Sheepshead Bites Takes On a New Look

If you’re reading this, then you can already see that Sheepshead Bites has a new look, and we hope you’re as pumped up about it as we are. Bold, elegant and classy – we call it bolelegassy – our new digs reflect where we plan to go in the coming months. The new site, based on different software, has a slew of new features. Check out that map to the right! And the twitter updates on the top! Oh, and what’s that? E-mail updates? Facebook profile? Less categories and the ability to browse by popular tabs?! Oh, my!

That’s right. This new look is about you. On one level it’s about connecting with you in new ways. Twitter updates will allow you to get fresh information by text message, and Facebook lets us learn more about who you are; daily e-mail updates give you the opportunity to read us in your inbox at your own pace.

On another level, it’s also about new means of navigating the site. Just like the old site, you can still browse our posts in chronological order with the latest news first. But we’ve added the flashy map so you can see where the news is happening, and click the markers to see the stuff we’re reporting on near your house, your workplace – heck, anywhere in the bay. And don’t forget the categories and tags. By reducing the categories we’ve made the sidebar easier to view the news that interests you. Meanwhile, the list of popular tags is automatically generated by the number of posts using those terms and the number of people reading them. So you can see exactly what topics are hot on our site as voted by other readers’ clicks. How cool is that?

Also, don’t miss the new features at the end of every post. Using the “Share This” button you can e-mail articles to friends and family, or post it to your favorite social bookmarking sites like Digg and Technorati. And “Print This” has added a printer-friendly functionality, allowing you to bring our digital bytes into real-world bits for the decidedly analog people you know.

But what about the fish? We know; we miss him, too. Unfortunately our mascot and namesake, the sheepshead fish that always appeared on the top of the site, is on hiatus until we can find the right designer for the job. We wouldn’t want you seeing old Sheepy before he’s ready for his closeup, but we promise we’re working on bringing him back as soon as possible.

He’s not the only thing coming soon. Over the next few weeks we’ll be rolling out even more features. We would hate to ruin the surprise, but we’ll just say this – they’ll all serve to help you interact in more meaningful and effective ways with us and each other. Afterall, getting to know our neighbors and cultivating a deeper, real-life community is what this site is all about.

One last word before we sign off: the site may still have a few kinks in it. Because of a sudden technical glitch in our old platform, we were forced to roll out our latest version sooner than intended. Therefore, as we go along we’ll be making little improvements here and there to both the design and functionality. (That includes a speed-boost, so we apologize if things are running a little slower than what you’re used to.) We could really use your help in this effort. If you encounter any problems or notice anything that doesn’t look quite right, be sure to use the contact button on the top – or my e-mail on the right – and let us know. We’ve been looking at this site for months, so your fresh eyes are our best weapon in the fight against boo-boos.

Sheepshead Bites: great new look, same great content!