March 24, 2009

elephantjournal.com redesign will feature far fewer ads.

Our redesign should go live this Saturday. It will be a bit cleaner—only two columns instead of three or four, as elephantjournal.com is now. It’ll have handier buttons to join our Facebook group, follow us on Twitter and subscribe, free, to our blog (RSS). But the most important change: it’ll feature only one supersize banner ad (which is available), one standard size banner at the bottom, one ‘poster’ ad (where the prAna ad is, now) and—count ’em—six or eight of those standard square ads, instead of 24 (we’ll continue to donate ads to events and non-profits at bottom). This will mean faster load times for those in cafes and such, and an increased dependence for our financial well-being on big advertisers, instead of smaller advertisers. Why the change? Because, after seven years, I’m personally tired of spending half my life harassing, charming, cajoling, begging and pleading with local or smaller national friend businesses to support elephant journal. Because this change—if successful—will allow me, suddenly ele’s only full-time employee, to focus on content, videos, talk show (next one: Sakyong Mipham and Paper Bird).

For those individuals and businesses who do want to support elephant in a small, long-term way, we’ll have a ‘Support Indie Media’ button. Click on that, you’ll go to a page (formerly our Marketplace) where there will be a list of names and links. If your name is, say, George Clooney, all you have to do is click on the Paypal button, pay $20 one-time plus $10/month (a sort of modern web subscription + ad + eco schwag), and your favorite eco/yoga/LOHAS business or non-profit will go up in lights. We can link to any web site. If we get up to 108 names, that will give us some stability. Right now, though we’ve grown quickly in only a few months since going paperless, our financial footing is rather unsteady. Anyone paying $10/month will get 1) our appreciation 2) a little ad link 3) a special I Support [Elephant logo] organic cotton tote bag big enough to haul groceries, school books, yoga and gym stuff in 4) an elephant sticker for your reusable coffee mug, laptop, bike, bumper.

[galleria thumb_w=120 thumb_h=90 thumbnail=”bottom” navigation=’none’ ]

Any suggestions (comment below) on redesign are most welcome. Once the new design is live, I’ll reup this blog post and ask you all to comment if there’s things you love or hate.

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