find a different aesthetic. Also, everything is pitched the same, visually; nothing pops, nothing recedes. I want a hierarchy, which is what editors are suppose to provide to readers.

Roger Stone? Ick.
posted by william_boot at 5:20 PM on January 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

This is going to be absolutely great -- once you iron out the kinks. I agree on the issue of hierarchy; I have no idea where to begin. Also: please, please give some fierce attention to proofreading. I found a couple of typos, including in the Chandra Moskowitz interview.
posted by cymru_j at 8:43 AM on January 18, 2009

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