I wanted to tell you about the new design here on Violinist.com. This is the result of many conversations Laurie and I have had about the direction of the site, her desire to improve its look, as well as our desire to provide a better experience for our readers.
First, the look. In addition to a larger logo, the site now has a fixed width for its content area, which will allow us better control of the site's design. We've increased the size of the top navigation bar and put a right-rail navigation on all pages. The content of that right-side column will vary depending upon what section you are reading on the site.
On the discussion board, you will notice the links to the discussion categories on the right side of each page, as well as the button to submit a new discussion thread.
On the blog pages, you will find links to the most recently submitted blog entries on the site.
Laurie and I wanted to find a way to give a longer "shelf life" to best blog entries submitted to V.com, so we decided to restructure the blog home page so that posts she selects will be shown in the main (center) section of the page. All other posts will be linked in the right column. Laurie will continue to read all those posts, selecting the best for inclusion in the main rail, and on the home page. (She will be blogging soon about what she's looking for in deciding which blog posts to promote to these positions.)
The big change that participants on the site will notice is the next "rich text" editor for submitting discussion threads and comments, as well as blogs. This editor allows you to bold, italicize and hyperlink text in submissions without having to know the HTML code to do those things. It also creates a double-line break automatically, so you don't have to hit "Return" twice after each paragraph.
I am still tweaking several things on the site, including image upload on blogs, audio/video clip uploads for members' profile pages and the template for Laurie's weekly e-mail. (You can subscribe to that using the form at the top left of the page.) So... bear with me as I fix those up in the next day or two.
I'm sure that there's other stuff that's changed, which I have forgotten to mention. I'll address those in the comments. But, mostly, I want to thank you all for reading Violinist.com.
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More entries: July 2006
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