MangaCast 2.0 Launched

MangaCast has officially launched MangaCast 2.0, now powered by WordPress. ComiPress caught up with MangaCast's Ed Chavez, who talks about what the new site will offer:

After years of development, MangaCast 2.0 is finally launched! Anything you'd like to say about the new site?

Ed: Took a little longer than I thought it would, but I am really happy to see it live. The LJ was great and will still be around. But our new home is where we really want to show how much manga mania we collectively posses.

So the LJ site and the new site will be run concurrently? Will there be different kinds of content on each site, or are you planning on slowly phasing out the LJ site?

Ed: Well, the LJ will remain for those who are used to seeing us there. I think I will update it every week or so. Provide links to the new site. After a while I think we might just turn it into an LJ feed as a few other blogs have done.

When was the idea of a 2.0 first conceived? Has there been any major design/concept/software changes from then to now?

Ed: Well, it was thought up spring of 2006. One of our producers, Jack Tse, came up with idea, and he provided the banner you see on the front page. Things kinda stalled a bit and we experimented with a few looks, but after finding something that matched our color scheme and worked with the concept of manga we... Well we sat on it for about 6 months. It wasn't until I got some advice from a former manga editor that I pulled the trigger and worked on the site in earnest.

I wanted to add more Japanese links and such. Those might come later but right now I want to ask for more banner links. Manga is a visual medium, so I want to have those on the site when possible. I think we have a CP button/banner up now ^_^v

The new site runs on WordPress, the same software that powered other well-known manga blogs like MangaBlog and Love Manga. What's your impression on this blogging tool? Did you consider other tools?

Ed: To be completely honest, it is much harder to work with than LJ. There are little HTML bugs that are hard to resolve. Particularly when dealing with images and aligning text within tables. It is also not very podcast friendly. There are widgets and add-ons that help. But some of them don't work well with other plug-ins. Finding that balance has been difficult. But we are working on it. I looked at Drupal on the advice of a manga site admin. It looks very spiffy. But I didn't have the knowledge to really make it work. Maybe for MC 3.0, but that should be years years away.

Could you share some info with us regarding this mysterious 3.0?

Ed: There is no info yet. But if we ever do take it to that level the MangaCast will be hosting CP and... Just Kidding.

So overall what should the fans be expecting from the new site?

Ed: Well much of the same. Podcasts, written reviews, rankings, manga release news... By the time of this announcement our newest program will be up. That will be the informal launch for the site. Jack Tse will host: This Week in Manga All Jack, all manga, in his own words. Should be a fun podcast. I will be providing pages with Japanese publisher information. To help promote knowledge of those companies. Give people a quick look at the magazines and books those pubs release to make them more relevant to readers in the west.

Thank you! Any last words?

Ed: Last words... MangaCast 2.0 just started so I don't think its time for that quite yet but I hope manga fans will continue to support our blog. And as always I want readers to consider the MangaCast a network and a community. If they want to provide content they know where we will be there with open arms, And if they just need information we will be there with facts and our share of opinion as well.

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No more tables (LOL)

"Particularly when dealing with images and aligning text within tables."

gah I hate tables, be it wordpress or drupal or whatever, I don't want to align anything with anything anymore (I had bad experience with both wordpress and drupal).

Anyway, I love those manga magazine reviews that mangacast does from time to time (for example: Comic Valkyrie). I would really love to see more manga magazines realted reviews.