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Welcome to The Lost Ogle, Version 6.0!

After 15 years in existence, we made some big changes to guide us for the next 15.

As we teased yesterday, we're proud to unveil two big things today…

1. A new logo, brand, and identity!

2. A new web design and publishing platform!

Let's talk about the brand first!

The New Look

Earlier this year, I hit up my friend Brian Winkeler with Robot House Creative about developing a new brand and identity for The Lost Ogle and our bar entertainment line – Hoot Industries. 

For The Lost Ogle, I wanted something clean and modern that also paid homage to our tabloid, satirical and independent roots. This is the result…

As you can see, it's a big deviation from the flat, two-dimensional black and white logo I created in five minutes back in 2007! Robot House accomplished everything I was looking for and then some! 

I'd like to thank Brian and his team for working with us on these not-very-lucrative-for-them projects. If you're into marketing and branding stuff, I'd encourage you to check out the full brand standards guide they put together for us. It's way too professional for what we deserve, but cool nonetheless. 

With that out of the way, let's talk about another big change that's already causing controversy for people like us who like to complain – this new web design and publishing platform!

The New Website

Around the same time I hit up Brian to develop a new brand, I reached out to Lede – a platform for subscription-driven media organizations – about taking on The Lost Ogle as a client. 

I became familiar with Lede via Defector – a sports website they designed, and one I subscribe to and read daily – and liked their work, so I figured I'd ask if they could build a similar design for us.

After a few meetings, they shockingly said "Yes."

As part of this switch to Lede, we're moving to more of what they call a "metered paywall." Here’s how it works:

We're basically giving everyone a couple of free articles. If you stick around, we'll then give you a couple more free articles in exchange for your email. After that, if you still want to continue reading our news, commentary, and lampoonery of this state we call home – and engage with it through your own published comments – we simply ask that you subscribe for $5.99 a month. Pretty simple, huh?

"Whatever Patrick! You're selling out to the man! I expect you to run, build and grow this site for free! How dare you!"

Yes, this move to the Lede does continue our shift to become more of a reader-supported community. I've gone over this in the past, but the economics of web publishing has drastically changed over the last five years. Thanks to Facebook and Google having a duopoly on digital advertising and web traffic, and rigging the game to their advantage, it's virtually impossible for small and medium publishers to survive on Internet ads alone. Those programmatic ads you see everywhere are like a grain of wheat to a baker – you need thousands to make one loaf of bread, and millions and millions and millions more to stock a bakery. That's unsustainable for a little site like ours, especially when most people want the bread for free.

In addition to that, my personal philosophy on what I want this site to be has changed since I first started it 15 years ago.

Back then, I wanted to reach as many people and get as many clicks as possible, and as far as an Oklahoma-based Internet audience goes, was very successful in doing that.

But nowadays, I'm equally as happy and content building and growing a different type of audience – a smaller one that appreciates, values and enjoys what we do, and doesn't mind chipping in a couple of cents each month to get a little laugh, or stay informed about this wild and wacky place we call home.

And don't get me wrong. I'm still a click addict. I'm always going to want our words, bad jokes, and erotic food reviews to reach as many loins as possible. Having a Sex Toy Spill story go viral is a thrilling part of the job! But those days are few and far between, and moving forward, our only path to a sustainable future for The Lost Ogle is to build a reader-supported community. This is the next logical step to doing that.

Here are a few other notes:

• We're launching a newemail newsletter that will be sent out daily, and contain links to our articles and all that fun stuff. We also have a Member's Only newsletter in the works that will come out soon.

• We're shifting to Coral for our comments platform. It's an open-source plug-in developed by Vox and will provide some much-needed features to the comments section. Yes, comments will be restricted to subscribers only. Also, for now, comments from the old system will not be displayed. They're saved in our database, but we had problems merging them with the Coral system. We'll hopefully find a fix for that down the road.

• As I mentioned yesterday, if things are weird or broken, shoot us an email. This stuff is new for us, too, so we’ll try out best to provide answers and fixes as soon as possible. 

• Finally, to be super-duper clear, I still own 100% of The Lost Ogle and all the content. I also have the final say on what appears on this website, including typos. Basically, we're still the same Lost Ogle – well, outside of the new logo and all that – only we now have a big national company in Lede to handle our web development, subscription platform, and all that stuff.

Anyway, if you’re still reading this, I want to say thanks for the support and patronage of this site over the past 15 years. We’ve grown, and more than likely, you’ve grown with us. Here’s to another 15 more. 

Stay with The Lost Ogle. We’ll keep you advised.

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