Big Things Coming: SB Nation United and Bolts from the Blue

Hey guys. Remember two weeks ago when we unveiled the still-forthcoming new logo for Bolts from the Blue, and I told you that there was a lot of new stuff on its way? Well, we're two weeks closer to that stuff becoming a reality, and I'm now allowed to give you a better idea of what it will be.

Let's start here....

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See that? That's an example of what the top of our home page will look like. However, the design will be changing constantly, as that's just one of five different designs that we get to choose depending on how many stories we want to highlight and how we want to present them. Pretty, right?

After the jump, we'll get into a few more things like FanShots, FanPosts and mobile(!).

These sites have a lot of different moving parts and, in our current design, many parts of the community get buried. This new "United" design will to a better job of highlighting everything. Here's a more complete look of what our home page will look like, from the top all the way to the bottom (linked, and not imported, because it its size). As you can see, stories, FanPosts, FanShots, news items, related videos and Twitter are all represented on the page. We are striving to be your one-stop shop for San Diego Chargers news, information, video, editorials and also a place where you feel that you can voice your own thoughts and opinions through the FanPosts and FanShots.

Beyond making the site looking nice, and removing the clutter, SB Nation has worked hard to make our sites will load faster. On top of that, and here's the part that excites me, the site will provide a seamless experience across every platform. What does that mean? You will see the same site on your smartphone or tablet as your do on your regular computer. Comments that you've already seen on one of those will be marked as read when you show up to the site on another one as well. Let's take a look at how the site reorganizes itself for smaller screens:

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Here's the top of the home page, or what you'll be greeted with when you visit www.boltsfromtheblue.com from your mobile phone. Let's take a peek on a tablet:

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Everything gets a little bit more spread out, as you have more screen room to work with than you do on the phone. Gone are the days of the BFTB "mobile site" or the SB Nation iPhone app, both of which have had their issues. Now, the experience is the same no matter where you are and what you're using.


So, is that it? Everything looks nice, the home page is constantly shifting depending upon how many important news stories there are, the clutter is gone, and the site works the same no matter how you're accessing it. That seems like a lot, but it's nowhere near everything that's coming. For instance, have you ever seen a StoryStream? They're posts that we can add updates to, updates that you can ask to be notified of. So, for instance, we would've had a StoryStream for Vincent Brown's preseason injury. You would've gotten updates to that StoryStream when we found out his ankle was broken, when he was put on special Injured-Reserve, and you'd be expecting updates there when he starts practicing with the team and returns to the active roster. Makes it easy for you.

In summary, the stuff that you know and love stays the same. Stories, FanPosts, FanShots, Open Threads, commenting, etc. We, the writers, get a few more tools to make your lives richer and more fulfilling, and all of these is wrapped up in a neat little package that works regardless of how you get to it.

SB Nation United is currently in beta testing (which is going wonderfully), and the new features and design for BFTB should be up very soon.

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