After five months of development, I’m excited to announce that the new version of the CCLaP website is finally up and running online, the version you’re seeing here if you’re visiting the site itself, or one you can see at cclapcenter.com if you’re reading this via our RSS feed. As you can see, the entire look and feel of the site has changed since the last version, first created ten years ago, including a new responsive layout that will finally let the site look great on mobile devices; but the much more important development is that we’ve completely swapped out the back-end software that makes the website work and have started over from scratch, from the outdated MovableType to the current hot WordPress. This is going to give the site a crazy amount of new functionalities, some of which are available now and some that will be slowly rolled out over the rest of this year…
- Book reviews now come with a lot more metadata information attached, including descriptive tags to make it easier to find books with similar themes, genres, character types and settings;
- The archives page has been overhauled, including a new “tag cloud” that gives you a snapshot look at the subjects we’re finding most interesting these days;
- We now offer not only our usual RSS feed for subscribing to the latest posts, but also a trendy new JSON feed for those making the switch to a more modern feed reader;
- For the first time in years, we are once again giving all of you an opportunity to comment on book reviews and offer up your own opinion (run this time through the third-party commenting service Disqus, which means you’ll need to create an account with them before you can comment; but the good news is that this now also gives you an opportunity to “upvote” and “downvote” other people’s comments, ensuring that only the most interesting and intelligent ones appear at the top of the page);
- Coming later this summer, we’ll be releasing a “single page application” (think Twitter) that will let you hunt and browse your way through our thousand old book reviews in a much more powerful way than ever before, including the ability to sort those reviews by whatever multiple criteria you wish;
- And coming this September, we’re unveiling a brand-new online store for all our merchandise, a one-stop destination that finally brings together our original books, our t-shirts and other physical merchandise, the blank notebooks we sell through Etsy, and the rare books we sell through eBay, including such new features as a shopping-cart system, automatic delivery of digital content, coupons, one-day sales, and permanent discounts via an annual membership (but more on that this autumn).
This is all being planned to coincide with the long-awaited return this autumn of our original publications and live events; but for now, I hope you’ll have a chance to stop by all this summer for daily book reviews and featured “photos of the day.” We’re also re-activating our weekly email newsletter; sent every Friday morning, it recaps all the content we’ve published at the blog that week, and lets you know the latest about our publications, merchandise and live events, including store coupons starting this fall that will be exclusive to the newsletter and not found anywhere else. It’s the easiest way to stay informed of the busy re-activation schedule we have this year, so I encourage you to join it by signing up below. (Your email address is never sold or shared, and we absolutely guarantee no more than one email a week.)