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reality blurred is now an app! And other exciting new-year changes

Two weeks and four seasons of Wings on Hulu later, I’ve launched a redesign of reality blurred that you’re seeing right now. I’m excited about that, and other changes that I have planned for this year.

That starts with more transparency and openness from me. If you’re reading this on a desktop, you’ll see a new sidebar that introduces me, and explains what I do here and why I do it, which I’ll also be writing about more in these pages.

Of course, reality blurred isn’t turning into a Livejournal, not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’m still focused on covering, reviewing, and recommending reality TV, and that won’t change, I promise. Coming later this month: a rewatch of Survivor: The Australian Outback, which premiered 20 years ago.

Some of the stories I have planned and the changes I’ve made are a direct result of your feedback from the November survey. Hundreds of you responded, and I read all of those, and really appreciated them. All of your answers helped as I made plans for 2021, and I’ll be keeping them in mind as I make decisions this year.

New design = app for your phone

As this 20-year anniversary video shows, this site has gone through lots of changes over these two decades. There have been some choices that make me cringe, and some that I still have fondness for. (I wish it was still possible for me to have each page include a list of all current reality shows, like I did in 2000 or in 2007.)

I hope this new design is not too dramatic or jarring of a change, just updated and refreshed. I do love the new look and feel—and especially love the new home page, which is bit more dynamic than the old one, although that was my biggest challenge, as I had to teach myself some new coding techniques.

I didn’t just do this to give the site a superficial makeover or to play around in code for a few weeks, though I enjoy that kind of problem-solving.

Instead, I made it for several reasons. First, about 85 percent of you read this site on a phone, not a desktop. So it’s critical that it’s built for mobile—and loads fast, without using a lot of your data.

To accomplish that, I changed the underlying structure of the site. It’s now built on a framework, Trellis, which is created by Mediavine, the company that also makes possible the advertising on these pages (and makes it fast, and user-friendly).

I switched because in part because my old framework was going in a direction I didn’t love, but mostly because of what Trellis offers both of us. It’s built for speed and will make my life easier: instead of focusing on technical things, I can spend more time—well, watching TV!

One of the things this new framework makes possible is that reality blurred can now be an app on your phone!

Okay, technically, it’s a PWA, or progressive web application. What this means is that it’s not something you get from the app store, but that will function like an app on your iPhone or Android device. It’s more than a bookmark in the shape of an app—it’ll load super-fast, for example.

Here’s how to add it:

iPhone

  1. Open Safari (the real Safari!)
  2. Go to realityblurred.com
  3. Click Safari’s share icon (the square with the arrow pointing up)
  4. Scroll down and choose Add to Home Screen
  5. Enjoy!

Android

  1. Open Chrome
  2. Go to realityblurred.com
  3. Choose Add to Home Screen
  4. Google says there will be “onscreen instructions to install”
  5. Enjoy!

I welcome your feedback about the new design—and also your bug reports. It’s impossible for me to test on every device and scenario, so if you see something that looks wonky, take a screenshot and send me an e-mail.

Thanks for reading, and happy new year! I look forward to the reality TV and conversations this year brings us.

All of reality blurred’s content is independently selected, including links to products or services. However, if you buy something after clicking an affiliate link, I may earn a commission, which helps support reality blurred. Learn more.

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About the author

  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means. Learn more about Andy.

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