I’ve been planning to have a re-designed Hollywood Elsewhere up and running by early May. But the roughs from HE’s deisgner were slow in coming so yesterday afternoon I said “the hell with it” and went down to my local Kinkos with scissors and scotch tape and pasted together my own design. It’s different, it’s roughly balanced and is more or less what the new HE will be. Many refinements will happen between now and May 1st (I’m obviously sharing the re-design in hopes of attracting comments and suggestions) but I like that the classic HE skyscraper now has protruding features and boxes — I like the architectural feeling of flirting with but not succumbing to structural imbalance.
BUZZHOUND (not a firm name — still playing around with options) will be one of those up-and-down charts that track who or what is rising or falling in terms of critical huzzahs, box-office, general perception, etc. An instant-read device that will appeal to those who find reading more than three paragraphs in succession to be a challenge. I was also thinking of calling it DECEPTIONIST but this sounds like something Perez Hilton would write. I was also considering SCANNERS but that hasn’t resonated with people I’ve asked so far. A trusted colleague says that BUZZHOUND sounds a little crude and common, but others are down with it. You can’t say it doesn’t sound simple, direct and unambiguous.
The FLASHBOX will be one of those left-to-right tickers that highlight the latest HE items and stories — nothing original. (I ran a moving ticker bar five or six years ago.) I like that the lead story will be in the FLUSH UPPER LEFT position and the TWITTER BOX (all my current tweets plus responses & eff yous and whatnot) will overlap the right edge of the column. I think this opens things up and makes the column seem a little cooler on some level.
The ALL-WHITE VERTICAL LOWER-LEFT PANEL that kisses the 160 x 600 ads would consist of either (a) a series of postage-stamp photos that would expand into monster-size JPEGs if you click on them, or (b) a vertical URL link panel, but someone was recently saying that offering links to other sites is an old idea that should be tossed.
I love that the site will now offer two 728 x 90 ad spaces instead of one, and that they’ll be separated by copy. A couple of 160 x 600 ad spaces will be lost but the extra 728 x 90 will more than make up.
The most important thing will be to format the new HE so that it looks nice and simple on the iPhone. The design as I’ve indicated will probably be okay on the iPad but I’ll defer to people who know this stuff better than I.