Welcome to the New and Improved Emptywheel


When things started going haywire earlier this year, we decided to do a site redesign to take out some of the unstable code that makes the site more vulnerable to crashes and hacks. We thought we’d pretty things up at the same time.

We’re still kicking on the tires a bit ourselves, and we’ll surely find a few things we need to tweak.

But for now, feel free to test out the new comments (which have at least some of the features ya’ll have been screaming for for some time).

Update: I was remiss in not thanking CurlyHost — a local, woman-owned business — for the clean new design. Thanks Andrea!

40 replies
  1. allan says:

    Wow. Testing. 1, 2, 3. Underline. Strike.

    And the Twitterverse returns!

    This looks all professional and stuff.

    Sprucing the place up for the sale to Lawfare?

    A check is in the mail.

  2. Anna says:

    Very lovely indeed, Marcy!

    I’m forever sharing your stuff on my FB to a group of friends (well, maybe two or three excepted) who ignore it…crazy progressive Anna…but you’re one of my few remaining must-reads. Maybe after their beloved first female president’s put boots on the ground overseas and done *nothing* about climate change, they’ll take a closer look.

    Anyway, congratulations on the sweet new look!

  3. Peterr says:

    Oooooohhhh. Shiny. Nice.

    And no more having to put a dot in to get a blank line between paragraphs? I could get used to that.

    ETA: And Edit!!! Yay!

  4. emptywheel says:


    Keep that bookmarked. Between moving hosts and this we should be more stable. But you never know when we’ll really piss someone off.

  5. Hieronymus Howard says:

    Best part is the expanded space between horizontal lines.  Line spacing is as important to legibility as font size.  For decades, the text areas in Web pages looked like a cheap dime-store paperback, everything all crammed up together.  We don’t need to do that anymore.  Oh what a relief it is.

  6. Hieronymus Howard says:

    It’s a shame my hard spaces didn’t work though.


    Maybe I have to use 170?  Can’t remember.


    Testing&170; testing &170; testing &170; testing


  7. TomVet says:

    Congrats to all who contributed to this, it’s quite nice. It’s always fun to redecorate from time to time whether it needs it or not.

    I kind of preferred the Twitterverse as a sidebar rather than the basement, but that’s just a personal thing. Since I have it open in a neighboring page it doesn’t really matter what I prefer anyway.

    When’s the house warming party?

    I’m on my way down the escalator to visit the finance dept now. Y’all have fun!

  8. emptywheel says:


    Can you say what you mean about the Twitterverse? Also, what are you viewing the page on? On phones, the sidebar shows up below the main column, on laptops it is on the side.

  9. milkshaken says:

    The reason I come here is that I like Marcy Wheeler (but I care less about some of the other contributors of the emptywheel). The old layout was less confusing, and it contained the author name in the header.

  10. bmaz says:

    TomVet at 10:30 pm – Are you sure the “Twittererse” widget is not in your sidebar where it should be? This was something I encountered in our off the net beta testing. Turned out that I simply did not have my browser window set wide enough.

    Try widening tour default browser window incrementally and see if the sidebar features, including the “Twitterverse” one son’t show up as we intend.

    At one time, the content of newsies and blogs was so simple that it scaled up and down in size relatively. It is all very much more complicated now, for a multitude of reasons. But, here at Emptywheel, it is NOT because of obnoxious ads. We seek to give you pure and beautiful content!

    So, seriously, try widening your browser window and see if that doesn’t solve the issue. If not, please let us know.

  11. sb says:

    I believe I prefer comic sans. And your donut looks a bit dry. You might think about purchasing donuts from a woman-owned business, and posting one here. Blueberry. But I like the spiced kind too. ( I’m not big on sprinkles. )

    oh, wait, is that even a donut?




  12. TomVet says:

    @Marcy, @bmaz,  I just found another flaw in my version of the site – no reply button in comments, although I do have the new comment section and it is great.

    I am viewing on a 16″ laptop at full size and a 19″ second monitor, also full size. The version I got looks like a mobile site. It is strictly in-line vertical in layout, with each segment one under another.

    I keep this site pinned in my Firefox tabs so it always loads on startup. When I arrived here today it was the old version on the latest post prior to today. When I refreshed the page to the most recent post, that was how it showed up.



    The good news is that while typing this I had to refresh again to look at something else and it fixed itself marvelously. Now almost everything is right with the world. Well, I may exaggerate a wee bit because I still don’t find a reply button.

    I’m glad that’s over!

  13. arbusto says:

    Nice, simple, usable layouts.  Congrats to you and your web guru.  Now if I could just find my magnifying glass to read the posts and comments.

  14. b says:

    One huge mistake in this redesign.

    The name of the author of a piece MUST be visible next to piece excerpt on the homepage.

    There are some authors here I don’t want to read (sorry, but my time isn’t endless)  and other I do want to read.  If the pieces ain’t marked by author I will click on none.  Why waste my time with click-dislike-back, click-dislike- back, … if there is so much other good stuff to read out there.

    Otherwise I will simply stop clicking on them.


    • bmaz says:

      And yet Bernhard, we have all found the energy to click on your site over the years. Hopefully, you will continue to honor us with your presence.

  15. Old Charley says:

    This is profoundly unhelpful.

    (1) small type

    (2) green on green – relatively low contrast type

    (3) Banner with lots of text that rolls/changes while you try to read it

    (4) Date sequence of articles less obvious than before

    (5) No author listed on article headers – front page

    Sorry. For anyone over 50 this is not a good experience, much less over 70.

  16. JerryN says:

    Good job and kudos to the folks at CurlyHost! I’ll add my voice to those asking for the author’s name in the byline on the homepage. Oh, and no reply button for me either (latest stable Chrome on Win10).

  17. jo6pac says:

    I like the design but the green has to go, please. It might be my 69yr old eyes but doesn’t feel good.

    Edit? WOW very cool

  18. Lefty665 says:

    Love it! Y’all done good.

    FWIW the logon was hard to find. May be my browser settings or ??? (emptywheel.net and wp.com allowed) Stumbled into it through the “register” screen that recognized me. Logon and user name then showed up in small fonts in upper right corner.

    Thanks, as always, for all you do.


  19. prostratedragon says:

    Like the neat new look. Kudos to the CurlyHost design team.


    Didn’t see it yesterday, but as of this moment I’m finding it quite readable as to both colors and spacing of the lines.

  20. emptywheel says:

    For those who want a larger font: note there’s a way to do that in the right-hand column now. Does that largest font get big enough for readability?

  21. Lefty665 says:

    Love the floppy disk on the left end of the logo. Takes me right back to the ’70’s, part of my history and yours EW. Nice that the one at the bottom of the page has a write protect notch too. What’s old is new again. Perhaps something simple like a light gray fill in the box outside the wheel. It has always startled me how easy it is (for me anyway) to make ambiguous UIs.

    Foolishness aside, y’all have done a very nice update. Handsome and less vulnerable too, it’s a twofer.

  22. pdaly says:

    Oh! And I just found the famous Emptywheel Timelines page!

    Scroll to the bottom of website to find “Timeline Collection”!

    [and on Edit: I now see the Timeline Collection is also in the header of the website]

  23. Old Charley says:

    Another issue: You have the empty wheel banner at the top of the article pages (and yes, autocorrect hates “emptywheel”). However, when you page scroll (in Safari) with the space bar, approximately three lines of the page get lost under the banner. Then you need to scroll back up a bit to see what is missed. A pain.

    Yet another: And I hate autocorrect. Flagging (to me) is a better solution than just “fixing” it.

    Finally for now: The outlining of the response boxes is so light I don’t see where to click to fill in my name, etc.

  24. Thomas S. Bean says:

    The real story about surveillance abuses and classified programs has never been told.  It’s all a secret.  But…ahem…if you were me, you can count the dead bodies of my known associates.  Seems as though Cheney ran a secret assassination program (COINTELPRO) that was deployed after I signed and sent a DOJ OIG complaint to Denver and Dallas Field Offices:  is this what tripped open Thomas Tamm’s review and curiosity and disclosure?  Of course, there was no interview or response from Glen Fine’s lackeys…one of whom told me the complaint was moved to FBI OPR.  Two agents from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, named Dave Heller and Dan Reynalds resigned along with SD US Attorney James McMahon.

    I’ve noticed how my communications are misdirected in the past.  Just respond at this site, and I’ll answer questions.

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