I know they're still ironing out details and whatnot, but I really don't like the way the new WNYMedia site looks.
1. I don't like the colors. I have no great objection to light text on a dark background; my own blog had such a color scheme for a large chunk of its early existence, after all. But the colors they've chosen are unpleasant to my eyes.
2. I don't like how every post that's longer than a couple of lines now goes to a "after the cut" type of thing. In fact, I've never been a big fan of "Read the rest of this post" widgets on any blog, but WNYMedia.net seems to be applying it to every post on any of its blogs that's literally more than three or four lines long.
2a. As of this writing, there's not even a "Click here for the rest of the post" link. You're supposed to automatically know to click the post's permalink to bring up the whole thing.
3. And my big complaint is that WNYMedia now forces a single blog template upon each of its member blogs. Frankly, this cuts down a great deal on the sense of individuality amongst the blogs there. Now, this isn't some new thing they've done; large media organizations that have numerous blogs under their imprints all tend to use roughly the same templates between them -- good examples are all the Buffalo News blogs, or Andrew Sullivan, Matthew Yglesias and the rest of the pros at The Atlantic. But the thing is that little word, pros. These are all professional journalists who are being paid to blog by a larger media company, so it makes perfect sense that those companies would want some branding going on. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but it's my understanding that the WNYMedia bloggers are not professionals, and thus I see no earthly reason why every one of their blogs should have to look the same. For a media outlet that has in the past indicated that "independence" is its great strength, this degree of conformity being exerted on its members, in my opinion, hurts the experience.
Welcome back, I guess.