To me the saddest part of this, SBN United situation, is that we have now spent the last few days talking about how bad this new website is and not talking about the real reason we come to BlazersEdge, The Portland Trail Blazers. If you looked at the top 5 or 6 FanPosts on BE today you would be hard pressed to know that training camp and preseason were almost upon us. To me that is the greatest tragedy of this whole situation. SBN has not only taken from us a web page that we all knew and loved, but they have even managed to take from us our blazers. To some this might seem like an exaggeration, however having spent the past few days trying to figure out why SBN did what they did, I can tell you that the blazers have been the last thing on my mind.
Even the excellent analysis and inside stories that I have come to love from BE have been ruined by this new format. Every story clicked another reminder of how bad this new layout is. Every 30 seconds spent waiting for comments to load, every page of garbage links scrolled through, every eye squinting moment of reading the overly white background, a constant reminder of how much better the old site was. I like to think of myself as an educated person, so when I'm told over and over that by making everything worse, they have really made the site better, I have to admit I'm left feeling dumbfounded. The only thing that has kept me from loosing it about this whole thing is that I'm not the only one who feels this way. Just take a look at any fanpost section of an SBN blog, that has an active user base, and you will find people who feel the same way. People with expertise in web design, people who knew and loved the old site, all left shaking their heads.
Making a mistake isn't fun, but admitting you screwed up is an important step to fixing your mistake. Telling us that incremental changes to this new site will make everything better is just a way to skirt the issue that SBN messed this up big time. If incremental change is such a great thing then why didn't we get incremental changes to the old site we all liked, instead of forcing a bad site on us and then slowly making it less bad? SBN should take a page from Apple this week. Apple screwed up their release of Maps for IOS6 and they knew it. However instead of ignoring the feedback from their supporters, they made a bold move yesterday and told people they were sorry and that until a time when the app was up to apples normally high standards, their customers should use a different app. SBN owes its readers an apology and I will keep calling for a public statement by SBN until someone besides Timmy acknowledges that their are serious problems with United. This new format was supposed to bring SBN readers from across the nation together, to unite, the community, its worked pretty well. SBN readers are more united then they have ever been before, united in their dislike of this new site. As the famous moto goes, united we stand, divided we fall. If we want to see real changes made to this site we have to keep up the response and not fade away.
This is not what I wanted to be writing about two days before training camp starts, but the time we invest now to our responses will determine how this site looks and runs for years to come. To me that is worth the time spent posting, and the aggravation caused by thinking about this whole situation. I come to Blazers Edge to talk blazers, not to talk SBN. However in this post SBN United world we now live in it is up to us to push for change. So that hopefully one day in the future we can all go back to enjoying the reason we come to SBN in the first place, our favorite teams, and the community of fans who call their SBN blogs home.