Did I get your attention? Okay, here’s the deal: you folks made some requests for offseason improvements and I had a little time yesterday to tinker.
1. There is now a Steelers news feed on the right sidebar of SL.com (cleverly titled: ‘steelers news on the tubes’). It draws headlines from various Steelers newspapers and blogs (I’ve customized it to exclude stuff like Bleacher Report galleries and whatnot), and updates automatically throughout the day.
I know some people like PFT for the “no news is too small to link to” philosophy, and this is one way to get at that without actually requiring one of the SL writers to post a link when something relatively unimportant-but-Steelers-related happens.
2. And that brings me to this: you, dear readers. We had a few requests for message board-type functionality. Well, it turns out, we have message board functionality and it literally took me five minutes to set it up. Obviously, this is in the very (very, very) early stages, but I figure the offseason is the best time to try it out, get a feel for what works and what doesn’t, and go from there.
So, first things first: here’s the link to the ‘SL Forums’.
You can also get there from SteelersLounge.com by clicking on the ‘sl forums’ tab under the Steelers Lounge banner (next to ‘contact’).
‘General Steelers News,’ as the name suggests, is for everyday Steelers-related conversations. There are no hard and fast rules — it’s early, we’re getting a feel for this thing — more like general guidelines. So go nuts.
‘Breaking News’: in addition to the ‘steelers news on the tubes’ right sidebar headline generator, ‘Breaking News’ is the place for readers to post links to stuff they think is breaking and newsworthy (see what I did there?). Seriously: stuff like ‘Ray Horton joining Cards staff’ would be an example. As would something as small as ‘Mike Tomlin confirms he went to William & Mary with Ryan Wilson, still has no idea who he is.’ Basically, if you think it’s ‘new’ news and it hasn’t been posted elsewhere, go for it.
‘Reader Diaries’ is a direct ripoff of what SB Nation does so well: giving readers an opportunity to write posts of their own. Sometimes the comments aren’t best suited for long-form, particularly since comments can get pushed down the page. This is a forum for just that. Also: I’m 54 percent certain I can add a right-sidebar widget on the SL.com main page that will update the latest ‘reader diaries’ topic so it’s easy to find what people are talking about. And I’m certain we’ll even front-page (as in: post to the SL.com main page as an individual post) some of them. Everybody wins.
So here’s the deal: take a look at the right-sidebar Steelers headline feed and see what you think. Offer suggestions/comments/etc…
Try out the forums. Let me know how the sign-up process goes, start threads, leave comments on other threads, and report back on how that experience is. Offer suggestions/comments/etc…
Let me know if you like it. Also — and perhaps more importantly — let me know if you hate it. The idea is to make SL THE MOST POWERFUL BLOG ON THE PLANET.
But really: it’s February so we have plenty of time to work through the bugs. And don’t forget our motto: “Steelers Lounge: Where’s Customer Service Is Job No. 1!”