12 Sep 2008
So, how do you like these apples? Football Outsiders has moved into some swanky new digs on the good side of town, and we welcome you to come on in, look around, and check out how we’ve improved things in FO3.0 to allow you a fuller, richer FO user experience.
Of course, there are changes – some minor, some major – and we’ll outline them for you here:
Bigger! Bolder! Greener! Tasty Tabs! Delicious Dropdowns!
Note to IE6 users: you may not be able to experience the new FO3.0 design to its fullest. Some things may not line up exactly…some things may look a bit funky. We did the best we could to accommodate, but in the end, please realize that you’re using a seven-year-old browser that does not behave like modern browsers should. Please upgrade to IE7 or, better yet, try Firefox, Safari, Chrome, or any of the other better alternatives.
The largest improvement we made is hopefully something you’ll never notice. We’ve completely changed the foundation of the site, moving to a much more powerful, stable, and scalable architecture. Bye-bye WordPress. This has allowed us to add lots of new features to the site now, and will allow us to keep adding cool things in the future. A HUGE thank-you to Eli Holman of Distance Software for making this happen.
We are encouraging every reader to register on the site. Registering will give you a permanent username and your user profile will be your Comment profile, your Store profile, and your Premium Access profile (yes, folks, Single Login!). Anonymous users can still comment, but registered users will be able to purchase items from the store, purchase Premium Access, rate comments (see below), and customize their comment view. Please register. And please don’t take someone else’s username (“raiderjoe” is being held in quarantine).
We are importing user information from the FO Store so that your previous purchases will still be viewable. We are also automatically registering all Store customers as FO Users. Unfortunately, passwords could not be imported, so you'll just need to click the "Forgot Password?" link at the top of the page (in the black bar). Fill in the email address you used for the Store, and then submit. You will receive an email with a one-time password-reset link. Log in with that password, and then you can change it. You will also be able to change your username.
One of the complaints we heard about the site is that it’s hard to keep track of long comment threads. Comment #123 responds to comment #60, so you have to scroll back through 63 comments to get to the original one. Soooo, we’ve implemented threaded commenting. This means no more comment numbers for new articles. Old ones will still be flat with comment numbers, so you can still go back and read comments from the days of yore when raiderjoe was Li’l raiderjoey and Atlanta Falcons fans trolled endlessly.
The other big deal about comments is Comment Rating. Registered Users will be able to rate comments, and those ratings accumulate into what is commonly referred to as “karma.” Here’s a good explanation:
Karma is a comment rating and community participation system to try to keep the comments as high-quality as possible. When your comments are rated by others, those ratings are combined into a weighted average -- newer comments count more than older ones -- called your "Karma". This, roughly, represents the rating you could expect your next comment to receive based on your past comments. Users who have a karma greater than a certain minimum and who have posted a sufficient number of comments are considered "trusted" users, and have the added capability to rate comments below the normal minimum rating. If enough of a user's comments are rated below 1, that user becomes "untrusted", which means that respected members of the community have repeatedly indicated that the user's input is offensive, content-free, or merely intended to annoy others. Said comments no longer appear for anonymous and regular users. Only trusted users can view them.
This is, of course, part of a larger effort to keep our discussions full of intelligent talk, and to separate Football Outsiders from the FINZ RULE!!! mentality of many mainstream sites. Speaking of discussion…
A while back, we put Open Discussions on a separate forum to help alleviate the load on the server. This was nice, and it has worked, thanks to the stewardship of Bill Barnwell, but it was never intended as a permanent solution. With the new site architecture, we are re-integrating the Open Discussions back into the regular flow of the site. You’ll find Open Discussions under the Discussion navigation pulldown tab at the top, as well as in the green-bordered buttons on the right side of the page, under the Extra Points box.
If you were on the FO email list, you will be receiving (or have already received) an email from us asking you to register for the site to continue to receive our email notifications. The old list will continue to work for the rest of this month, so please pardon the duplicates, but we ask that you register. Note: registration does not automatically add you to the email distribution list; you need to manually opt in to receive emails.
For the next few days, the Store will be in flux while we finish importing everything. If you have any difficulty with anything store-related, please use the contact form and select Webmaster from the pulldown. We’ll get you taken care of.
Just about everything we’ve done in this major upgrade has been in response to reader requests, so please keep them coming. If anything doesn’t work as expected, or if you feel something can be improved, please use the contact form and select Webmaster from the pulldown. Please don't send email to Aaron or any of the other writers. They're too busy...well...writing.
107 comments, Last at 01 Oct 2008, 5:51pm by Arren