What’s New and Improved at BroBible
Welcome to the new and improved BroBible. We know, at first glance, it doesn't look that much different — we did, after all, just launch a redesign in April. But if you dig a little deeper, you'll find some major changes and exciting new additions to the site.
The impetus for this “refresh,” as we're calling it, was our desire to launch the new BroBible Calendar section. You can read all about that in full detail here, but in brief, the Calendar is a day-by-day, month-by-month guide to everything that's important in a Bro's life. We've got college football and NFL schedules, movie openings, album and DVD drops, happy hours, restaurant deals, baseball games, TV listings, and lots more. It's all easily sortable by event type, day, and location. In the coming weeks and months, we're also going to post original stories, guides, Top 10 lists, interviews, videos, and more, all tailored to individual cities and interests. We're starting off with a National Calendar and a New York Calendar, but hope to quickly expand to the Washington D.C./Baltimore area, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Denver, and beyond. If you think your city or college town needs a BroBible Calendar, let us know! You can also suggest an event for us to include on our calendar and share with us the “Aftermath” — stories, photos, and videos from last night's big event.
In order to build the new Calendar section, our crack squad of geniuses over at design firm Paper Tiger told us that we'd have to upgrade the entire system. So we did. And we decided to take advantage of this opportunity to improve certain elements of the site. Many of these changes are the direct result of reader input (read: desperate pleas in the Brommunity). And none are set in stone, so please keep giving us feedback; we really appreciate it all. O.K., enough introductions. Here's what's new:
Anonymous Commenting Eliminated
It's gone. For now. We put it to a vote and the Bros overwhelming asked us to block anonymous commenting. What that means is that you now have to register and login to post comments, just as you need to do to post a story in the Brommunity. Logging in can now be accomplished right from the Commenting area. It doesn't take more than a couple clicks and we'll keep you logged in for 24 hours. It's important to stress that Bro Aliases are completely anonymous; your email address or real name will never be revealed to other users or to outsiders. Privacy is crucial on BroBible. So why are we so eager to follow your recommendation and make the change? We think eliminating anonymous commenting will cut down on SPAM, as well as frivolous comments from non-Bros and comments that violate the terms of our Brommunity and Commenting guidelines. We also hope it will build our Brommunity stronger; we think the hate that's sometimes flung in the Commenting section will be curbed once Bros and non-Bros actually have to sign their Bro Aliases to what they're saying. Again, this isn't set in stone and is subject to further review down the road. For now, register, login, and get commenting.
This should help make Commenting an easier, more streamlined process. CAPTCHAs are typically used to thwart SPAM, but we think with Anonymous Commenting eliminated, we'll see SPAM decline considerably, making the use of CAPTCHAs unnecessary. This is just an experiment, though. If the SPAM bots start to infest the site again, the CAPTCHA will probably have to come back.
Bro or Not Bro Story Ratings
Ever since we eliminated the star system, we've been wanting to implement some type of Bro or Not Bro story rating system. Our new system allows us to do just that. Click on the Red cup to rate a story as “Bro” or the crushed Blue cup to rate a story as “Not Bro.” A helpful tally will keep track of votes. You can only vote once every 24 hours, and there's really no reason to game the system, so please don't try. In the next day or so, we'll add a sorting feature in the right column, where you can view recent stories by Bro or Not Bro votes. What determines if a story is Bro or Not Bro? That's for the Brommunity to decide. Our suggestion, though, is that if a story is on a topic that's not of interest to you, but might be to other Bros (e.g. cars or the NHL), don't reflexively click “Not Bro.” Let Bros who are interested in the topic judge its value or Bro-ness on their own. Also, it would probably make sense to wait until you've read the entire story to vote, but we can't stop you from voting off of the home Buzz, Brommunity, or Calendar pages.
New Share Story Footer
That's the blue, rectangular box that sits below every story. In order to make room for the Bro or Not Bro rating system, we've moved around the other buttons a little bit and made them more intuitive and automatic. In the next couple days, we're also going to upgrade the Email button so that it pulls up an internal email form and doesn't activate your dormant Outlook Express or Mail program.
Posting a Story to the Brommunity
We've streamlined the process of posting a story to the Brommunity, making the page cleaner and easier to understand. Want to post a video? Just copy the code off of YouTube, click the film strip button, paste in the code, and hit O.K. Simple as that? Want to add a photo to your story? O.K., if we're being honest here, the process is actually a few extra steps in the new system (for the time being), but we've provided handy instructions and once you follow all the steps for just one photo, you'll never have to use the instructions again. Promise. It's really easy, we swear.
Note: It will take a few hours for our servers to completely update today, so in the words of our web guys, Brommunity posting might be a little “wonky.”
New Shop Engine
The BroBible Shop is now powered by Shopify, which is one of the most popular shop engines on the web. You'll find it at brobible.myshopify.com or just by clicking the Shop button in the navigation bar. The new system is much cleaner and easier to use, and your shopping cart and checkout experience now stays on BroBible. (We're still using PayPal to process payments, but now you never have to leave our site). If you haven't checked out the Shop lately, now's the time to take a look at all the new apparel and drinking games and equipment. Nothing says back to school like a BroBible piney, a new pair of sunglasses, a school-specific Cornhole board, or an Octobong.
New Search Engine
We've partnered with our friends at Lijit to implement a new Search Engine. The results page now features thumbnail images from the stories (pick your favorite supermodel and give it a try). Also, if you click the Content tab at the top, you'll search all of BroBible's Facebook and Twitter feeds (that this will take a few days to start updating). Click the Network tab, and you'll see results from all of BroBible's peer sites. O.K., yes, there's now also a single Google text advertisement, but even that's entertaining (“Brooklyn Decker” just brought up “Double Decker Manhattan” for me), so bear with us, and take a bus tour if you'd like.
Faster Site Load Times
By our upgrading the entire system and also switching over to fancy new servers, your site loading experience should be smoother and quicker. We hope. We never can tell with these things until we're up and running and the site is getting crushed by Bros, Diggers, Hot Clickers, Gorilla Maskers, and others. You should notice some improvement, though, or Aaron, our web ninja, will probably cry.
The One Thing That Sucks About the New Site (for Now)
Try as our web wizards could, the one feature from the old site that they couldn't immediately transfer over to the new system is threaded comment replies. That means that you can't reply directly to an earlier comment and have it show up just below and tabbed in. That sucks. But we're working on a solution, and it should be restored anywhere between a couple days from now and a couple weeks.
What's Still to Come
A lot. On top of some little changes that we didn't quite complete in time for this morning's launch, we have two brand new site sections that should debut within the next couple weeks. Plus, we're upgrading our Music section and our Mobile site (comments, we know!). And yes, LockerRooms are on the agenda as well. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. For now, bear with us on any bugs or hiccups over the next 48 hours, and enjoy the new site.