Hey, Rumblers! With the off-season upon us in full force, Buffalo Bills news scarce, and a slow Sunday ahead of us, I figured now would be as good a time as any to talk about some of the new features of Buffalo Rumblings 2.0. We've been blogging on our shiny new platform for nearly three weeks now, and y'all seem to have settled into our new surroundings rather comfortably. I'd like to discuss this platform in a little more detail this morning to help y'all get even more into the awesome features that 2.0 provides us:
First thing's first - a few days before we officially made the switch to 2.0, I implemented a more formal set of community guidelines to govern over posting behaviors at Rumblings. Those of you who have been with the site for a few months know what I do and don't allow as far as posting anything goes; I'd appreciate it if everyone gave these a quick skim, however, but especially if you're relatively new to the site.
One of the key new features in 2.0 is the ability to "flag" comments that you take issue with, or you feel go against the community guidelines linked above. To flag a comment, simply click "actions" under said comment and click "flag". Only myself and the triumvirate will see flags, so you're working under anonymity - so please use this feature to its fullest extent.
Aesthetic Features and Profiles
Got a wide-screen monitor with a whole bunch of gray space on either side of the blog itself? Try wide view! On the blog's home page, directly under the site logo and the user menu, there are two buttons labeled "narrow" and "wide" - it's pretty self explanatory from there. I love the wide feature on my MacBook, and use it for all SB Nation sites I visit that are on the new platform.
Be sure to create a free account and set up your ultra-cool SB Nation user profile as well! Here's my profile as an example - you get all the basic personal info, favorite teams, and blogs joined, but the coolest feature is that you can also see all of the FanPosts and other assorted postings that you've made on all SB Nation blogs - it literally is your very own blog within the SB Nation network. Curious to see how this works? Check out the user blog of our very own kaisertown - some quality stuff there.
The Comments Section
The coolest and most innovative feature to 2.0 is the comments section - and if you were with us over draft weekend, you've seen exactly how that works. Nowhere else on the Internet can you find comments features like this - with auto-refresh capabilities and easy keyboard cruising, a very fast, chat-like atmosphere is created. It's really rather fun.
To scroll through the comments of a given thread using your keyboard (you must be logged into your account for this to work), press C. To mark a comment as read, press X. To do both at the same time (move to next comment and mark as read simultaneously), press Z. I am absolutely addicted to the Z button, and find myself pressing it when sifting through e-mails every day. To reply to the comment that you're currently on, press R. Get commenting, lurkers - I guarantee you'll enjoy the experience. :)
FanPosts vs. FanShots
I appreciate the fact that y'all have not only for the most part discerned the difference between these two features, but have kept both of these sections chock-full of fresh content. It's made my life much easier during my college finals, that's for certain. Keep up the good work!
For those of you newer to the site - FanPosts and FanShots are the two sections on Rumblings for your thoughts (other than the comments section, of course). Looking to put some of your own thoughts down in a more lengthy blog post? That belongs in a FanPost - the network tech gurus have implemented a 75-word minimum on these posts. Using kaisertown as an example again, his FanPost yesterday on run defenses was exemplary, and a fantastic example of what a FanPost should be. They certainly do not need to be as long as kaiser's, but you get the idea - these are original stories created by y'all, as opposed to a...
FanShot, which is a section for "quick hits", as the techies have called them. If you've found a link, quote, video, online chat, or image that you'd like to share with everyone here, but don't want to necessarily expound on it much in a FanPost, then throw it up in a FanShot! If you see posts on the front page with a light red background hue, that's a FanShot that has been promoted to the front page. Posting FanShots is quick, easy and very helpful in keeping this site updated with all relevant information; click through to the FanShot section and drag the bookmarklet to make sharing links with us even easier!
Miscellaneous Features to Keep in Mind
You may have noticed that along with the new commenting and posting features came rosters, stats and schedules, like any other traditional site has. Yes, we are aware that the rosters are not up-to-date and we are currently working with our sports data providers to rectify that issue. Stats will also not be available until the '08 regular season begins. But be sure to check out the roster's player pages (Trent Edwards is a good example) to see how stats and blog data are integrated - it's awesome. And if you're looking for one page to keep you up to date on all of the blog news as well as team news in general, click the "Bills" tab in the nav bar right under the blog title.
New as of this morning (at least from what I can tell) is a powerful new search feature. Seriously, try this - type "Panda" into the search bar at the top right of this blog, again under the blog title (right above the ad box where Michael Scott makes frequent appearances). Stories, FanPosts, FanShots and comments with "Panda" in it are easily navigable from that screen - but it doesn't stop there. Using the tabs right under the site logo on that screen, you can search "Panda" not only on Rumblings, but on all NFL blogs and even the entire SB Nation network. Be sure to try PowerSearch as well, as you can extend your search by date and user. Very cool stuff indeed.
One last thing - please, please, please start recommending FanPosts, FanShots, stories and comments. For stories, FanPosts and FanShots, simply click on the story's headline, scroll to the area immediately following the main text (right above the comments section), and click "rec". This is a great way for y'all to promote your favorite work on Rumblings, rather than me or anyone else telling you what the best work is. If a story/FanPost/et al gets more than 5 recommends, it will show up in the "recommended" section.
If you have time (I know some of you have time at work ;) ), play around with the new platform. Check out all of the amazing features and power that it has to offer. If you ever have any ideas for additional information you'd like to see (we're working on a team roster page with contract and salary cap information currently) or just general questions, drop us a line.
Tomorrow, we get back into Bills football discussions, as we start positional roster breakdowns. Stay tuned, and keep playing with Rumblings 2.0!