As you know, for seven or eight months now, we’ve been slowly redesigning and retooling our entire network of sites — first with TPM and the news section we rolled out mid-2007 and now with all of our sites. So I wanted to take a moment to note the work of the outfit we’ve been working with on this on-going project: Apperceptive.com.
TPM has always been a tiny operation run by the skin of our collective teeth. So this has been the first time we’ve had the resources to go to industry standard experts on the publishing platform we operate on (Movable Type) — something that the size of our audience and operation has now made essential. The change in the graphics and layout are obvious, if you’re a longtime reader. What’s less clear is that the way the site functions on the back-end is vastly more complex (with the news section, comments, the way the sites are now integrated together) than was the case in any of the earlier iterations of the site. One other point I should note: because of our size and resources, we’ve never been able to field close to the hardware resources behind the site as would be called for with the scale of traffic we get (to give you a sense, we now regularly get traffic equal to what we got on election night 2006, and almost four times what we got on election night 2004). That’s required some custom tinkering to keep our blog train from going off the server rails.
Now, we’ve gotten some nice praise recently for the stuff our team has published at TPM. But literally none of it would be possible without the engine the folks at Apperceptive have built for us that keeps the words streaming off our keyboards on to your computer screens. So they come with our strong recommendation. And if you’re looking for people who do this kind of work I’d be happy to answer your questions about our experience.