First of all, I want to get a community-focused note out of the way: we talked over the open thread concept a bit, and we agreed that tweaks needed to made. Namely, we're embracing the idea that several in the community endorsed: merging the idea of an Open Thread with a daily (and we'll try our damnedest to make sure it's daily) Maryland Minute. The idea of a standalone open thread had potential, but didn't work for a variety of reasons - it was too big, for one, and also had the potential to "bury" news for those who weren't looking in for it. The biggest problem, though, was that it wasn't completely necessary: we're delighted to see people using FanShots more, and that is solving some of the usability problems I was concerned about in the first place. But we still wanted there to be a place to discuss breaking news, and we wanted to keep a more relaxed conversation hangout for those who liked it; that's the purpose the MM will serve. We're not trying to make it a big part of the community the way the Open Thread likely would've been, but it's there for those who want it - and, critically, because there's a new post every day, conversations won't become overbearing or intimidating with the number of comments.
To go along with this, we'll continue to encourage people to use - and check! - the FanShots, which are hugely useful tools. Meanwhile, we're going to keep the spirit of the FanPosting guidelines the same, but we will ease the specifics in some areas - ultimately, we're concerned about content, and that's what we want to see. Essentially, it makes things more like the old way while still retaining much of the spirit we were trying to foster with users using the right tools. And we're happy with that moving forward.
Now, the BIG, IMPORTANT part of this post, and it's a note about us: remember when we introduced our new logo a few weeks ago? That logo, as we mentioned, was the first of a series of big upgrades to SB Nation and thereby Testudo Times as well. And those changes are going to go live soon. Very soon.
The new platform is codenamed SBN United, and one of the things you can glean from the name is that blogs across the network will indeed be more unified, visually and otherwise. But what really matters to you:
- Sites will load faster, meaning you get to what you want quicker.
- There's a hot new layout that's modern, flexible, more attractive and ensures you're always seeing the best and most relevant content.
- The experience is seamless across devices. So whether you're on your laptop, phone, or tablet, the site will look, act, and function the same.
- A bunch of awesome tools are added for the bloggers in the back-end, which means more, better, and cooler content for you guys.
- And nothing substantive changes on the community side: FanPosts, FanShots, GameThreads, and everything else are still here and as important as ever.
This is, we believe, a significant leap forward for SB Nation. Every change may have slight growing pains, but the end result is more attractive, much faster, and a significantly better user experience across the board, including on mobile devices. We get more tools to deliver content in unique and awesome ways; you get a better, faster, more attractive site.
Change can be hard on the internet, but this is undoubtedly a step forward for us and for the network as a whole. We're delighted that it's coming and that as a result you're getting the best experience possible. Screenshots, for those interested in getting a sneak preview at what's to come, are below. Click any image to embiggify:
I believe the words you're looking for are "f**king cool."