Welcome to your new home.

It’s been 48 hours and we are back online with a shmancy pants new webhost, blog system and blog design! Jill and I spent mad hours on Saturday night and most of Sunday, so you better dig it. Thanks to everyone who offered suggestions.

I want to introduce the major changes, and let you know what’s up. Here’s a video overview.

There’s a text explanation after the jump. Oh yeah, we will be splitting our posts now so  you don’t have mad encyclopedic posts taking up the entire front page!

New design and overall layout.

Duh! We found a free wordpress theme called Dilectio and have spent some time modifying the colors and more to make it more of our own. We could probably use more watermelon. It is summer, after all. The new design offers more space, including a third column. Most importantly, it doesn’t look like a crappy Blogger template. All your old links and bookmarks should work. Please let us know if they don’t.

Updated blogroll (far right column)

We’ve scrubbed the old list and added lots of new sites, plus a new section with links to organizations. Check it out. Let us know if there are some we’re just stupid not to have up.

Tag Cloud

We heard you! Our massive list of 600+ labels on the old blogger site led to lots and lots of scrolling. That’s gone now, replaced by tags

Better search

It’s more prominent and works better. It doesn’t sent you off to Timbuktu or technorati or wherever. You get to stay right here

New ways to share posts

At the bottom of each post is a “Share This” link allowing you to post articles to digg, facebook, myspace and even email and IM

Threaded comments!!!!!!

First of all, you have to imagine me saying it like Oprah…

“Ok. Everybody look under your chairs. That’s right. We’ve got threeeeeeaded cooooomeeeeeeeeennnnnnntsssss!”

We have decided to use a system called Disqus which offers many, many advantages. I installed it on my personal blog several weeks ago to test, and I can’t imagine comments without it. I strongly recommend you create an account there (though it’s not necessary).

  • Threaded comments. So you can actually reply to a specific statement and follow that sub-conversation
  • Commenter accounts that work across several blogs. I highly recommend registering with disqus.com. You’ll be able to comment here but also on an increasing number of blogs across the web. Whenever you go to a disqus-powered site, it will know you, and you just type away
  • Comment ratings. See a comment you like? hit the up arrow next to the user name. As a bonus, those with accounts accrue points. With such an active community, we really want big contributors to stand out
  • Commenter profiles. Your latest comments, most popular topics and overall points are available if you register.
  • Easy way to see most recent comments, highly rated commenters and lively posts (see underneath the big search box in the middle column)
  • Video comments. That’s right. You can leave a video comment if you want if you have an account with Seesmic
  • Respond to comments via email! This is amazing. If you have a disqus account, and post a comment, if someone replies to it, you get it via email and can comment back from your inbox! I’ve been using this on other sites for a while, commenting back from my iPhone. Very helpful with all the travel that’s happening. This brings a live feel to the community, and I hope yall rock it.

Final note on comments. We have preserved over 23,500 comments from the previous blog! We have them in the system and will import them into disqus as soon as possible. It may take a few weeks, but you should know that all your work isn’t gone, just temporarily hidden.

Something else that’s not quite working is our RSS feed from Feedburner. We’re looking into it.

That’s about all for now. We still have some tweaks to the design, and it will take some time for folks to get used to the new system. Thank you all for your ideas, your patience and your presence. We wouldn’t be much without you!

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