Okay folks, it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Or at least we have. You’re most likely, if you’re not on RSS at the moment, looking at the new version of Baristanet, let’s call it version 2.0, for amusement’s sake.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve rolled out forums, a calendar section, and a few more things are on the way. What you’ll notice most here is that the navigation is much lighter, and mostly focused on the top of the page. Shortly, you’ll see a new “tabbed” section of featured content that will sit below the “feature” entry that is sitting at the top of the page. Most notable, however, is comment registration. We are not using an outside source – TypeKey, for instance – but are using our own Forum logins in order to a) maintain some reasonable behavior and ability to “cite” people’s behavior and b) keep the spammers away without having to close posts, ever. While you don’t have to use your real name to register, you will have to use an email address to confirm your commenting abilities. Should you find any problem with that, or have a hotmail address (those have been disastrous so far, as they mark anything from a forum as spam right now), then please contact me directly at tom@baristanet.com. I’ll do my best to get back to you in a reasonable amount of time.
You’ll also notice a list of things that are also to come here at Baristanet, or that I have to take care of, at least. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy the new site. Let us know if there’s anything else we can do to make your stay better!

74 replies on “New and Improved Baristanet”

  1. Great points, Pork Roll and Bitpusher. I know that Debbie and Liz will be all over these in the a.m. and we’ll obviously see what other kinds of tweaks and changes are on the horizon. The new templates allow us a lot more freedom to play with things, and you won’t be missing the “crazy lady” for long, she’s in an upcoming featured section.

  2. Tom, as you put the final parts together..how about brining back some of those links that were on the left side of the site..like the Montclair Township website..they were helpful sites.

  3. @wayne robbins – Absolutely. It’s on the FP already and will be on the individual posts within short order. Ultimately, they’ll be found on the top navigation through various dropdowns for a little more streamlining.

  4. Tom Im all set now. Thanks for your help.
    One last thing though… now that you’ve somehow secured my real work address (i.e. not the one where I post cartoons) I feel as though Baristanet might be going Big Brother on me.

  5. Tom, I don’t know if we can do anything about the last item on your list, but after your marathon Saturday, we’d be happy to send flowers to your girlfriend.

  6. you have all these nice rules about our behavior – wheres the rules for baristanets?
    verifiable e-mail addresses are worth $$$ to internet marketers and spammers – Did I miss the link to your privacy policy? Has TrustE or another group reviewed your useage and given it the thumbs up?
    Without this, you’d have to be an april fool to register!

  7. It looks good. But it’ll probably baffle my own favorite April fool, laserboy! The ass who right at this very minute might be riding into Baristaville. So I have to dash off to church to get some palms to lay in front of him. Hosanna mikey! Hosanna in the highest!
    (And then there’s his scourging and crucifixion to look forward to later in the week….)

  8. cathar,
    don’t be so smug! LaserMickey has posted more posts than any other registered member. You are level “decaf” (as am I) but he is a “Barista in training”.
    try looking at the Forums, Laser is all over them.

  9. I really like it – very bright and easy to read. I do agree with the posters who said it is a little generic. Bring back some of the “character” of the layout. Looks good though!

  10. What was wrong with the old Baristanet?
    I feel like the advertisements are jumping out at me. I don’t like that part of it at all. The advertisements in the last version of Baristanet were obvious, but not overwhelming to the reader.

  11. @thomaspaine – good point, and agreed. I’m sure that Debbie will echo such a thing, but there is no plan to be selling or giving away access to everyone’s email address. We obviously respect everyone’s privacy and see no reason to abuse the fact that you’ve registered.
    We’ll make sure and update that when finalizing the FAQ and privacy/policy information through the Forum system. Hey Debbie, hope you’re ready to work on this this week!

  12. Thank you thank you for requiring registration. Hope it helps make this site a bit more useful and civil.
    New design looks nice and clean and easy to read. But bring back the Bloomfield Ave background on the banner if you can! It was nicer with a local detail like that.

  13. I think this new layout is GREAT! It’s clean & easy to read. I have to disagree with Ruby, I think the ads on the last layout were not integrated into the page as well and were sometimes distracting. Now they are just as easily visible but they work in their spot and the reader can focus on the story. And the new colors make the page pop.
    One thing that bothers me: on the old layout, if you clicked the ‘jump’ link, you would be brought to the next paragraph. Now we just see the whole story and have to find our place.

  14. If anyone is afraid to post their e-mail, just go to Yahoo and get an address.
    I like the new format, although I do want the crazy lady back. And I’m very glad that people will have to register to post. The conversation was getting very uncivil in recent weeks from a bunch of “hidings” who no doubt will not want to register.

  15. Nice work, & good thoughts behind the revamp!
    “Barista in training” sounds a lttle kinky, but I suppose it’s in keeping wth the direction downtown Montclair is heading, per the Wellmont story. ;=)
    In spite of that, I have to add my voice to the hue & cry for the bespectacled Barista image in the banner. Bring her back!

  16. Laser looks really good in those leather boots and has learned to crack the whip quite well.
    you should see him!

  17. Nice job, agreed…much easier to navigate IMHO. But I do miss the lady in the specs.
    Didn’t know you were a fellow marathoner, Tom…which one did you do?

  18. I am looking for the search feature so I can find old Barista stories. Will that be coming back?
    I’m looking for the organization that takes old bicycles and fixes them up. I have a couple decent bikes to donate. If anyone knows the name or a contact for the group please post it, thanks.

  19. Well, it seems more readable; more of a newspaper and that is good since I quit reading the rather useless Montclair Times.
    Anyway, okay; I am waiting to see what happens. And yes, Scores in Montclair. Now I know “I have arrived!”
    Maybe Howard Stern and his pack of pals will show up to welcome this most needed cultural addition to the downtown. And to think, people were bitching about Montclair Video!

  20. State Street Pete,
    There are two that I know of credit goes to Pat Kenshaft for compiling a document that is called “Thoughtful Reuse and Recycling in Montclair”
    -Under City Wheels repairs used bikes in Passaic and distributes them to nearby needy and in Nicaragua. Call Sandy Shevack to find where to take your bike, 973-925-9353.
    -Pedals for Progress ships used bikes to other parts of the world where they provide essential transportation.
    There is a pickup scheduled for 6/2/07 1 PM – 4 PM
    Parking lot Brookdale Baptist Church
    1350 Broad Street (South of Shoprite, bet. Bellevue and Mountain Ave)
    Bloomfield, NJ 07003
    (973) 489-8476 (cell) ask for Stephane
    Each bike must be accompanied by $10 for mailing costs.

  21. Wow. I posted my honest opinion of the new format, and I see that comment was removed. Is that how this website works now?

  22. Amandala — I checked and nothing was deleted. You sure you hit the post button? Post it again.

  23. @ Pete – yep, search will be back in a nifty new way, expecting it in a day or two.
    @Amandala – not sure what your comment was, but if you were registered, it would be here. None have been queued and everyone’s comments go live immediately, unless the system has flagged you as a spammer, which it hasn’t done for anyone here nor anyone registered. Please, post it again if it was here. If you posted it right as the site was republishing, there is a chance it could have been lost in the upheaval, but I didn’t see anything last night. Sorry about that if that’s what happened!

  24. Cathar, you have some strange fixation. Maybe I should call a cop because you’re nuts.

  25. As far as “redo”ing this site, Bush stole the 2000 election and lied about WMDs in iraq. Too bad we can’t “re-do” that!

  26. dear “Iasermike026” – your username will most likely be deleted as you are attempting to impersonate lasermike026. We’d really appreciate you not doing so if you’re going to have an additional account under the same IP that you have registered as, as sock puppets aren’t going to be tolerated here at Baristanet.

  27. I wonder if this site is trying to be everything to everyone. With the forums, there are too many “places” to check for new info and comment activity. With the old site, a simple check of the home page gave you the snapshot. Now, I have to go into forums and subforums to find where the discussions are. In this case, bigger is not better.
    The main “Food” page is still hosted by Typepad where anonymous comments are still valid.
    There are no direct links to editing a user’s profiles and settings without going to Forums first.
    I do appreciate the required registration, and only wish there was more “training” to learn how the site will work (attachments, buddy lists, subscribed threads, ability to edit/delete posts, etc).
    I am also concerned about the appearance of moderation controls. I despised the Montclair Watercooler for this very reason, and now I see the new software gives Baristanet staff similar controls (if they so wish). What will be the official policy on this matter?

  28. @Jim – I’m going LIFO on your post. Moderation controls had been in place all along, we deleted unsavory comments, could ban IPs (and did), and typically meted out justice offline if it needed to be. As of right now, the only thing we’re looking to do is have people have a username so that there aren’t one or two people commenting as multiple people all day long (which we know folks are already trying). Understood re: Watercooler, and please understand that the goal here isn’t to stop the conversation or be the arbiter of what is or isn’t great on a per-post basis, nor decide who isn’t worthy of posting. I expect you’ll see a lot less moderation than you’d think.
    As far as the attachments, buddy lists, subscribed threats, edit/styling your posts, I’m presuming your talking about on the forums, and we can make sure a lot of that is explicit. As far as buddies go, that’s purely so you can “watch” people you usually like to follow when forums are fuller. We have turned on most of the features of the forum, and turned off a few since people have started using it. I presume that will continue.
    As far as editing your profile, do you mean from the comment section here on the blog, or over on the Forum? On the forum, you simply go to “User CP.” Ultimately, we can work a lot of those functions into a spot next to your username here on the blog, but knew from past experiences making changes that you have to take a few steps instead of one giant one to have it not get in the way or cause too much of a stir, hence the forums / calendar coming in advance of the blog here.
    As far as TypePad and the food section, that section is undergoing a complete overhaul at the moment, both software and functionality-wise. Commenting there will be completely based on the Forum system – as many of the threads there have begun to get quite out of hand. Additionally, the Food section needed to be more searchable and expandable. TypePad doesn’t allow for that. Real Estate will be new and improved as well.
    As to your initial comments, point taken. You will, ultimately, be able to see what’s happening on the forums on the FP here, with the last 3-5 threads available in a new section that hasn’t been placed in the site yet, and you still have the last 3 comments on the right side of the top of the page. Thanks for your feedback!

  29. Wowee, Jim, the web designer needs and wants training on the site.
    Why would you want to edit another user’s profile?
    bad bad jim

  30. Ah yes, Iasermike026, you can’t please everyone, and if it has to be someone they’re not pleasing, I’m glad it’s you.

  31. Good design should keep the user experience paramount to the temptation to implement all the technology features available. In other words, keep focused on the business plan and mission statement/philisophy when the “new toys” arrive. The old Baristanet had its successful niche, and now it looks like it wants Wal-Mart growth.
    When WNBC-TV redesigned its site, the focus was lost on trying to present every aspect of the news company on one page. The net result is complete disorientation, no intuitive navigational guide to sort through the content. I avoid the site completely now.

  32. I think, just like when you first began reading Baristanet, this site will be come easier to use and easier to navigate. You just have to take the time to figure everything out. I’d say it takes a week to get used to the forums. Although, I do think there are just too many catagories in the forums, but they all need to be there, these towns are too gossipy.

  33. To that point, Jim, that’s why not every single new technology has been implemented. There’s a new look, much lighter template and CSS load, and integration of a forum’s commenting function for users itself. Really, that’s “one” new technology. The calendar and forums are actually items that we’ve had a ton (in some cases, 50-60) of requests for, and those solutions are there for the taking. Otherwise, the blog is still the blog, the only difference is now that everyone can’t post as five different users.

  34. Thanks, Katie. You’re a simple-minded twit.
    Yeh, this site’s crap now. The usual 6 assholes with no lives will talk about crisco all day to one another and that’s about it. WOOPS i said asshole – you’ll want to censor that.
    Someone needs to put up a much easier, freer site for montclair people who dont really care if you make up IDs on the fly. It’s far more fun that way than this usual boring bullshit.
    WOOPS – I said bullshit, you’ll need to censor that.
    The best comment is “we … meted out justice offline if it needed to be.” LOL, what did you do, show up at someones house with torches because they said something you didnt like? Thats a scary thought – a bunch of middle-aged boomers charging down the street.

  35. Jim –
    I’m sure that some folks here, like me, already have years of experience with Net bulletin boards (“Forums”). I have absolutely no issues with the new setup (BRING BACK THE LADY!!!).
    I understand that there’s a learning curve for people who are new to this stuff. I remember having a similar reaction early on when my favorite board swtched formats (this was before B-net even existed).
    Give it a little time & just play around with it, I think you’ll find that it all becomes intuitive.

  36. Jim,
    If you need help someone will be glad to explain it to you.
    I thought that you were the web designer guy who used to post under that alias on the old baristanet and if memory serves me right on the Watercooler as well.

  37. We shall see if it weeds out the great unwashed. I hope so. I feel kind of strange though, belonging to a club that would have me as a member…
    In the meantime, if anyone has been having connectivity problems with FIOS, DSL, cable modems, or even dial-ups (eek!), Google has a new product that is sure to please. View it at:

  38. I miss the logo lady and the ‘of Bloomfield Avenue’ delineation. The site does load quicker but the ads are still obtrusive.
    And no new articles since yesterday? That’s odd.

  39. “Providing news and entertainment to Essex County and the world since 2004.”
    “Today: Montclair, Bloomfield, And Glen Ridge; tomorrow: The World!”
    Now where have I heard that before…?

  40. I’m sure that some folks here, like me, already have years of experience with Net bulletin boards. I have absolutely no issues with the new setup.
    Sorry, I’m a Mac user. I just expect everything to be intuitive to use. 😉

  41. While I agree that a refresh was in order, I find the new format a bit more confusing than the old. Aside from the eponymous lady, might I also suggest using more contrast for the tabs on the right? The ads (I know they pay the rent!) are more dominant than before, and I miss the box with the current weather….

  42. I think the intuitiveness depends on the wiring of your brain.
    I am bilingual and there’s not much about the website that bothers me.

  43. Dear Mr. Faking lasermike,
    Thanks for employing a tactic from the pre-web days with your username. In any case, your comments:
    “The best comment is “we … meted out justice offline if it needed to be.” LOL, what did you do, show up at someones house with torches because they said something you didnt like? Thats a scary thought – a bunch of middle-aged boomers charging down the street.”
    This wasn’t meant that people are charging down the street, “offline” was more about that we didn’t post it on the blog in front of everyone, we corresponded with people “off” the boards and in email.

  44. Oo, this is weird. Very different in tone, this registering business. Hmmm, it occurs to me that Baristanet probably never would have gotten started with this format. Where is it all going? Oh, woe! Must everything change all the time? Can’t we go back to the days of ROC and Butch?

  45. I just want to interject a comment here that I know will be of the utmost interest to all. Walleroo, whom we all know here as the most reasonable and reasoned of posters, is a truly great marsupial and a credit to his kind. He would have won a Nobel Peace Prize if only they didn’t discriminate against humans.
    Oh, and by the way, I really to love lasermike like a brother, and I agree with and hereby endorse all of his political views.

  46. Why thank you, cathar. So nice of you to say.
    Actually, that wasn’t cathar — it was I! Ha ha HA HA AHA AHAHAH AHA AHAHAHHAHAHA AHA AHAHAHA AHA AHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!
    (I beat the system, Tom. You’ve got a little bug-ee-poo in your software.)

  47. Right now I am getting up a mob (calls are in to assorted former gang members and Nam vets) to visit walleroo’s eucalyptus tree. We will burn it down, swing him round by the tail for a few hours and then skin and dice him for the opossums to dine on.
    We’re coming soon, you little puke of a marsupial. So don’t try hiding behind lasermikey’s skirts.

  48. New Barista is functional, clean and business-like. However, it has lost its edge; as do most things, in time. I no longer repeatedly check to see the newest post.
    I do look periodically.
    I hope you will not turn into an online Montclair Times–entrenched and tired.

  49. Go ahead, cathar, make my day. I’m also calling in the troops– mainly former patients whom I’ve saved with my patented technique of removing brain tumors without damaging the surrounding tissue, which include several prize fighters, three former NFL defensive ends, and at least half a dozen former Navy SEALS, of whom several lost the ability to feel pain. So bring it on, my friend, bring it on.

  50. Yes, Walleroo, I can see that your friends are far more powerful than mine. So I hereby publicly admit that you are far superior to me in every way, and retract any and all statements I’ve ever made that threaten or criticize you in any way. You are a prince among men, a giant among equals, a marsupial’s marsupial.

    (etc etc)

  52. Dear lasermike,
    I also wanted to clear up a few things. I may have implied in past posts that you are an ignoramus, moron, monkeybrain, etc. However, that could not be farther from the truth. You are an intellectual giant, almost on a par with the Great Walleroo (but not quite). I am nothing by comparison, not worth the dirt on your shoes, the hair on your head, the little piece of spinach stuck in your teeth, the jam in your toes, your pubic hair that fell onto the rim of the urinal, etc etc.


  54. Ahhh, that felt good!
    Now what’s interesting, from a sociological perspective, is that I have never ever posted as an imposter on this site (or any site, for that matter) before. Until, that is, it was supposedly disallowed and prevented by technology. Which goes to show you something, I suppose.
    Okay, I’m done now.

  55. Impressive move there, walleroo, but not something that I’ve already come up with an adjustment for.
    In any case, it’s great to see that we can all be childish and technical at the same time. I think when the big problem that a lot of people created were folks impersonating other people. Why bother making it worse? In any case, touche, and we’ll meet again soon, once I light up the latest dev change.

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