Happy New Year! I hope 2023 is starting well for you, and will bring you a lot of joy and satisfaction.
The new year is often a time of reflection and renewal, and I’ve tried to do a bit of both with reality blurred‘s home page, as you can see right now at realityblurred.com. Welcome to the new front door!
If you’re reading this, it’s designed for you: someone who’s very likely visited reality blurred more than once. This refresh was informed by your feedback, and I welcome your thoughts on these changes, too.
I do hope it will earn a bookmark in your browser—or, even better, a space on your iPhone or Android’s home screen. To add websites, like reality blurred, to your phone as an app icon:
- Apple/iOS: Open realityblurred.com in Safari. Click the share icon. Choose “Add to Home Screen”
- Android: Open realityblurred.com in Chrome. Click the three dots. Choose “Add to Home screen”
Below is a quick overview of the biggest changes and my thinking behind them. Or you can just check it out for yourselves!
I’m most-excited about this new mini-feed.
It was informed by several things, starting with Elon Musk’s ongoing destruction of Twitter and its reminder that so many of our online spaces are at the whim of corporations and idiots. But I digress.
More importantly, a reader noted in my year-end survey that they saw something I posted on social media that they didn’t see on reality blurred’s home page itself. That made me realize that I should be prioritizing this space.
So, my goal is to make this my primary feed, updating it frequently. It’ll include:
- Recent reality TV news
- Links to interesting things
- My random observations and thoughts
- Site updates, like if I’m taking a few days off, or if something particularly exciting is coming
- Other things I think of, or that you suggest!
I’ll post most updates here first, and if I also post something to social media, I’ll link to those posts for those who may also use that platform.
I really value our discussions about reality TV in the comments, especially because I think of my reviews and pieces as the start of a conversation. It’s like a (super verbose!) version of what I might say to you if we’d just watched a show together.
So, I wanted to give our conversations more prominence. Besides an automated list of the most-recent discussions, I’ll periodically highlight comments that made me think or laugh, challenged my opinion or said something better than I could.
Coming soon, I hope: I’m working on a way for you to get e-mail updates on individual discussions, should that be of interest.
A colorful box gives you immediate links to my frequently-updated premiere guides, and also recommendations for shows that are returning or new this week.
The home page starts with a few featured stories that I’ve hand-selected based on importance, timeliness, and relevance. Sometimes those happen to be the most-recent stories; often they are not.
By popular request, there’s now a quick way to jump to several things:
- The latest stories list, which is in reverse chronological order, just like the old blog days
- Recent comments and discussions
- The most-recent reviews I’ve published
- Maybe other things!
I think this will be especially useful on mobile devices, and I’m debating whether or not to show this on desktop browsers (it is currently visible there) because it’s easier to see more things at once on desktop.
I’ve been publishing reality blurred for 22.5 years now, and there are more than 16,000 stories in the archives (😱). Many of those are instantly forgettable, but more than a few still offer useful information or insight.
My goal is to highlight some of these stories, and periodically refresh that mix.
If a show or cast member becomes relevant suddenly, or I just run across something that I forgot about, I can highlight those stories in various places, like the pull quote you’ll see now under the This week section.
The best part of the underlying structural and design tweaks that I made is it’s easy for me to add something new. I don’t know what that might be!
If there’s something you think would be useful to see on the front page, please let me know: you can comment below, or send me an e-mail message. Please also get in touch if something looks wonky on your device.
And happy new year!