Almost since I started this blog, my bosses at the Ledger have been asking if I'd be willing to relocate it to NJ.com. I've resisted, for various reasons, but with the new season starting in a few days, it's finally happened.
Starting today, the All TV blog at NJ.com is live and will not only be a reliable place to find every single column I write (and without either the printer dialog box or the 14-day expiration date my stuff used to get), but will also mirror most, if not all, of the content on this blog.
What does this mean to you, the What's Alan Watching? at Blogger reader? For now, nothing. This site continues to exist, continues to be my baby, and neither the amount nor style of my postings will change. With the exception of things that were already NJ.com-only (full columns, press tour, "American Idol"), there won't be anything at the NJ.com blog that won't also be here. For the most part, items will be posted here shortly before they go up over there. (However, one advantage of the NJ.com blog system is that I can schedule posts to go up automatically at a pre-designated time, so if I've written an entry in advance to go up at, say, 11 p.m. and then go to sleep early, it would be up at NJ.com then and not live here until the next morning when I wake up and manually publish it.) You can keep coming here, every day, and find new content with lame "as soon as I..." jokes.
That said, the mirror site plan is a compromise, and not necessarily a permanent one. There may come a point in the future where I'm asked to relocate to NJ.com, permanently -- and if called, I will have to serve.
Now, the reason I started this thing on my own is because I had issues with NJ.com, some of which continue to exist, some of which don't, and I wanted to create an experience that was as reader-friendly as possible. NJ.com has made a lot of improvements -- compare the way the current blog looks to the way the press tour blog looked in ye olden times) -- but also has other things that can and should be improved.
So here's what I'm asking: anyone who wants to be a beta tester of sorts and help make NJ.com better, take a few minutes -- today, tomorrow, next week, whenever you have the time -- and spend them poking around the blog to figure out what you feel needs improvement. Does the comment registration process bother you? Do you ever get hit with the demographic survey? Are there other things that are problematic that I've just stopped noticing? Take a look and send me an e-mail.
I don't know when it's going to happen -- maybe months, maybe a year, maybe longer -- but I think the permanent move there is going to be inevitable. As far as I know, I'm the only critic at a major paper or magazine who's been operating "a rogue blog" (as one friend puts it), and my bosses have been far cooler about that than most would be, given that I spend a decent amount of every work day on this. That they're even letting me keep this place going as competition of sorts for the NJ.com blog is something I can't imagine happening at most other papers.
And if it's going to happen, I want the transition to be as easy as possible, and I want the new location to be as good as it can be, and the people best-suited to help me with that are you guys.
Thanks, and I'll keep everybody posted on new developments.