Mornin', folks. Welcome to the new Rocky Top Talk. I'll be along shortly with the Best Plays of 2007 Brackety-ish Thingy, but I thought I'd give you a chance to get signed up, joined, and acclimated to the new platform.
Please say howdy to Trei, the head SB Nation tech guy. Take a minute to read his welcome post below, then follow his instructions and start playing around with the new toys. Be sure especially to install the FanShots bookmarklet and to give it a test drive or two. The first of the Best Plays competition will go live around 11:00 EST. Have fun. Thanks, Trei!
Hey Rocky Top Talk,
Today is the big day. We've switched your community over to the new SB Nation sports blog platform. My name is Trei, and I'm here to help you get adjusted to the new home we've built for you. If you have questions or trouble with the new system, post a comment in this thread and myself or one of the team (lovitt, sixfoot6 or odacrem) will try to point you in the right direction.
Before we begin, I want to let you know we still consider this a beta platform, so don't be surprised if you find a few bugs or if everything isn't exactly right yet. We hope you'll take the time to report any problems you encounter at email@example.com. We'll be continuing to make changes and improving things.
Please take a few minutes to read about what's new below. But if you just can't wait to jump in, here are some quick things to check out:
- Sign up for your SB Nation network account and claim your old blog accounts
- Once you're logged in, press your Z key in any thread with new comments
- Explore your dashboard and setup your profile
- Read the guide to the new FanPost editor
- Install the FanShot bookmarklet and post videos to Rocky Top Talk from YouTube or images from Flickr
- Click the "Rec" button on posts and comments to help other people find the good stuff.
- Customize display options on your Edit Settings page
What Has Changed
SB Nation Network Accounts - the Big Change
Readers across all of our blogs told us they wanted one account to use on every SB Nation blog. To make this work, we're requiring that everyone create a new SB Nation network account. In most cases you should be able to keep your old username, but a few of you may have to choose something new, since every other community in SB Nation will be going through this same transition. We tried to be as fair as possible in deciding who gets to keep which name, using a formula that takes into account length of membership and frequency of activity.
We want to make it as easy as possible for you to participate on all of our blogs, but we don't want to encourage everyone to start visiting rival team blogs and initiating flame wars. To maintain friendly communities we ask that you explicitly join each blog in order to participate. It's a two-click process, but it does means accepting each blog's community guidelines. Just as you join each blog individually, you can be banned on each blog individually.
You can claim old accounts from multiple SB Nation blogs, and your new username will be retroactively attached to all your old comments and diaries. So now you'll be able to access all your writings from your single profile page... like magic.
FanPosts (the Section Formerly Known as Diaries)
We changed their name. Why? Because we took this major upgrade as an opportunity to leave behind some vocabulary that never made much sense for a sports blog. SB Nation is the network of, by and for fans, and these are the blog posts we make. So we call them FanPosts. When you're at a bar telling someone to check out your online sports opinions, you don't have to suggest they read your diary.
FanPosts are displayed differently on the homepage - we include your avatar to give more credit for the time you spend writing great posts. The new post editor has a WYSIWYG view that provides easy formatting. It also auto-saves drafts so you don't have to worry about losing your work when you compose a post within the web browser. And you can now associate teams, players and games with your posts: these tools promote your FanPosts on our new team, player and game pages - across the entire network.
The new system does not work like the old diary editor. For example, in HTML mode the new editor doesn't auto-create a new paragraph from two line breaks. But it does offer a whole array of new features. Look for the blinking help button on the right side of the FanPost editor for quick tips, and take a look at our full guide to writing FanPosts on the new platform.
IMPORTANT - if you write your posts in Microsoft Word or some other off-line editor, you will get the most reliable behavior if you cut & paste your post into the HTML view of the FanPost editor. And if you do that, remember to wrap <p></p> tags around each paragraph so your text doesn't run together.
This one is probably the most obvious change of all. Like other major websites working to improve readability for their audience, we've adopted a fixed-width layout optimized for the 1024 x 768 resolution used by the majority of Rocky Top Talk and SB Nation network users. Use the switcher below the user menu if you prefer the wider layout designed for 1280 monitors. We've introduced a top navigation bar with quick links into old and new sections of the site. We also polished a few edges, made some things larger, others smaller and moved a few boxes here and there. More changes and adjustments to come.
We've completely replaced the old search engine with a new one. We're excited to make it easier to find old posts and comments, but we've only taken our first pass on the tools we're offering. We're focused on making search even better than what you had before, so please know that we're aware search is missing key features and we're working on it.
Schedule, Scores, Stats and Roster
Rocky Top Talk now has all the basic information about the Tennessee Volunteers and hundreds of other teams. During games you'll see a regularly updated line score, and as the season progresses we'll track team stat totals and leaders. This is just our first step, so look for us to publish more detailed and archival stats in the future. The best part about all this sports data is that we've integrated it directly into the blog so. We now have special pages that aggregate all blog posts written about games, players and teams.
Some writing deserves more attention and more conversation. If you want to bump a FanPost up to the top and keep it there for awhile, just click the 'Rec' link under the body of the post. When a FanPost receives enough recommendations it will make the recommended list.
You no longer need to refresh the page to see new comments. If you're logged in, new comments will automatically appear on the page every few seconds. When you post a comment, the page will not refresh either. If you want to quickly cycle through all the new comments, you can press the C key on your keyboard. Unmark a new comment after you've read it with the X key. And use the Z key if you want to umark comments as you're cycling through them.
As you use these shortcuts to cycle through comments, press the R key to reply to the current comment. All these helpful keyboard shortcuts are listed at the top of each comments section for reference.
Now you can reward those folks who take the time to look up stats and make smart arguments in the comments. Next to each comment there is an 'actions' link that you can click to find the recommend and flag options.
To help the moderators on a site, we've built-in tools that let you flag comments that are spam, trolling or just plain inappropriate. Only moderators can see those flags.
Many members of the community just want to post that one link, video, photo or quote, but don't need a full FanPost. We've got you covered: FanShots let you share YouTube videos, Flickr or PhotoBucket photos, quotes from articles, portions of chat transcripts, top 5 lists and simple links. If it's a video or image we'll put a thumbnail on the homepage when you post it.
For those of you who are experienced internet hunter-gatherers of Tennessee Volunteers material, install the bookmarklet onto the links bar of your browser and share FanShots with the community from wherever on the web you find that killer quote or photo.
It's much easier to find that post about a certain deadline trade or prospect retro feature. You can browse by year and month.
Upload an image so folks can see your custom avatar on your profile, your FanPosts, and all your comments.
Now that we have unified SB Nation network accounts, your profile will be your central hub for all of your activity on any blogs where you are a member.
The top bar stays with you on all SB Nation blogs. It's a quick way to login and logout. When you're logged in, you'll see your avatar and screen name which links to your profile. The icon to the right leads to your Dashboard area where you can edit your settings, profile, account details and any FanPosts or FanShots you've published. As we add more blogs to the new SB Nation network, the My Blogs menu will be a handy way to navigate between the blogs you've joined.
There are plenty more small changes and additions we've made, so please take a careful look around and explore this new system. We appreciate your patience and hope you'll help us improve the new platform for this and all the other SB Nation blogs.
And in case you missed it, you'll want to start by claiming your old blog accounts and creating a new SB Nation network account.