The Houston Chronicle's New, "Improved" Web Site: Day Six & It's Still Front-Page News

The Houston Chronicle has taken time out from promising its overworked staffers more barbecue (in lieu of raises) to initiate an elaborate roll-out for its redesigned homepage.

There was a party at Hotel Zaza for "community leaders":

Elite members of Houston's business and journalism communities gathered Thursday for a sneak peek at the redesign of Chron.com at the Hotel ZaZa.

The new site includes a better navigation bar, more news important to Houston, more visibility for niche content (including 29-95, FuelFix and Ultimate sports websites), larger photos and slideshow carousels and a redesigned logo.

A redesigned logo!!!

The official launching can be somewhat tracked by the stories about it that show up on the Web. For the past week, the Web site's front page has been offering a story dated 8/31/12 headlined "Houston's top local news website unveils new look" (clicking through reveals "Houston's top local news website" is....the Chron).

That story has been updated twice, on September 1 and 3. It tells of "a dramatic facelift."

That dramatic facelift involves a "new layout [that] is simple and clean, with bright colors and large photos to enhance the visual experience."

To be honest, it doesn't look all that different than the old layout.

But we are enjoying the hell out of trying to guess just how long they're going to be hyping this thing. A full week? Can they possibly keep an item about a Web redesign on their front page for a full week?

We're guessing they can, just because it's so dramatic and all.

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