ProBlogger recently had a redesign, taking it further away from the traditional “blog look.” Other blogs, like Ars Technica, have taken a similar approach, looking and acting more like magazines. They’re still blogs, but they don’t scream “I’m a blog!”
Personally, I like both approaches. The magazine look is great for sites that have
- Several different types of content (i.e. posts, features, video, podcast…)
- A lot of content
- Timeless content
With a webzine-type layout, you can have Features and regular, shorter, posts. You can highlight old content on the main page, and you can fit ads into the homepage in different, possibly more effective, ways. You can do a lot of different and innovative things that would be impossible with a standard layout. ProBlogger has certainly done a great job, making use of screen space much better than a traditional blog design would.
Of course, I’m not slamming the traditional design. As you can see, this site is currently styled in a very blog-like manner. That may change sometime in the coming years (not this year, though) once there are more readers and content. WSC is well-suited for a more webzine-like approach, though I’m nowhere near ready for a redesign.
In short, the “normal” blog layout is going anywhere. Sure, the webzine look is becoming more commonplace, but it doesn’t work for every site. If you’re a designer, you should be able to tell which design is better for your site.