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Preview: South Side Sox, SB Nation United and you

In the very near future, you will be greeted with a brand new version of South Side Sox.

For you, the viewer, almost all of the changes will be cosmetic in nature. Besides the new logo, other aesthetics like fonts, article layouts, FanPost and FanShot locations will all look different to varying degrees. However, the core reasons you visit the site and the ways you use it -- content, comments, community, FanPosts, FanShots -- will be the same.

What I want to highlight in advance are three significant departures, because they're also the three things I'm anticipating the most. Let's start with some pictures (click for full size):


Yes, South Side Sox is now a San Francisco 49ers blog. They should've never fired Samurai Mike! But for serious...

No. 1: We'll have the ability to arrange the front page based on something else besides reverse chronological order.

Let's say the White Sox trade Rey Olmedo for Buster Posey. An hour later, the Sox put Donnie Veal on the DL and replace him with Charles Leesman.

With the old arrangement, we could either put the most recent story on top, inadvertently prioritizing the last man in the bullpen over a shocking and incredibly awesome trade. That's terrible news judgment! Alternatively, we could update the Posey story and bump it above the Leesman news -- but then you might not know there's actually a newer story of significance.

With flexible front pages, we can cover both like we normally would and make both stories visible to people coming to the site. This remedies one of the "issues" I often read/hear about -- that we sometimes have too much going on, making it harder to follow discussions. When it's a big news day, there will be less scrolling/hunting.

No. 2: Storystreams.

You may be familiar with this feature if you read Baseball Nation or the main SB Nation page, and I can't wait for it.

Storystreams are incredibly helpful in following developing stories. Here's the latest Melky Cabrera story on the Baseball Nation storystream about him. On either page, you can see all the major twists and turns, from his positive test to the weird fake website he set up declaring his innocence to his refusal to accept the batting title.

That's what we'll be using to track running White Sox sagas. For instance, take something like A.J. Pierzynski's impending free agency. When there are major rumors or minor items about teams having interest or the Sox exploring other options, we'll be able to track it. That's assuming the Sox don't complete that rumored Olmedo-Posey trade, which would render Pierzynski's fate irrelevant.

(A retroactive example: Chris Sale's move to the bullpen in May. We would have all the doubletalk and backtracking all in one convenient place.)

No. 3: Desktop, tablet, mobile -- it's all the same.

The overhaul will make South Side Sox scalable to any device, with faster loading times. So the mobile site and apps aren't necessary, you can straight-up rec comments instead of handing out "mobile recs," and so forth.

You can see more screenshots of different parts of the site at Purple Row, and there's a lot to look at. But I figure I'd tell you what you might not be able to see from screenshots alone. Basically, we'll be able to write more posts, cover stories more thoroughly, and be more organized in how we present them. And when they're published, you'll be able to read and discuss them on any device without major drop-offs from one to another.