Hello, babies. A little while back, we got to see the new P&T logo as a sort of teaser of more substantial changes to come. Those substantial changes are known as "SB Nation United", they'll take place all across the network, and they're coming very soon. I can't say how soon (They'd kill me. They have cameras. And knives. Cameras with knives.), but I can give you a li'l preview. Here are the major changes as described by those in charge:
- SB Nation United is going to make our sites load faster and run better meaning you can get to the content you want faster.
- SB Nation United is going to make sure that you're seeing the best and brightest content up front with our flexible layout, modern design and reduction of clutter.
- SB Nation United is going to make the experience on our sites run seamlessly from every platform, whether mobile, tablet or computer. No matter where you are, the experience will not change.
- SB Nation United will not take away or change any of the community elements you love like FanPosts and FanShots and GameThreads.
We've had some time to play with a beta of United, so I can confirm that all of the above things are true: shit is crisper and faster than the P&T you're looking at right now. Allow me to delineate a few of the most important functional changes:
- StoryStreams: This is my favorite thing. We used to have to cover developing stories (Think back to free agency. Well, don't upset yourself, but just think about what posts looked like here.) by manually adding updates and whatnot. It was a pain for me and probably pretty confusing for you guys since I was so sloppy about it. Now, I have a proper tool for dealing with updates, so that developing stories will each have their own page on which you can easily find any new information. I no longer have to struggle with whether to make new posts/update old posts with new information, and you no longer have to struggle with where to look. If you ever read SBNation.com, you'll know what I'm talking about.
- The cover/river: Instead of the straight reverse-chronological organization we have now, stories that are new or featured will sit at the top of the page in a colorful "cover" with a variety of layout options ("one-up" for HOLY TITS THE KNICKS WON THE SUPER BOWL, "four-up" for a collection of top stories). Below the cover, information will be presented pretty much as before, with a reverse-chronological "river" of the most recent posts and whatnot. Basically, I have a lot more agency over what goes where in the main feed of information, so something I'd really like y'all to read can sit up top without getting buried under some dumb-ass breaking news or whatever.
- "Seamless on every platform": That line from above means that you don't need apps or any of that nonsense to check P&T on your phone/tablet/intra-carpal LCD display. It'll look and act more or less the same on every screen.
- Groups: In the same vein as the StoryStream idea, we can now bundle posts into "groups", which are easier to use and handsomer than the sections we had before. They can also span the entire network, so we can have P&T-specific groups like, I dunno, "Pablo Prigioni Snot Coverage" for all of P&T's posts about Pablo's boogers, or network-wide groups like "2012 Season Previews" or something. Just makes it easier to find similar stuff in one place if you wish to do so.
- Carrots: If, while reading P&T, you become hungry for a carrot, simply type the word "carrot" into the comment window and a carrot will emerge from your disc drive. I'm not really sure why they added this functionality, but I intend to abuse it.
- Comments are the same, and FanPosts and FanShots are the same: The comments are pretty much identical. FanPosts and FanShots moved a little bit, but they work exactly the same way (just faster and sexier).
Basically, this is all very cool and very handsome. Like anything, it'll take some getting used to on my part and yours, but I promise it's for the best and something to look forward to. If ever you have questions, feel free to ask, and I'll do my best to answer or get in touch with someone who can.
After the jump, some screenshots (generated from other sites' betas).