Learning the new BlogABull with SBNation United

I wanted to have another discussion about the new format/design/everything of BlogABull and SBNation United. We did some of that when United first launched, and hopefully that helped some of the initial shock.

But now that we've gone through a couple weeks, and especially with some news letting us test-drive how to deliver content to the site, lets talk about it some more.

Luckily, more proactive people around the network have already put up very useful references to the new sites:

And to best understand what I'm going for here in this post, SilverScreenandRoll had a similar one recently that explained some of the major differences from the blogger perspective:

SBN United gives us the power to do a bunch of really cool stuff that we couldn't do before, but that stuff might be annoying or disconcerting to you if you haven't been prepared for it, so let me break down some of the new things we can do.

  • We can control which content shows up where. This allows us to leave a featured article at the top of the page because we want folks to continue to pay attention to it.
  • We can post relevant content from outside of the blog (from regional or national sites) directly into our front page.
  • We can devote slots on the page to a group of posts instead of the post itself.

You should've seen a lot of those new options in action the past couple of weeks. I want to emphasize that these are options for the site . I've been trying out several ways to best use things like groups, storystreams, and the cover to present content in the best way I can, and take advantage of it not necessarily having to be structured "in order" like it had to be before. That doesn't mean I'm content with that process yet, and am welcome to feedback for it.

That SSaR post, and this follow-up from BulletsForver go on to explain the difference between stuff like that and actual 'broken' elements of the site. There have been a lot of minor tweaks and fixes on SBNationUnited already, as you could imagine in any large software rollout like this. This includes modifications to fonts/shading, fixes to the updating comment counts, and more. There will be many future additions of that nature, which is part of the reason we need your help in commenting on posts like this. For instance, one major ongoing problem is how comments are incorrectly (not) featured in the Storystreams, and SBNation support is aware of it.

So this post is really about multiple kinds of feedback. Stuff like "everything is different and too white and it sucks" we can't really work on, but you can let that be known (mostly so I can mentally label you a 'bad seed'). What I'm more looking for is: what's still broken, or what you'd like to see a minor change of. And, just as important: how would you like BlogABull to utilize the major changes (cover, storystream, groups, etc.) on the site. These are things we can work together on.

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