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Bill Hicks takes a weekly look at the hot topics in the TES chatrooms

It isn't every week that we can bask in the warm rays of your approval, so I am going to savour this while I can.

You might remember that when we relaunched the site at the end of September, we chose what we thought was a rather tasteful new colour scheme for the forums: cool shades of blue-grey.

Too cool, perhaps, as dozens of posters told us they loathed it, that it was giving them headaches and contributing to their seasonal affective disorders.

So what did we do? Ignore them because we knew better? No, here at the listening TES website, we aim to please (sometimes). Which is why, this week, we have delivered an early Christmas present: the TES Staffroom optional colour palette. It allows you to choose from three colour schemes:

"classic" orange and yellow, minty-fresh green and jade; and our preferred "corporate" blues and greys.

In fact, this was part of a whole package of new goodies, including an improved search, but it was the colours that got everyone going. When we slipped them out on to the site late on Wednesday afternoon, moonpenny started this thread in the personal forum: "Wow. We can choose our own colour scheme. It's the most exciting thing that's happened to me all day!!!!"

Simultaneously in Opinion, ivy2 was congratulating us thus: "That's better, TES!I The green colour scheme is quite pleasant, but it's good to have the orange back for the winter! I feel warmer already!"

It became clear that a small but significant portion of the UK teaching profession had nothing better to do on a dismal November evening than swap notes on which of the new TES colours they liked best.

Of course, some just cannot resist picking holes. "Oh God, I'm so happy!"

says Lilyofthefield, but then raises an issue: "If I have to change it every time I log in, I might as well just go back to changing the brightness control on the monitor every time I visit this site." And Zahra picks up the theme: "No it doesn't, it goes back to blue and you have to change it again!! Bu66er!!."

Ms_sunshine leaps to our defence: "Even so, it's a MASSIVE improvement.

Thanks for listening, TES!!!" (Yep, multiple exclamation marks are near-mandatory in the forums.) Even as they speak, our technical genius is back under the bonnet fixing the coding so the colours stay the way you want them. Oh, and he's fixed the log-in problem.

Where else do you get this quality of service in 2004?

Bill Hicks is editor of the TES website.

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