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New Site Bells N’ Whistles


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

Hello All,

I’m wrapping up a vacation and being ill (both at once, how fantastic is that?) so posting might be slightly spotty for a day or two, till I’m back up and running on all cylinders. But, I wanted to walk you through some small changes we’ve made to the site, in response to your requests:

  • As requested by women at the APW meetup, there is now a “sort oldest to newest” button on each page. This means you can go into the archives, hit any month, and then hit “sort oldest to newest” and read posts in the order they were written. Plus, you can actually go down to the bottom of the main page, and hit “sort oldest to newest” and the entire blog will re-sort from beginning to end. BWAH! Mind blowing!
  • You guys have been loving the threading comments. By popular request, you can now check off “Notify me of replies via email,” and if people respond to your particular comment, you’ll get the replies in your inbox.
  • And may I remind you of comment flagging? If someone is being unkind, I’m empowering you to report the comment. You know when people are not following the kindness rules of the site. My favorite comment of a long while said this, “If people are looking for a fight I wish they would look somewhere else. We are nice here.” (Awwwww…. and yes, yes we are).
  • Our vendor list is finally up and running. You can find it in the drop down menu under ‘vendors,’ above. This was the most requested bit in the reader survey and now it’s here. This is a listing of all of the paid APW sponsors, sorted by vendor type and location (yay!) They’ve chosen to advertise with this community because they love it, and they love the clients they get through this site (I consistently hear how kind, thoughtful, grounded, and smart you are all). I screen advertisers based on sanity and kindness, and the level to which I feel that they are a fit with the site ethos. As someone who runs a small creative business, I’m passionate about the part of this work that allows me to help small creative businesses to flourish. Because of that, I really care about the match working well, and I turn advertisers down if I don’t think they are a good fit.
  • And finally, on a totally different note – I only have a few advertising spots left. So, if there are any lovely wedding elves out there that have been thinking of joining APW, drop me a line. You can read a bit of the advertising manifesto here.

Thank you all for bearing with me during the transition. I’ve been just overwhelmed by how KIND everyone has been about the new site, even while I grappled a bit emotionally with the change. And I have been truly delighted by how the level of intensely thoughtful conversation has stepped up on the new site with the new comments. That has made every emotionally tough moment of the transition worth it.

xo

Meg

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.

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  • Amy

    I love the new sorting feature! I’ve been reading the site for a while now, but have never gone back and read the earliest posts…now that it’s so easy, I will.

    • http://www.twitter.com/kahlia kahlia

      wow, being able to re-sort the entire blog–I’m so impressed!

      And thank you for the option to receive email replies to the comments! (Amy did you get this one?)

  • http://www.hindsightbride.com Christie O.

    The new site is fantastic, and you’re an inspiration! Sick, on vacation, AND your still blogging! Thanks for all the hard work you put into making this site amaaaaazing! And thanks for thinking of us (your readers) by posting these little site tours–very helpful.

  • http://www.wedding-for-two.com Ellie (EDB)

    So I realize not everyone (meaning non-natives) feels this way, but trust me, pretty much no-one looking for a DC area wedding photographer would think to look in the “South”. We do not think of ourselves as the south. I would say you should move DC to the east or create a “Mid-Atlantic” category.

    • http://www.hindsightbride.com Christie O.

      LOL, historically speaking, the Nation’s capital was finally located in DC to appease the South as it was considered a Southern location. As a native New Englander, I have always considered D.C. as part of The South. However, I now live and work in NC, where locals consider folks from DC to be Yankees. Go figure…

      It seems that D.C. occupies a utterly liminal space :)

    • http://www.onecatperperson.blogspot.com Angie

      Good call, Ellie. I think for us Maryland/DC natives, it may be helpful to create a Mid-Atlantic section, only because I think many of us identify with that.

      • meg

        Oh you guys. Recently people in other parts of the south objected to me calling Atlanta the south because, “It wasn’t really.” Which is a nice way of saying I’m trying to keep the page divided into a few broad sections to minimize confusion, which means a bit of blurryness. I was originally just going to have East/ West/ Middle… but I thought I’d give those of you below the Mason Dixon line your own spot.

        • robin

          As a MD native, I’m going to have to agree that MD thinks of itself as Mid-Atlantic. Semantics aside, I do think if I were looking for a vendor in MD, I would look first for a Mid-Atlantic section, and then look for a Northeast or East section, before I would look at South. (Besides, someone from the *real* south once told me I was from a #@! border state. really.)

          The new sorting is fantastic, Meg! Hope you’re feeling better soon!

        • Alyssa

          I don’t know; those sections are fairly small as it is so I think most people would look in a category, see if their state is listed and then scan the other ones out of curiosity. And as a kid born in DC but raised as a Texan I know never to trust geographic labels because I’ve seen DC labeled as South or East and Texas labeled as South, West and Southwest. If I don’t see my state, I usually keep looking just to see where else it might be.

          Of course, as any good Texan knows, if we had our druthers we’d be our own category.

        • Sarah Beth

          Being a Georgia girl, I can say that Atlanta is IN the South, but is sorely lacking in southern character. Maryland is a draw. I once had a Maryland native as a classmate, who insisted that it was a southern state, and then went on to complain about our accents. *eye roll* I tend to consider it a northern state, because of it and it’s people’s character; it’s just different from the Deep South. D.C. is the same way, in my opinion. Places like Annapolis are not Southern in character, and the ideas/attitudes/views seem to be prevalent throughout the state. But I am sure there could be neighborhoods and communities in Maryland that would be indistinguishable from “the South”.
          Southern is a way of life, a way of life I don’t particularly excel at, even though I’ve been steeped in it my whole life. The Mason-Dixon line really has little to do with it.

        • http://www.onecatperperson.blogspot.com Angie

          Wow… didn’t realize everyone was so passionate about our little Maryland!

          @KIM- And where are you getting sweet tea?! SHARE!

          Meg, you can put MD and DC anywhere you like. I don’t think anything you could do to the site could make us stop reading.

    • http://eclpse.livejournal.com Kim

      Wooo Mid-Atlantic ladies! While I would always consider D.C. – and Maryland – Mid-Atlantic, might I offer an alternative for simplicity’s sake? If you can get sweet tea, it is allowed to be categorized as “South.”

      :-D

      Meg, great idea to be able to sort from oldest to newest posts. I wish that feature had been around when I read APW from the beginning several months ago!

      • http://withlovefromdc.blogspot.com AM

        i sort of like that DC is classified as south. :) try finding good cheese grits in philadelphia – its not that easy.

        anyways, i like that they’re all on one easy page. great job meg!

        • TrailTart

          Also, grown men in seersucker, non-ironically.

          • http://www.wedding-for-two.com Ellie (EDB)

            I’ve never seen Sweet Tea available from anywhere but McDonald’s in DC or Maryland, and I don’t think McDonald’s counts. Also, the only people I know living in this state who drink Sweet Tea are bona fide southerners, that is transplants from the Carolinas. Who think we are a bunch of effin’ yankees.

            My point though, was not to start a fire and also was not to bring up a “is DC/Maryland the South” debate. My point was simply I was surprised to see DC in the south and I think it belongs in the “East” section much more so than the “South” section, and, since the purpose of the vendor sorting is to make it easier on members of Team Practical looking for vendors, and nobody in this area thinks of it as the South, it might confuse readers. Oh, and also, you list Baltimore in the East and then DC in the south and that is also confusing.

            Regardless, I love the vendor sorting and am happy that there is a list of where each vendor works. So yay for the new site!

      • IRMCK

        If AC does not come standard, it is not the South! I was flabbergasted when I moved to DC and discovered that neither ceiling fans nor AC were givens. What kind of city is this?

  • Katelyn

    reading from the beginning… starting now. Work will have to wait.

    <3

  • ddayporter

    this is awesome, thanks for updating us on the new stuff! I noticed the “notify me of replies” box a day or two ago and wondered if I was just insane and it had been there this whole time..

    hope you feel better soon!

  • Jillian

    The new site looks ah-mazing!!! Great job!!
    I am so so happy I found your blog (I’ve been following for a while). It has kept me going, kept me grounded and provided me with so many, ‘oh thank God, I’m not the only on’e moments… Thanks for writing!

  • Alyssa

    You know, Meg, every time I take an internets hiatus you add more stuff to the site. If I stay off APW for a month, can you find a way to add a button to balance my checkbook and convince my husband to get me a puppy?

    Seriously, awesome updates, I’m excited to go play!

    • ddayporter

      +1 on the puppy button! hahaha.

  • robin

    We ARE nice here. (Though ironically, I had to self-edit my comment so many times to prevent myself from being not nice to those other folks). It continues to confuse me why people who don’t agree with APW’s philosophy would want to hang out here making noise about it, instead of just going to the kn*t, or weddingbee, or other my-wedding-is-better-than-your-wedding environments.

    I love the new moderation feature- and hope we can be powerful but kind in self-regulating our community. Plenty of room for disagreement, but not for incivility.

  • http://www.mysanfranciscobudgetwedding.wordpress.com Sarah

    I love the new threaded comments (and so cool that we can now resort the blog). One thing I have noticed in the new threaded comments is that when I am scrolling, sometimes your (Meg’s) comments disappear and all I can see is the pink box. Everyone else’s comments show up just fine. I have both a mac and a pc, and this happens on both platforms (also one computer uses firefox and the other IE).

  • Sarah Beth

    Meg- the sort feature is pretty awesome. I wanted to read this blog from the beginning, but was tired of clicking through the maze to get it in chronological order. Now it’s just too easy! Which is unfortunate, since it’s crazy-busy portfolio/crunch/exam time, and the last thing I need to do is procrastinate! ;)

  • Sarah Beth

    I just ran across this, and thought it needed to be shared:

    http://shinyprettybits.com/2010/04/the-6-stages-of-wedding-planning/

  • http://allthingszilla.wordpress.com Bret Turner

    I also appreciate this new feature. I only recently started reading your blog, as it was recommended to me since I just started a groom’s-eye-view wedding blog and am a total n00b, and I’ve got to tell you that of all the wedding blogs I’ve stumbled across, this is the best, and my fiancee wholeheartedly agrees. I’ve already learned a TON from reading your entries and I am really excited to keep poring through the archives. Thanks so much!

  • http://bondingcarbonunits.wordpress.com/ Sarah K.

    There have been a couple things I wanted to say about the new site, as I adjust to it, and this post is my opportunity, huzzah!!

    Okay, so:
    1. I like it. I know it’s a Big Change from the little APW Engine That Could, but I love the feel. I love the colors and the cozy feel (it looks like fabric, I love it), I love the features, I love your picture in the corner. It’s not the site it was, but it is the site it is supposed to be– it’s the evolution of this site and this community. It’s still a change, but I’m enjoying it so far.

    2. I love, love, LOVEEEEEE that your comments are in purple, Meg. I often read through all eighty comments to a post, but sometimes I just want to know what is catching your eye. And I like that I can see what tickles your fancy, when you comment on someone who Hit the Nail on the Head, when you can really tease out a discussion. It’s awesome.

    SO, YES. Thanks for all your hard work on this; it’s an amazing site that I’m so glad is available to me as I plan my wedding and my marriage. Next up? That name change post (oooo, drama).

    • meg

      Thank you, and my designer (hi Liz!) thanks you too. Honestly, it’s taken about this long for me too. It’s been a really really hard emotional adjustment for me. I still have a funny feeling in my heart when I think about the old site, but infrastructure of the site (if you will) just was no longer able to hold the load.

      Also, I’m glad you like my pink comments. I’ve been wondering about that. Because I have a degree in post-modernism, I worry a lot about (I swear to god) about Brechtean othering. Huge parts of my brain will forever be consumed with such things (thanks BFA…) IE, I don’t really want to be ‘the other’ – the blogger on her very lonely pedestal… since I’m just, you know, me on a the same computer as always. So. I wasn’t sure if the comments were right are not, so I’m glad they are.

  • Molly

    Hey Meg,
    How do we pick personalized icons for to appear next to our comments? I still love the frazzled bride, but as I become a more regular commenter I feel like I should have an identifying icon. I’ve been looking around and I can’t figure out how to do it. Is that functionality gone w/ the new site?

    • Katelyn

      My pic is the icon from my (never used) blogspot account. Not sure how this figured out how to find it. Meg mentioned something in her original “changes” post about an account through something or another, so probably related to that- but I would refer back to that post and see what it has to say about the comment icons.

      • Molly

        Yes, there was a link in the original post, thanks for suggesting that! I should be all set, but I don’t get to see if it worked until I post this comment…

    • ddayporter

      you set up an account over at http://en.gravatar.com/ and you can upload images there. and then when you comment you just write in your gravatar and the email address associated with that and BAM. photo. I’m not actually sure that the name has to match your gravatar username, it might just pick it up from your email address…

      it’s funny because for the longest time I couldn’t figure out how so many people had discovered how to add the frazzled bride as their gravatar!! and then I realized, duh, these are the people without gravatars.

      • ddayporter

        oh! and now I miss the (delete) button from the old site where you could remove your own comment if you discovered it was no longer necessary after you posted it! haha.

        • meg

          And good point.

      • robin

        yay! thanks. :)

    • meg

      Ha! Clearly you figured it out. At first I read your comment as “more regular customer” and I was like, huh, is that what it’s like now? ;)