The Beer.com relaunch took place a few days ago, and as the site’s former managing editor, I’d like to give my opinion on the new redesign. Unfortunately, I think they have missed a great opportunity to make it one of the best sites on the Net.
For starters, just the domain name itself is one of the most sought-after URLs out there. People search for it, link it, type it in their browser, stumble upon it. It’s worth millions in itself, and all you get now when you go there is very annoying scrolling percentage numbers of who likes what out of 10.
“The most exciting features we introduced with the new Beer.com are the abilities to comment and rate the content, so we encourage you to do that.” You mean, like Digg has been doing for years? I don’t see that as exciting.
The word I got is that six people were locked in a room with a plentiful supply of beer and snacks and told: “Revamp the site in a month.” That sounds like pressure to me, and not a very conducive way to plan, design and relaunch a major website. I wonder what the parent company -- dthree Inc. -- were thinking in setting such a deadline?
The fact that there’s three “Place Your Ad Here” boxes on the home page is not a good sign. Might have been cool to get some sponsors in place first.
My previous boss left the company a few months ago, and now I understand a former intern called Chris Balon is in charge of Beer.com -- that’s a swift promotion, and I wish him luck.
One suggestion I have for him is to bring back Virtual Bartender, the smash hit viral sensation that made Beer.com famous. For the life of me I can’t find it on the site; I might have missed it, but some of the comments from users reflect that omission too: “Please tell me that you guys didn’t do the STUPIDEST thing possible and got rid of the Virtual Bartenders? Please tell me that you aren’t that brain dead.”
A message from the Beer.com team says that they have a lot more planned for the future. I sincerely hope so, because it’s a shame what the site has turned into.