Note: This announcement was originally made in Tuesday's game thread, but for posterity's sake, I'm moving it to its own post.
Also, I'm turning comments off on the entire site for a few hours so SBN's talented team of tech warriors can make a smooth transition without losing any content. The switch has been made -- comments are live!
At some point in the wee hours Tuesday night, Detroit Bad Boys will undergo an enormous change, merging with SB Nation’s Motown String Music, while in the process transforming from a mere blog to a full-fledged community site.
What does this actually mean? Well, some things will be some changing -- almost all of which, I honestly feel, for the better. But before I get into that, let me tell you what won’t be changing:
- First of all, the name and URL -- no need to change your bookmarks. Yay!
- Second, and most importantly, the familiar voices on the front page. I'll still be around, obviously, and I'll still be relying on frequent contributions from Kevin Sawyer and Mike Payne.
- Last but not least, our kick-ass comment section. At least, I hope -- that's where you come in.
So, what will be changing?
- Brian Packey, who's done an extremely admirable job starting MSM from scratch over the last several months, will remain in his current role with the "new" site, which is just another way of saying we'll have one more person obsessing over keeping the site fresh and interesting for all of you. Fewer belated game threads! More recaps! Daily link dumps!
- Fewer server crashes. You know this site tends to really drag on a busy game thread? No more. SBN's platform is rock solid, servicing some of the most popular sports blogs out there.
- Starting tomorrow, anyone who wishes to leave a comment must register for a username. (In fact, you can get a head start by heading over to SBN and signing up, hopefully claiming a name that's close to the name you've been using here at DBB.)
Jump through this hoop once and I promise you'll enjoy the benefits -- no more confusion with people posting under someone else's name; the ability to easily look up previous comments by clicking on your username, participating in threaded comment discussions, automatically refreshing comment sections -- no more hitting refresh every few seconds.
But the biggest benefit, as I see it is ...
- More reader contributions will surface to the front page! For me, this is huge. I've long believed that the "meat" of the site was the intelligent discussion happening in the comment section -- except before, it was often hard to see that because the comment sections became so long and unwieldy and often veered completely off topic of the original post, especially in the case of breaking news in which there wasn't a relevant post on the front page.
But starting tomorrow, readers can start their own discussion threads -- writing a FanPost (aka, guest posts) or tossing up a FanShot (used for smaller quotes, pictures, videos or links), which can be viewed on the right sidebar of the site. And when the situation warrants, one of the editors can bump those into the main river.
So If you see breaking news that hasn't been reported yet on DBB, toss up a FanPost. If you want to write 2,000 words about the latest trade rumor, go ahead. If you stumble across a funny Rasheed Wallace quote and think the rest of community will get a kick out of it, throw up a FanShot.
That last point, really, is the whole point of the new platform -- highlighting the community. Blogs, by nature, tend to have a top-to-bottom feel -- an all-knowing author preaching to readers -- but this, hopefully, should flip that dynamic, or at least even things out. There will still be a handful of people guiding traffic, but, just like it's always been, we'll be relying on you to make this happen.
I'm sure I'll have other thoughts to share about the transition, and I'm sure you'll have other questions. And in due time, we'll answer them all -- but trust me, this is going to be fun. The switch should happen late tonight, which means at some point around midnight I'll likely turn off comments for the entire site temporarily so that no content is lost during the transition. But by morning, cross your fingers, we should be in business.