Monday, May 5th, 2014

Change Comes From Within Website

We are flipping the polarity here today, give or take. From now on, we—your faithful Awl servants Alex Balk and Choire Sicha—will be answering to the new editors of The Awl, Matt Buchanan and John Herrman. They will now officially be in charge, and will begin finding their way. They will make the decisions. We will take our demotion to feature writers and guest editors in stride.

Do you want to have a word with them? You can reach us all at notes @

Later today, give or take a day, you know how we are, the masthead will change. Alex's new title will likely be Bear In Chief and I'm being sidelined to the role of Executive Office Manager. Ooh, maybe I'll bring back the newsletter!

All (most) sarcasm aside, we'll still have our fingers in this pie of a website, helping to make things here be, as well as planning for the next five years of this company. Think of it as us finally getting the bosses we never wanted but always deserved! I'm being flippant because there is no cause for alarm, only for celebration.

Oh, now would be a good time to warn you also that there's a pending… well we'd call it a "redesign," but it's actually technically our first design, right? Coming soon! It'll be jarring! Certainly we are trying to keep some elements of "jankiness" and "terribleness," our visual trademark, but also it might actually be mildly attractive. We know. Change is hard and weird. But, for one, we want to get rid of a lot of GARBAGE on this site, and two, it'd be nice if people could read us properly on mobile devices, ya know? Anyway that's down the road a little bit. But you were warned.

Questions? InMail us on LinkedIn!

37 Comments / Post A Comment

Murgatroid (#2,904)

Don't tease us about newsletters, Choire. Baby steps. Maybe bring back the podcast first and then we'll talk about the newsletter.

Matt Buchanan (#232,205)

If this were Kinja, we'd take questions in the comments, I guess???

@Matt Buchanan : This "Kinja" sounds like a reader's dream come true.

@Matt Buchanan Between you and John, which one's the Lou?

@Gef the Talking Mongoose

I, too, am interested in this "Kinja". Could its magic lure back Barea?

@Matt Buchanan If this were Kinja, this would be a double-post.

@Matt Buchanan If this were Kinja, this would be a double-post.

paddlepickle (#8,731)

If anything happens to Ask Polly there WILL BE RECKONING.

mgw (#89)

@paddlepickle Maybe she'll get paid now.

Fizzbin (#260,272)

Wait what?! Change is hard and usually awful! What have you done with CAAF? That was traumatic and I will never get over it. And now you rub coarse kosher salt in my wound. I cannot stomach a single iota less Balkiness or Choireosity! NO!

KarenUhOh (#19)

That's okay. The more you change, the more entrenched I become.

@KarenUhOh : Which of my former girlfriends are you, again?

Get rid of commenter numbers at your own peril.

@Clarence Rosario :

A GUIDE TO COMMENTER NUMBERS, by Gef the Talking Mongoose

0-99 : Founder, supportive / undermining friend-of-friend, mom (hi, Mom).
100-999 : "Early adopter," sucker, narcissist seeking new outlet / soapbox.
1000-3000 : Unhip trying to get hip, wallflower, always-a-bridesmaid, etc.
3000-199999 : Spambot.
200000-299999 : Burner account for category 1, nostalgia user, category 2 user who can't remember password, "twitterer," "facebooker," or some other bullshit.
999999+ : Secret category. THE MACHINES.

Jasmine (#8)

@Clarence Rosario Same.

But really, @choire has such a way of delivering scary news in such a soothing, opaque manner that doesn't leave room for anyone to be terrified of anything. That's a strange skill, but a skill nonetheless

whizz_dumb (#10,650)

@Gef the Talking Mongoose I resent your 3000 threshold and find it to be very convenient for yourself.

@whizz_dumb : Spoken like a true spambot.

Alternate take : Everything has become more convenient for me since I started earning $70/hr from home in my spare time.

grendan (#269,504)

how's everyone's monday

KarenUhOh (#19)

BTW: hopefully this business model does not involve Balk finding out it's "IPO" rather than "IPA."

cinetrix (#47)

I for one welcome our new etc.

jbsquare (#793)

so now that you guys aren't running this joint when can we expect you going to start AA?

thomas_ (#11,923)
Ralph Haygood (#13,154)

"we want to get rid of a lot of GARBAGE on this site": Aside from an occasional spamment, the only garbage I see on this site is some of the ads, if I happen to view the site in a browser that isn't ad-blocked to the maximum possible degree. For example, I just saw ads for "Diet Pill Takes Country by Storm", "Hot Pictures of WWE Diva Eva Marie", and notorious wage thief and purveyor of "food" unfit for human consumption McDonald's. That, Choire, is garbage, and I'm sure you know it, even if it does pay your bills.

Speaking of paying the bills, I would actually be willing to pay, say, $12 a year for an ad-free Awl. I realize such suggestions are generally regarded as deeply Unserious in our users-are-the-product culture of Internet terribleness, but I'm an incorrigible advocate of decency and intelligence, however unfashionable they may be and usually are. I'm a hopeless contrarian that way, which is, of course, why I'm so fond of you and Balk.

@Ralph Haygood : Hell, I'd go $20 if I got a tote bag.

But only if the tote bag has an awl on it.

@Ralph Haygood Yes! That is what I mean! That is the garbage I am trying to get rid of!

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@Choire Sicha@facebook I keep what I do for money in my other browser window. That's the garbage I'm trying to get rid of. Let me know what works.

prackin (#1,164)

Two words: Pledge Week! What will the GenX / Millennial equivalent of "Sounds of the DooWop 50's Live" be?

Ralph Haygood (#13,154)

@Choire Sicha@facebook: Good!

Etruscan Duck (#9,366)

So how smoothly do we expect this to go, compared to the Hairpin handoff?

janevar (#2,912)

@Etruscan Duck ouch

BadUncle (#153)

Not to be a Gloomy Gus or a Despondent Dan or a Sepulchral Sabien, but the last time Choire left a position of editing, the site became deeply uninteresting. So I really hope this isn't a prelude to selling The Awl to Denton.

@BadUncle Don't be an Aleatory Alex.

BadUncle (#153)

@NotAndersonCooper I'll always be your Truculent Timothy at the Tittie-bar.

hman (#53)

Welcome to DeBlasio's New York.

Fizzbin (#260,272)

Now is the time to be Super Duper Sepulchral not Slightly Sad and Sanguine! This is like when the Beatles stopped touring: the beginning of The End!

KarenUhOh (#19)

Jarring, indeed. To paraphrase Jason Robards: I'll take a keyboard, and a flashlight.

alicesherman (#237,158)

Oh god, please don't let this mean you want to get more comments on the articles to prove readership. You may as well just set the whole thing on fire and watch it burn. If someone ever mentions the word commentariat, use an accelerant.

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