After several months of work, we’ve upgraded to AMERICAblog 3.0, which includes now being hosted on WordPress instead of Blogger.
With this new template, we’ve attempted to cut back on some of the clutter – to offer you something cleaner, whiter, simpler. Which should make it easier to read, but also hopefully load faster as well.
On the home page, you’ll be able to see more posts, and instead of the entire post, you can now see snippets, so you can easily glance at what we’ve written over the past 24 hours, and see if there’s anything of interest.
We also have social media buttons on each post on the home page, with a live feed of how many clicks they’ve received. Social media is our bread and butter, we need folks sending our content out there and bringing readers back, as sites like Facebook and tools like Twitter have taken a lot of traffic away from news sites like ours. So please considering signing up for Facebook, Reddit or Twitter and clicking the buttons below any post you particularly like.
We’ve also widened the main column that our posts/articles go in. We did this for a number of reasons. First, so that the commenters would have more room to comment (previously, after a few replies, the indent forced the comments to be mis-shapen and hard to read). Second, so that we could show wider videos. And third, I just felt it looked more professional, and was more in style with standard news best practices of readability.
We haven’t changed the content, it’s still all there. But we’re organizing it a little differently. In addition to our focus on politics, the election, and particularly gay politics, you’ll now see all of those topics on the home page, rather than having the gay content only on the gay site. But, we’ll still have the gay site, you can go there by clicking the button under the logo that says LGBT. You can also click buttons to see our videos (on any topic) and our fun posts – the fun posts are designated by an emoticon smiley face. By fun stuff, we mean posts that have ZERO to do with politics. There’s some overlap between videos and fun stuff at this point, but you won’t find political videos under Fun Stuff at all – no Jon Stewart, no SNL about Romney – all of those will be under videos.
And finally we’ve added Pets. That means pets, but it also means animals generally. We’re all animal lovers here, and we already had so much content about animals on the blog, that we thought we’d make a special section for it. We’ll also have a new pet feature where a few times a week I write about YOUR pets. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org with your pet’s photo, name and breed, your name and where you live (if you don’t mind them being published), and tell us something about your pet (goofy, touching, whatever you like), and we’ll include it in our Readers’ Pets archive (the flickr widget on the right) and we might just write a post about it too! Make sure to put “pet” in the subject line.
There’s even more, but you can explore and find out for yourselves. Obviously with a new template there will be some glitches, so please bear with us.
It’s been a pleasure serving you guys over the past eight years, and we hope for many more.
Thanks so much,
John and the Team.