What's to come for Silver Seven: SBN United
Two weeks ago, I shared a sneak peak of the new Silver Seven with everyone: Our new logo, which is going to be part of the change that will come with the SB Nation United upgrade.
That new logo will be a very, very small part of the change. And the change is coming very, very soon.
Although you'll still be able to count on the same coverage you've come to expect from all of the writers here at Silver Seven, and our comments will still be an awesome place to discuss news of the day, the place is going to look quite different. We're going to have more options thanks to a more powerful content-management system that I'm confident will make the experience of visiting Silver Seven an even more satisfying one--even if there's no NHL hockey this season.
After the jump, I'll briefly a few of the technical changes that will come with the upgrade, and share some screenshots of the new look of all sites across SB Nation.
First up, what the change will mean for you
- Faster load times: Silver Seven will load faster and will run better, which is something that I know has been a huge issue for a lot of people--myself included. Even without the improved look-and-feel of the site, the upgrade will be worth it for this reason alone.
- New, modern layout: We'll have more flexibility in terms of presenting the best content and biggest news so that it's easier for readers to find and get to, without having to search for it.
- Seamless operability: Whether you're browsing Silver Seven on your computer, your phone, or your tablet, you'll easily recognize what you're seeing and be familiar with it.
- Rapid news updates: Those who browse league or regional SBN hubs, such as the NHL main site, are probably already familiar with StoryStreams, but I'm sure it's a brand new concept to many of you. Basically, it's a way of collecting a story and related updates together in a way that clearly shows how news has progressed. I'm likening it to an umbrella, but maybe that's because it was really rainy yesterday. Perhaps if there's a trade demand saga that just keeps getting crazier (cough*Dany Heatley*cough), we'll assemble updates into a Stream for ease of browsing. Each update has its own comments section so you can share your opinions/hatred, but they're connected to one another. Check out an example here.
- General awesomeness: We're going to retain and continue to highlight the community, with FanPosts, FanShots, and open discussion threads.
So, with that out of the way, here's some samples of what you'll see when you visit Silver Seven once the upgrade is complete.
You've read a magazine before, right? Who am I kidding, of course you have. Well, our 'cover' is a lot like a magazine cover: It's the first thing you see, it's highly customizable, it's mostly photos and headlines, and it features all the biggest news we're dealing with. Below are a few of the Cover layout options site staff will have at our fingertips, from a few different sample sites.
Are you as disappointed as I am that SB Nation has no CFL blogs yet? I'm hoping it's only a matter of time. Anyway, here you can see one larger article which is actually a collection of several compiled into a 'StoryStream', as well as four other notable stories. You can see how the Cover offers an immediate, at-a-glance view of what's happening with the team at any given moment.
I sincerely apologize for exposing you to professional basketball. Also, this site (Silver Screen and Roll) is on my bad side because their name is too close to ours for my liking. Anyway, this layout's well-suited to a feature opinion story (probably something controversial by Mark or Varada) along with a few other big stories underneath.
More football. This layout is likely one you'll see on a day when there's no big news, but a few relevant happenings. For example, maybe you'll have Monday's Silver Nuggets, Monday's Ups and Downs, and a game recap from the previous weekend. I don't know, I'm just spitballing here.
Anyway, that's the cover. It's your introduction to the site when you head directly to the read what's new. It's not a traditional blog format and will likely take some getting used to, but I'm confident it'll become very popular once the staff (and myself in particular) truly gain an ability to use the content manager to its full potential.
Below the Cover is the River, which is basically just recent stories from the past presented in the same reverse-chronological order that is typical of blogs. If you've already read the "lead stories" in the cover, scroll down a bit to see what else has been published on the site recently.
This image is quite small (you should be able to click it to enlarge, I believe), but I think the concept is readily apparent: After the cover comes everything else.
Although obviously there are limitations, the hope is that your 'mobile browsing experience' resembles the traditional one as closely as possible. The below image is a smart phone view, and I think you can see the stylistic carry-over--and you can see that it will be a marked improvement from our current mobile view.
So there you have it. A lot of things are going to change around here, and it's going to be for the better. I'd love to hear your comments on what's to come; I'm quite excited and I hope everyone else is, too, but let me know what you think.