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Old August 20 2009, 07:20 PM   #1
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Changes to TrekToday and Trek BBS

It's been a busy day of changes, and here's a summary of them.

TrekToday's new system
TrekToday is on a new content management system (yes, another one). But this one is the keeper, and will offer us room for future expansion. You'll have working search and news by categories and tags over at Expect more improvements soon, and some refinement of the rough edges.

Twitter is finally working for our news updates. You'll find links on both Trek BBS and Trek Today (look out for the big blue bird!). There is also a link to our Facebook group. Basically Facebook will be more for promotion of the site, and for important updates. Twitter will be an alternative to our RSS feed to keep up to date on actual Trek news.

Trek BBS right column change
UGO is allowing us to implement a different banner size on the right hand side. This banner is wider (not such an issue with higher resolutions on modern screens) but much shorter. The ads seem of much higher calibre, as this is an increasingly popular banner size. But it allows us to pack in more content underneath. Right now you won't see much difference underneath -- the priority today was getting everything up and running. But in the future the right hand column will offer more ways to view and find content on both Trek Today and Trek BBS. Premium members have got the wider column too, because of the upcoming content changes.

Still to come...
  • We will be allowing commenting on TrekToday, once we have a universal login system in place.
  • There will be higher focus on content within Trek BBS and TrekToday, and both sites will come closer together.
  • Old news will be imported into the new news system, and Trek Nation will be shut down in favour of all content residing at TrekToday.
  • Premium membership will extend to TrekToday.
  • A new vBulletin, which is due within the next few months.
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Old August 21 2009, 01:11 AM   #2
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Re: Changes to TrekToday and Trek BBS

An update regarding the width change of the page.

I understand from feedback that a few people find the change of page width strange. But it has only been up for a few hours. Changes are strange at first, so I ask you be patient until you get used to the new 'shape'. I also want to point out that some of the content will adapt later to make better use of this new space to the right of the page.

Also please bear in mind that this is part of a program of changes. There have been some huge updates today, but more changes are to come. TrekToday and Trek BBS (with the exception of the move to vBulletin) have not really changed in many years. The internet has moved on generally in the way people use websites, and their computer capabilities, so we are changing too.

There are, as always, a small vocal miniority who fear change so much that they resort to hysteria and hostile attacks. However I always respond in what I know best: with facts.

The sites are changing, but are still designed to work with a screen resolution of 1024x768+. Even this resolution is dying out, dropping 5 - 10% a year and was just over 33% at the beginning of this year. But assuming you are one of those 33%, the site will work at your resolution and the Trek BBS still offers more screen space for the 'main content' than many top sites on the internet.

To illustrate, I have attached a rough image comparing the main content area (by that I mean content, not navigation bars, adverts etc.) to top sites such as CNN, the BBC, Twitter etc.

The thing is people wouldn't attack these sites with such vigour and attack their dimensions. But because we made a change today, and despite the changes being ongoing, these people feel they can pass immediate judgement. However I do realize this is a vocal minority, and I thank all those that support out site every day and are eager for the changes we are bringing to make the site more enjoyable for all.

"The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery."
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