New look FT.com

Introduction: Upstart Xstrata makes a multi-billion dollar approach for Anglo-American, the establishment mining company; the turf battle over banking regulation intensifies in the UK; the Iranian authorities tighten a noose around the opposition; and Michael Jackson, the Peter Pan of pop, dies in California, aged 50.

Award watch: Barney Jopson’s articles on the political and economic impact of water aid in Asia and Africa won a distinguished mention in despatches in the Martha Gellhorn prize.

And if you missed the Financial Times or ft.com this past week, you would have missed the following top ten items:

The Markets Data section of FT.com has re-emerged in the new design. It contains a wide range of information of equities, commodities and bond, plus a currency converter, tools to track your personal investment portfolio, the companies research centre, interactive charts and much else.

Tell us what you think.

by Paul Murphy, FT Alphaville editor

FT Alphaville has been refreshed! Our hyper-active financial blog has taken on the new FT.com livery and we’ve also introduced some important new improvements to functionality.

As of midday our redesigned homepages, including a new Middle East page, are now live.

We’re very pleased to see the hard work of many people realised, but this is only the first step of much deeper and wider-ranging changes to the entire site that are also well under way.

We’d like to hear your feedback. You are welcome to comment on this blog of course, but to help us analyse the responses, please use our survey – it’s quite short!

Here are some of the results from Monday, when readers were looking at the JPG of the new layout rather than the live page -

‘Overall, how would you rate the new design?’
82.4 per cent rated it ‘very good’ or ‘good’, with 5.2 per cent neutral.

‘It’s easy to find what I’m looking for’
70.8 chose ‘strongly agree’ or ‘agree’; 17.2 per cent were neutral (many commented it was too early to tell)

‘The new homepage makes it easy to get briefed quickly on the day’s top stories and related comment’
79.9 per cent chose ‘strongly agree’ or ‘agree’; 9.4 per cent were neutral.

Some of the most memorable comments we’ve seen so far…

A gay Guardian‘ (from a comment on Roy Greenslade’s blog)
Blogalicious‘ (Gawker)
And the rather poetic ‘Yoghurt with blackberries’ (from one of our survey participants)

Update: Had some confusion with date stamps and time references on this post – the new homepages went live midday Tuesday, in case you’re wondering.

In addition to the home pages and Alphaville/Long Room, we’ve also changed the look of the blogs on FT.com today. The functionality is unchanged but, as with the rest of the site, there’s further development going on that will be rolled out over the coming weeks and months.

We’ve launched this blog to give readers an insight into the Financial Times’ journalism and how we produce our website and newspaper.

Generally, the FT avoids talking about itself. That is partly a desire for impartiality – Lex, for example, does not write about Pearson, our parent company – and partly an attempt to steer clear of media self-absorption. (Or maybe it’s just a cultural thing – British reserve.)

But we also want to be open and accountable. While readers have always been able to write a letter to the editor, we realise that an easier and more collaborative conversation can be had online.

So this blog aims to do a number of things:

- Provide updates on changes to our website, including the phased roll-out of the new design and functionality;

- Explain changes to editorial policy – on online moderation, corrections, and so on – and to discuss how we deal with the dilemmas and mistakes that sometimes arise in the newsroom;

- Discuss individual editoral projects: how we did them, how they work, how well they succeeded – what you thought of them;

- Point out articles on journalism, new media and such like that have caught our attention.

In addition, the blog will republish a weekly staff email written by Lionel Barber, the FT’s editor, highlighting what he sees as the best of the recent output. (It will be redacted, just slightly, to omit commercially-sensitive information and anything else not for public consumption.)

One caveat: this blog does not want to be a one-stop shop for all reader inquries – we probably won’t be able to respond to every comment or question. Here are a few other places you might want to try:

Newspaper subscriptions
Media centre
FT help
Customer support – form or email (including non-registered or free registered users)

Editors’ Blog

This blog is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

Insight into the content and production of the Financial Times, written by the decision makers.

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