Welcome to Blazer's Edge United

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

A new era arrives!

You woke up this morning, slipped on your favorite set of sweats, grabbed your familiar cup of Joe, sat down to check out what's new at your favorite Portland Trail Blazers site and...OH MY GOSH, IT'S ALL DIFFERENT!

Take a second. Wipe the coffee off of your monitor. Deep breath. There.

You are looking at the next evolution of Blazer's Edge. All across the SBNation network readers are experiencing United, the next wave in sports coverage.

Since all change is difficult in its way, let's start with what hasn't changed. Ben, Timmay, and I are still here. Your friends and neighbors are still here. The Blazers are still here. You'll find the best coverage and analysis of your favorite team right here as well. None of that has changed a bit.

You're also going to find Fanshots and Fanposts by scrolling down the main page. You'll find comments under posts, just as always. Your participation will be as vital as always. The soul of Blazersedge, if you will, is the same today as it was yesterday. We just got a facelift to go along with that expansive soul.

Why? Several reasons:

  1. The new look has more visual impact, instantly communicating what we're about before you even read a word.
  2. New sorting and layout capabilities allow us to keep the most important material front and center instead of having every post slip down the page chronologically regardless of importance.
  3. New Story Stream technology lets us update breaking news quicker and keep fast-moving content organized and accessible.
  4. We'll be able to coordinate coverage with other sites in a more organic way.
  5. Mobile users will get faster access and a quality experience where before they felt marginalized.

Even if it takes a while to get used to the new look when you're accustomed to the old one, Points 2-5 in that list are vital to our coverage. In the long run, this will make a big difference.

Feel free to comment in this thread as you wish. If you have questions, let us know. We've worked with the system a little but we'll be getting used to it just like you are. It's like we all got a brand new, high-performance car and we're just taking it out of the driveway. No doubt some will miss the rear-end groove in their old back seat. Others just want to know, "Are we there yet?" But over the next few months as the season begins we'll get a chance to open up the throttle and see what she's got.

If you want to know more about what you're seeing on Day 1, read on after my signature. If you just want to explore and have fun discovering, knock yourself out! Thanks to everybody who's helped with the re-design and all the people in our community who make this site great.

--Dave Deckard, Managing Editor (blazersub@gmail.com)

Features You're Seeing Today

The large section at the top of the site, the "cover", gives you the topics of the day at a glance. Right now we have five stories up, but we can adjust the cover to feature fewer, all the way down to one. When the Blazers win a title, you're going to see that one-picture cover splashed across your whole screen, baby!

The article article is the main story of the day. When big news breaks, we give it a big picture. Half a second after you hit the site, you know what's up.

The four other stories show ways we'll be doing coverage. The most intriguing one format-wise is the Nicolas Batum feature just to the right of this one. You really need to click on that if you haven't already. It shows our new capability to organize content by topic instead of just chronology. Casey Holdahl from Blazers.com published an interview with Batum covering his infamous groin punch yesterday, which we cited. I wrote an analysis of Batum's quotes in response. In the old system those would have been separated by 4-5 intervening posts. Now with one click you can see my analysis, excerpts from Casey's story on Blazers.com, plus every other post we've done on the Batum groin incident all the way back to the original event. With one click you have all those stories at your fingertips. We can do this with any topic we choose.

Below the Batum story stream you'll find a welcome video from SBNation, further introducing you to the new United format.

In the right-hand column you'll find a new series on Trail Blazers Icons, featuring a shiny new graphic from Todd, one of our graphics-design helpers. This series is discussion-based. Community participation is still a high priority in what we do even if the site looks fancier now.

Below that you'll find a link to Adam Morrison's stellar performances in Summer League this year, highlighting even more easy video capability.

If you scroll down below the cover you'll see stories in reverse chronological order, just like the old system. You'll also see Fanposts and Fanshots. The way the new system organizes them may mean a couple of procedural/philosophical changes for us, but I suspect those will be minor. We'll see.

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