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New look Monitor

13:41 UK time, Monday, 11 September 2006

Welcome to the new-look Magazine Monitor which, after a stable and orderly transition, is now open for business.

One of the benefits of this regime change are that clicking the icons on the right-hand-side will take you to archives for each feature, eg: a collection of all caption competitions. This is surely a good thing.

Another is that there are RSS feeds of the Monitor, or of individual features. Or even better, you could use the RSS feed of the main Magazine index, which will include the three most recent Monitor features.

But apart from those changes, it will be pretty much business as usual. Submit letters in the usual fashion, please, using the form on the right hand side of the page. Blog-style comments will be open on items which lend themselves to comments, such as Punorama, but otherwise the daily routine of quiz results, Paper Monitor and Your Letters will continue like finely tuned clockwork. Except sometimes on Thursdays.

And there will be some new features too, including, later today, Pronunciation of the Week, which joins the Monitor having had a very successful run on The Editors, our sister blog.

You might have noticed a few changes on the Magazine itself, including the introduction of new colour, the name of which we're not quite sure. Any suggestions welcome - add your comments here and now, or send us a letter for later.


  1. At 02:09 PM on 11 Sep 2006, Sarah wrote:

    May i be the first to welcome the new style monitor! You're going to take a bit of getting used to i think, and you could do with some pictures on this page, but i'm willing to give you a go...

  2. At 02:12 PM on 11 Sep 2006, myf wrote:

    Well, this will take a bit of getting used to. I'm not keen on the bluey-greeny-grey colours.

  3. At 02:17 PM on 11 Sep 2006, Nick wrote:


  4. At 02:28 PM on 11 Sep 2006, Louie Walsh wrote:

    I like it!

  5. At 02:29 PM on 11 Sep 2006, Ant wrote:

    Seems a little bit squished over to the left, with a fair amount of wasted screen way over there on the right. But overall I quite like it.

  6. At 02:31 PM on 11 Sep 2006, Rikki wrote:

    I really like the new colour scheme and structure.

    The only thing I don't like is the size of the headline of the leading story - it's bigger than the headlines used on other news pages, and so when I revisit the page after looking away, for a split second I think I'm looking at a major event posted on the news homepage (since a similar font size is used for those events). I'd much prefer it if the headline size was consistent across the site.

  7. At 02:33 PM on 11 Sep 2006, Jonathan wrote:

    I like the colour scheme, but this as with all the other blogs seems crushed in to the lefthand side.

  8. At 02:34 PM on 11 Sep 2006, Rich wrote:

    Yes - pretty good in terms of organisation. Have an extra gold star for maintaining the permalinks to old Monitor items, which means I don't have to change all of my website's links to my thousands of BBC-published letters!

  9. At 02:39 PM on 11 Sep 2006, vm wrote:

    I's called teal. I don't like it.

  10. At 02:42 PM on 11 Sep 2006, Bas wrote:

    I did like having the navbar on the left to allow me to browse effortlessly back to the news. But otherwise I'm not too upset

  11. At 02:45 PM on 11 Sep 2006, Anna wrote:

    Only complaint is that as with all BBC News websites, the whole site is displayed in the left-hand side of my screen. I appreciate that I have a big screen and that it's designed to not use it all, but if it was centred it would be much better!

  12. At 02:49 PM on 11 Sep 2006, Ian wrote:

    "eg: a collection of all caption competitions. This is surely a good thing."

    On the defensive already are we?

  13. At 02:51 PM on 11 Sep 2006, Howard wrote:

    The colour is not quite Teal, there's too much grey in it to be true Teal. I have scanned various paint manufacturers' catalogues but without sucess ("meadow blush" or "ocean breeze" anyone?) How about giving it a new name of its own? I suggest "Moniteal (tm)"

    I sense a new Monitor quiz coming on! Name that colour!

  14. At 02:52 PM on 11 Sep 2006, Anonymous wrote:

    I agree - far to squished to the left - for some reason it seems harder to read text which starts right at the left hand edge of the screen as the letters now do. Please can we have the left hand nav bar back?

  15. At 02:55 PM on 11 Sep 2006, Violet wrote:

    i like the bluey-beigey colours, and am about to redecorate my living-room in what i now think of as 'monitor style'.

  16. At 03:10 PM on 11 Sep 2006, Emma wrote:

    Um. Not sure about the colours/squished stuff... looks a bit too much like a standard blog. I especially dislike a) the layout b) the colour c) the silly partial underlining of hyperlinks d) the unintuitive layout of the links on the right hand side e) the lack of BBC nav bar and most read section.

    The content's OK though.

  17. At 03:15 PM on 11 Sep 2006, Nick wrote:

    More 'petrel' than 'teal', I think...

  18. At 03:32 PM on 11 Sep 2006, Rob wrote:

    Hmm, i can't drag-highlight text anymore, which i always did to keep my place when i scrolled back to yesterdays letters, or something. this may get some getting used to...

  19. At 03:45 PM on 11 Sep 2006, T Berry wrote:

    In the USA it's called Persian Blue. Yes, the screen is squished to the left. I keep looking at the bottom of the screen to move the scroll bar, but with no luck.

  20. At 03:52 PM on 11 Sep 2006, S wrote:

    A link back to the BBC News front page, or to the Magazine front page at least, maybe on top of the screen, would be useful.
    Otherwise, very nice.

  21. At 04:03 PM on 11 Sep 2006, Mark wrote:

    Why no link back to the news page? The BBC News icon in the top left is an obvious candidate, otherwise, looks nice.

  22. At 04:35 PM on 11 Sep 2006, emma wrote:

    I don't like it, I'm kind of leaning to the left to get the best view.

  23. At 04:36 PM on 11 Sep 2006, claire wrote:

    its awful.

    bring back the old way.

    i can't stand things over to the

  24. At 04:51 PM on 11 Sep 2006, Lucy Jones wrote:

    I think the colour is KittenSickGrey.

    I echo all the comments about the width (or lack thereof) of the columns and lack of quick news links along the left (I usually look at the Magazine on my way to Have Your Say).

    However, this new format does mean that we're pretty much guaranteed to get our comments published, imperceptible witticisms or no.

  25. At 04:59 PM on 11 Sep 2006, John Airey wrote:

    Was this particular regime change the result of a UN resolution?

  26. At 05:08 PM on 11 Sep 2006, Ed Loach wrote:

    Just call the colour #367 as it is coded in the style-sheet. Not too catchy, but our teenager got into web design recently and more recently told us what colour she wanted to redecorate her room in #FFFFFF (RGB) colour format (though not that colour, 'cos that's "white").

    Anyway, why can't the whole width of the screen be used? There is that big empty white bit down the right not doing anything. Is that reserved for future adverts or something?

  27. At 05:56 PM on 11 Sep 2006, Ellie wrote:

    I think the reason the squished to the left thing is so annoying is because it means if you're focused on the long thin strip of letters, about a third of your field of vision (the bit to the left of the letters) isn't looking at the monitor - which makes the screen seem too bright.

    If you 'restore down' the window - i.e. don't have it on full screen, you can move it over yourself, which is a bit better.

  28. At 05:58 PM on 11 Sep 2006, emma wrote:

    and I agree with Mark etc about the link back to News - felt almost claustraphobic as I couldn't get out...

  29. At 06:32 PM on 11 Sep 2006, Chris wrote:

    If you don't like the content being on the left, why don't you move your browser window to the right?

  30. At 07:14 PM on 11 Sep 2006, TH wrote:

    Well done, looks nice! The RSS-feeds and feature-based archives are good additions.

    The possibility of commenting individual items will drastically increase the number of readers' comments published on the site. Is the end nigh for the kudos earned from published monitor letters?

    Or will there be a two-tier system where the blog-style comments are "dumbed down" and a case of "anything goes" while you still need the nearly imperceptable witticism to get through to the letters of the day?

    Oh, one suggestion: to make Monitor less of a dead end, you could make the BBC News -square in the top banner a link back to the News main page.

  31. At 07:41 PM on 11 Sep 2006, Tim Nutt wrote:

    Monitor I love you. ignore these people complaining about your dashing new looks. You are now truly beautiful.

    Except for the colour - way to corporate to have that nice homely feel.

    And why the left? Are you turning everso-slightly socialist on us?

  32. At 07:54 PM on 11 Sep 2006, Sue wrote:

    As with all new things, the new Monitor will take a bit of getting used to. But on the whole I like it, particularly as the new "institutional" colour scheme means I can read it in the office without appearing to be blantantly reading something "fun"... which Monitor is course!

  33. At 08:32 PM on 11 Sep 2006, David Dee wrote:

    Love those RSS feeds - I've now got lots of little orange buttons on my Mozilla bookmarks bar to play with. All that blank real-estate on the right could bring in some serious advertising revenue, (oops, sorry, forgot ..!)

  34. At 09:33 PM on 11 Sep 2006, Dan wrote:

    I'm not a fan of the colors I'm afraid - it clashes far too much at the top!

    Otherwise, i'm liking it :)

  35. At 10:47 AM on 12 Sep 2006, ian wrote:

    i haven't noticed any changes.

  36. At 12:48 PM on 12 Sep 2006, George wrote:

    To TH:
    Two-teir system or not, I can at last get something published!
    Still, I'll continue in my hopeless quest to get something published in letters of the day/ punorama/ caption competition (anything at all really)

  37. At 04:03 PM on 12 Sep 2006, Alan wrote:

    Love the new colours, and style (the icons on the right, very neat).

    I agree that the news icon should be linked to the news index though.

    And to all those who are asking abour the right-hand space: The simple answer is that there are still a large ammount of users with screens set to use smaller resolutions than yours - mainly 800x600 - and without having a space (granted it could all be centred) they'll be forced to have hideous horizontal-scrollbars and have to scroll to see all of the Magazine. :)

  38. At 06:20 PM on 12 Sep 2006, Scott wrote:

    I don't like it. Is everything on the BBC site going to be slimmed down to be a blog? It looks a lot more lightweight and dull. Sorry!

  39. At 10:31 AM on 13 Sep 2006, John Bates wrote:

    I don't like it at all.

    The Monitor was special, because it wasn't just another tedious blog. It took only a few moments to read, and the letters were mostly good as they were handpicked (and, yes, I did get one published). Now with all this additional opportunity to comment, are people actually going to strive to write exceptional letters, when they could just write some pfiffle here?? Like I am doing now.

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