New 'Observer' Site Online Now, in Beta

The New York Observer site has just put up a link to their new, redesigned website, and according to a cheery note posted to the front page, managing editor Tom McGeveran wants to know what you think. The Observer has undergone some major changes since young publisher Jared Kusher started signing the checks last summer, and this one is the biggest since they remade the print version into a tabloid back in February.

The most significant change we see after spending a few minutes with the new design is the story list smack dab in the middle of the front page, which advertises all the most recent content posted to the site on any given day. If the prominent placement of this menu is any indication, the weekly paper is going to start putting more emphasis on publishing daily web content and breaking news online.

Also—and this is by far the coolest thing we see right now—the new front page features a graphic on the right side of the screen that shows illustrations of all the famous people the Observer has covered recently. The little heads work like tags, pretty much: clicking on them pulls up all the articles in which they appear, and according to McGeveran's ed. note, they will grow/shrink based on how much people are reading about them.

One last thing for now: readers will apparently be able to comment on every article when the site goes live next week, a prospect that gives us the heebie-jeebies in light of the half-wit slugs who post here.

More on this tomorrow, surely, from your regular weekday crew.—LEON

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