2010 is here and with it comes a new look to the site. If you’ve followed us from the beginning, this is only the 3rd major overhaul we’ve done to the design if you don’t count the moment of stupidity that was the conversion to MVN. Hopefully this new look will be a good one. It brings with it a few new things (nothing major, but fun nonetheless) that I’m excited about. I wanted to take just a minute to point those out to you.
- Twitter Feed Integration – If you’re not on Twitter, that’s OK. We’ll get you eased into the water with the twitter widget you see on the right of the new layout. This widget is actually a combination of my account and dat_cubfan_daver’s twitter feed. You may see a few duplicate stories from time to time if we both see something that is of note, but overall, it should be a nice addition. You can even get interactive with it (if you have a twitter account) right from the widget by replying and retweeting.
- Featured Post Slider – I haven’t decided on how many “featured” stories I’m going to be rotating just yet or how long they’ll be up there, but this should allow us to have some posts stay near the top for a longer period of time and get more conversation going as a result. That makes for a better community and reading experience in my opinion. After all, we’re all fans of the same team, so why not talk about it?
- Magazine Layout – This is a major change for me…and I hate change. It took me a lot of time to finally get up the nerve to change how the site is viewed from the homepage. Now, below the slider bar you’ll see the non-featured most recent posts with a thumbnail image to peak your curiosity. With them (as is the case with all posts now) is a brief summary of the post. To view the full post and comment, you’ll need to click through. It’s taken me some getting used to, but I like it a lot better because of the cleaner look. Give it a try.
- Comments – I’ve added the ability for you to reply directly to a comment to create a thread that should make for easier reading and replying. I’d love some feedback on how deep you’d like a thread to go. Right now it’s set at 3. As you get more, it gets messy with formatting, but I’m always up for feedback.
- Gravatars – If you have no idea what those are, it’s you’re own personal icon that identifies you as the commenter. If you don’t have one, go to www.gravatar.com and sign up for a profile. Once you do, set up an image icon and then every site you comment on that incorporates gravatars, your icon will show up. All I ask is that you keep the image clean. It’s fun, and I’d highly recommend it because it’s free.
- Blockquote (grey box) – Gone is the insulting grey box. It has been replaced by navy blue quotes. That should be less offensive.
- Footer Tools – At the base of the site, you’ll see four sections. The first section is the organizational links that includes the 25 and 40 man roster as well as links to the minor league team sites. The second section is for our site originals like the projected roster, top prospect list, etc. The third section is a collection of quality resources I use on the site. The final section is an RSS feed of great Cubs blogs we read.
That’s it. I’d love your feedback on the new look as well as any bugs you might find. Here’s hoping 2010 is the year we reset that friggin AC sign to 00 00 00.