MacSurfer update: grand old dame gets a facelift

Count me shocked.

MacSurfer, the grand-daddy and still king of Mac news sites, has unveiled a new look, now in beta. Times have changed, mullets have gone out of fashion, Michael is no longer the king of pop, and tie-dye is out … but MacSurfer, the essense of web 1.0, has stubbornly remained completely and utterly static. So any update is a bonus.

Major changes:

  1. 1-column to 3-column
  2. Font size for article titles is smaller
  3. Tabbed navigation (as opposed to no navigation at all)
  4. More add space (in the afore-mentioned 2 extra columns)
  5. Integrated search (not just a link)
  6. Archives
  7. Archives!
  8. Let’s say it one more time: finally, finally, archives! Now that great article you saw on MacSurfer but forgot where it was is findable.
  9. Translations (don’t get too excited, they’re via Google … “El Maco updating system blue muy excellent sofa” is a likely translation)
  10. Times when articles added

That’s a lot of change for a grand old dame … but there could be more.

Social features like commenting, submissions, and voting might make MacSurfer less of a jumping-off site and more of a social hub … which I think would translate into significant value for its owners. At any rate: wow – great to see the change.


8 CommentsLeave a comment

  • John,
    What website do I visit first thing every morning?!

    Couldn’t agree more with your article. Thanks.

  • And *finally* RSS feeds!
    Big but…
    It’s not entirely clear from the subscription page, but it doesn’t look like there’s going to be a free option beyond three days, and even that will require registration. No thanks, if that turns out to be the case, I’d rather just take 15 minutes and subscribe to the feeds from the original sites they get their content from anyway.

  • Ahh … I didn’t see RSS feeds, but now I see that it’s under the subscription plans.

    Personally, I think they’re going about monetizing MacSurfer totally the wrong way. Make it a social site, make it a destination, make it a place where Apple fans hang out … and the valuation will come.

  • $30 a year is a lot of change for a gatekeeper site. I love MacSurfer, but I’m not going to pay them that kind of money. I might have paid $15 a year for the convenience. As it is, or soon will be, I too shall bookmark Mac sites myself.

  • I dunno about all that “social networking” stuff. I like my web pages like I like my women, static and without a great deal of CSS additions to increase the DIV counts with social network icons and subscribe fields and Technorati this and comment that all over the place.

    Okay, that didn’t make sense at all, but you get the picture. Sort of. Maybe.

    The point is, while MacSurfer was the best thing for Web 0.9.6, it’s sort of past its usefulness with the onset of things like Google Reader, where you have something like MacSurfer, but custom-built for any user.

  • Puhleeze, someone get MacSurfer a graphic designer.

    I like MacSurfer and use it, but it’s butt-ugly. The beta, while it has some better features and is organized a bit better still remains butt-ugly. Better graphics would likely equal enhanced usability.