Welcome to the all new, all awesome DenyConformity.com. What you see here is the culmination of over a year of obsessive, hard work. I know content has been a bit lax over the last year, but now I can finally show what I’ve been working on all this time. Welcome to the future. Welcome to DenyConformity.com.
I won’t go into depth here about the actual concepts I put to work in the design of the new site. I will continue my design journal entries for anyone out there who is wondering just what I was thinking (I know many of you probably don’t feel subject to change, and are therefore a bit lost on this new site). This post, instead, will be a sort of “readme” document for the site. I will update below with news about new features, additions, and tweaks to the site. Please also consider this post the sounding board for you to let me know what you think of the new layout, and if you have any ideas for ways to make it better. Just find your way to the bottom of the page and hit me up with a comment.
So without further adieu, I give you:
BETA 0.1.1 - “Agamemnon”
The initial build of the new DenyConformity.com was released to the public on April 1st, 2012 (happy April Fool’s day!). This version of DenyConformity.com is still very much a beta release, meaning that it is not guaranteed to work perfectly across the board. The site has been tested and works properly in all modern browsers - Firefox 10+, Chrome 17+, Internet Explorer 10, Safari (probably), Android 2.2+, iOS whatever (I’m assuming), and oh, let’s just say Opera (who’s going to verify that?). The site works best at this point in Chrome or Firefox, and is designed to work at pretty much any resolution between 320 and 5000 pixels wide. Check the site out on an Android or iOS device, it’s pretty cool. However, I am very worried about how this site will work on my parents’ extremely old, un-updated version of Firefox. If you find any bugs or you see something that seems wrong, please let me know via an email to beta[at]denyconformity.com.
“Agamemnon” contains all the core functionality of the DenyConformity.com website. The main page, arranged to represent a “timeline,” shows a small summary of each post (split into pages of thirty posts each). Clicking on a post will take you to the post itself, using a dynamic AJAX-driven interface. The primary design imperative of the new DenyConformity.com is that all user experience takes place on a single page, and - except for extreme situations - no content will require a new page to load. Each post’s comments are displayed below the post, and a user can easily post new comments, still without ever leaving the page.
“Agamemnon” ushers in a radical paradigm shift for DenyConformity.com, in a number of ways. First, I am and will be making a conscious effort to produce and gather regular original content. The primary goal of DenyConformity.com has and will always be to be interesting to as many readers as possible. I want the new DenyConformity.com to simply be a really interesting place to visit, and I will be working hard to meet that goal.
Also, the site now features ads on both the main page and next to each post. Though it might seem that DenyConformity.com has “sold out” or “gone commercial” or “whatever, Cracked is funnier, anyway,” the purpose of the ads - as it is on any website - is to allow me to hopefully get a tiny bit of compensation for the vast amount of work I have spent putting the site together. The goal, initially, is to cover the marginal cost for hosting the site. I am not allowed to tell users to click the ads, thereby increasing my potential revenue, because that’s against the terms of Google Adsense. I won’t tell you to feel free to click on as many ads as possible on my site. You’ll just have to use your own discretion.
This day marks a new era for DenyConformity.com (and, frankly my life in general). Continue to check back regularly as the site continues to evolve and grow into this new role.
I have a long list of features and modifications that I will be making over the next few months, so this is absolutely just the beginning. After six years, this fresh start will be the beginning of something truly great. I hope you will be patient with me as I work out the bugs, tweak things, and slowly (but surely) get all of the functionality set up that I have planned.
In the meantime, why not take a moment to follow Deny_Conformity on Twitter, or like my official page on The Facebook? I will share news and updates about the site as it progresses. Also, if you would share the site with your friends (or even enemies), I would definitely appreciate the traffic.
UPDATE - 4/5/2012
BETA 0.2 - “Bradbury”
"Bradbury" addresses several bugs and problems with the initial release. New features / tweaks include:
- Ads now cast square shadows. Also, ads will have black backgrounds, so the space won't be invisible anymore. Please disable your ad blockers on my site, as I really need the ad revenue.
- The Twitter box on the main page now casts a shadow.
- There was a bug on the post page which caused the back button to not work. Hitting "back" would only unload the ad frame, and not actually take the page back. This has been fixed.
- The "go to comments" button on the post page - the last button in the upper-left corner of the post - works properly, now.
- Navigating to http://www.denyconformity.com/post/[id]/comments will now take you directly to the comments.
- The timeline (the main page) now supports generic news items, which might link any old place. You might have used one of those to get to this very spot!
- You can no longer hotlink any image on my site (you can't post an image from my site on another site). It is also harder to save images from my site to your computer, because I don't want you to steal my pictures. If you want a copy of one of my photographs, I would be happy to help you out, but please do not steal my work.
- The new site now has a functional RSS feed. You can see the feed (or add it to Google Reader or something) by using the url http://www.denyconformity.com/rss.xml
- I have made a few visual tweaks, including the main page "new post" and "news" banners, and the comment boxes on the post page.
- I removed a few console debug messages and alerts contained within catastrophic errors. This will not fix the bug heretofore known as the "Delbert Wilkins Bug" but it should at least clear up some of the symptoms.
UPDATE - 4/5/2012
BETA 0.3 - “Crazy Horse”
"Crazy Horse" added three great new features to the site.
First, all posts that contain images have a cool new image gallery. Just click on any of the images in the post to see them all in an easy to navigate enlarged view.
In addition to that, most of the images on the site can now be ordered as a high-quality print. If you find picture you like, check the lower-right hand corner of the image (when you put the mouse on it). Click on "order print" and you'll be on your way to your own piece of DenyConformity.com - as well as a really sweet piece of art to hang on your wall.
Finally, I have implemented the first of the new in-house ads. Please let me know if you would like to get your own ad here. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
UPDATE - 4/25/2012
I've just made some tweaks and fixes, so this one isn't major. The main things are as follows:
- Images won't break the timeline or post page (hopefully) when they load, now.
- The post controls are tweaked, so the button that takes you back to the timeline looks like a little house, now. I hope that's a bit easier to understand than an arrow pointing up.
- When you link directly to a post, the post title and description are loaded as page metadata. This will make it much easier to share posts on Facebook and whatever.
- A bug was causing captions to not show up in galleries. I fixed it.
- You can now navigate galleries with the arrow keys. Left and right switches images, up and down shows and hides the caption, and escape closes the gallery.
UPDATE - 5/23/2012
BETA 0.4 - "Defiant"
Version 0.4 - "Defiant" adds a great new feature to the site. For a while I've been categorizing posts with a wide assortment of tags, and now you can browse all of those tags and get a list of all of the posts with those tags. The site uses six primary tags, which are as follows: comedy, technology, photo, idea, fiction, and personal. Now you can just see what you want to see out of the website.
View all posts with a particular tag by going to denyconformity.com/TAG. This way, if you're only interested in looking at pictures, you can just go to denyconformity.com/photo, and you'll just get the posts about my photography.
Anyway, have fun browsing the list of tags (click the "Tags" button at the top of the site), and as always, let me know if you find any bugs or problems so I can fix them.
UPDATE - 6/7/2012
BETA 0.4.5 - "Defiant" (still)
Version 0.4.5 isn't a huge update. It just added a handy new tooltip feature that will hopefully give helpful information about some things when you put the mouse cursor on them. Try hovering over a timestamp in the timeline or here on the post page - it's neat! I've also finally put together an "About" page, which I'm hoping will make it a bit easier to understand what's going on for visitors who are confused.