We’ve flung the doors wide open and our beloved membership begins to stumble in to the new joint. The smell of fresh paint and brand new furniture fills the air. Familiar and different all at once.
Welcome to the new BGO!
You may notice we’ve returned to our original logo. We always loved it and it’s back for good. We’ve also added a rotation of classic Redskins photos we’ll be adding to over time. We’d love your help in finding one-of-a-kind photos so please share if you have some unique ones you’d like to see us incorporate.
As with any major website upgrade, it’s going to take you some time to become familiar with some of the changes. Navigating the new site takes some getting used to. One of the coolest add-ons is our ‘Everywhere Sidebar’ feature. No matter where you are on the site, you’ve got a right hand column tool (collapsible if you don’t want to see it, but we think you will) which highlights the most recent posts, threads, and blog entries. You can also pull up a list of posts or threads you’ve made via the navbar at the top of your screen. And of course, you can use any of the standard vBulletin tools like ‘New Posts’ or ‘Today’s Posts’ to see what’s been going on.
As we planned and worked on the new site, we kept your many requests in mind. One of the most consistently requested features was a ‘Likes’ system. We’ve installed a great one. Not only can you show your appreciation for member’s individual posts, but you can see how many of your posts have been ‘Liked’ over time in your member ‘postbit’, as well as receive notifications when someone else has ‘Liked’ one of your posts. In addition to ‘Liking’ a fellow member’s post, you can share it via Twitter and other social networking sites. Finally, members can now utilize an integrated Facebook ‘Likes’ system and post a member’s thread, blog, or article directly on their Facebook wall with ease.
There are really 4 main components of the new site:
The Home Page. We’ve simplified and cleaned up our BGO Home Page, trying to focus on the content and features that are best liked, and eliminating some of the clutter. A cool feature with this version of vBulletin is that staff can ‘Promote’ a member forum post, creating an ‘article’ right on the Home Page. You’ll soon begin seeing posts we think are special popping up there.
The Forums. Our BGO Forums are unchanged, except that the NFC East Forum is no longer a ‘sub-forum’, but a full-fledged independent one. We’ve elected to keep the Political Asylum forum, despite the accompanying headaches some of you cause us with some heated political discussions. Ultimately, this place is about dialogue and conversation. We’ll deal with folks that can’t seem to remember one of our core values here – that we can have energetic and passionate discussion while maintaining civility and a respectful tone – as necessary. We are making one change, and that’s incorporating an ‘Infractions’ system across all forums. That means, on those rare occasions when a member or members are not living up to the expected posting behavior, they’ll receive an infraction. We’re not going to contact you, or explain why – you’ll just be notified it’s happened. And if it happens consistently, you’ll lose your posting privileges for awhile. We’re tired of dealing with issues that shouldn’t be happening on a site that strives to be better than every other NFL fan site out there.
The Blogs. Producing some of the best original fan-written content anywhere has been another goal of ours at BGO, and it remains one of our biggest priorities. Other than making it a lot easier for members to share content with others outside the confines of BGO, the blogging software remains the same. Remember that anyone subscribing to Premium Membership can have their own personal blog. If you’re interested in starting a blog for the site, we are always looking for great content and we’d be glad to talk to you about it. We ask that members help support the site and the folks who put a lot of energy and time in producing content by sharing blogs and articles using our social networking tools. We’ve made it a ton easier to do so – it’s just a matter of a couple of clicks.
What’s New?. The ‘Activity Stream’ is a new vBulletin feature, and is a running list of all recent member activities. Want to know who’s been on the site posting or performing other actions recently? It’s just a click away. We’ve installed a really cool variant on the activity stream, called the ‘Spy’ feature. ‘Spy’ gives you a real-time list of member actions that have taken place within the last hour.
Those 4 main areas make up the core of the new site, but of course are just part of what the new BGO has to offer. We will be upgrading a number of our add-on features. The Cometchat chatbar will soon return, with an upgrade to support mobile chatting from phones and other portable devices. We’ll also be upgrading our BGO Arcade (for Premium Members), our Gallery, and adding a few other add-on features you’ll like.
Currently, you’ll have just two primary ‘Skin’ options – BGO Fluid (a widescreen view) – and BGO Mobile, a basic easy-to-use mobile skin. We’ll be working on customizing our mobile skin and ask for your patience as we make improvements to it. Remember that our site is Tapatalk capable. If you access the site frequently through your phone or portable device, Tapatalk can’t be beat and is a great free option for mobile surfing. We may add other skin options in the future.
We could go on and on about the new site – but where would the fun in that be? We encourage you to check out all of the new functionality and take advantage of it. We’ve been horrified to discover many members never use half the available bells and whistles that might make their site experience more enjoyable. This is a great opportunity to get rid of that ‘Sons of Washington’ forum bookmark, and enter the site the way it was built to be accessed – from the Home Page. We’re counting on you to help us identify any bugs, glitches, or other issues as you begin exploring the new site. We’ve worked very hard to try and go live with a ‘perfect’ site, but no doubt there are things we’ve missed or are still working on.
Rebuilding a better BGO has been a great opportunity for the staff and ownership to remember why we invented this place to begin with. We’ve read and re-read our mission statement. Not a word has changed. It’s still why we’re here, and why we hope you are here. If you don’t remember ‘What We’re About’, we ask that you read it again. More importantly, just as we’ve dedicated ourselves and invested the time, energy, and dollars it took to upgrade and create a new site, we’d really love it if you all, as members and as part of a special community, re-dedicated yourself to being the best member here you can be. Interact civilly. Communicate kindly. Post intelligently. Be better than members on other sites. We’ll do likewise. It’s what this place is about.
Oh – and I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but it’s a pretty great time to be a Redskins fan
Welcome to the new BGO! And Hail.