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What to expect from tonight’s 247Sports release

Tonight (Thursday, April 10) at midnight the 247Sports team will begin the process of releasing our next generation platform that will be used to build all future innovations on the network. It’s an insanely exciting time for 247Sports. There’s a lot going into this release, so I have put together a list of things you should know for tonight.

Launch expectations

  • The network will be taken down at midnight for several hours to begin the relaunch.
  • When it comes back up, it may go right back down. Stress testing and other stage environment mechanisms to prepare for launch do not fully simulate live random use from 100,000s of users. There will be hiccups. Please understand that our team is on it and will be until things are running smooth (we are preparing to be staffed 24 hours for a few days, yes days).
  • The site will be slow early on. Our site gets faster the more people use it. For instance, the first time you go to add an image to a post, the new Image Vault (described below) will be bringing back other images you’ve uploaded previously for the first time. This first time will take awhile, but it will be basically unnoticeable the next time. Pages that have not been visited since the relaunch, like a random post on the 1,546th page of the board, will be slow the first time, but faster after that.
  • If you’re an admin or publisher, you may be missing some tools. We did not take them away. We have 1000s of users who also administrate the site. We have most tools right for everyone, but do not be surprised if you are missing one or two. Contact the person who gave you the tools. If they cannot add them back, they will let their contact in the office know, and it will get fixed.
  • Please be patient. We understand that your experience on your Blackberry Curve 8320 may be a little off. We do not want you to go without 247Sports on your phone. However, there may be a more pressing issue we need to handle that is having an impact on a greater number of users. We’ll prioritize as best as we can and get to everything eventually.
  • Some things will be different or impacted.
    • Post views and counts are now not instant. They will be updated over time.We’ll adjust that time based on how successful things works, with the hopes of going to back to real-time.
    • Pinned posts are not based on time right now. We know it’s nowhere near perfect, but I feel it’s livable for now to get the rest of this out.
    • Class Calculator is not going to be live on launch. We’ll work to get this back as soon as we are clear from this release.

Texas Longhorns BoltsWhat’s new?

Before I go into a highlighted list of new features coming tonight, I’d like to thank a group of users for their help. They gave us a ton of insight and feedback on their own time because they appreciate what we do at 247Sports, and I cannot thank them enough. Thank you, (in alphabetical order) Aussie, BklynTerp, Dizzo, Hawkifish, Joester16, kitemac, MarineMountie, Oaken, shavismo2, STOOBIE, tired, Tusks and weGO.

Bolts: Our first iteration of consistent short-form news bulletins for every market. This is our initial step into living up to the “Your team. All the time” motto with a content distribution system that plays to the strengths of our experts and staff. The original format of 247Sports and other recruiting networks wasn’t working for me. It takes too many clicks to get the entire picture and sometimes you have to get lucky finding a random message board post with the information. I didn’t like this, and in early 2011 I took several days to come up with an new way to get news to users in the form of Bolts. This release is an Editorial Beta version that will allow publishers to get used to the product, test what works and what doesn’t before we do our full launch later this year. When it’s all said and done, Bolts will be a lot more than just news bulletins with a cool name (given to them by the man that makes my scribbles, disjointed notes and things in my head a reality, Dave Lester).

Board Enhancements: We did not plan to include any future board enhancements in this platform release. However, when a few things got delayed in other areas, I jumped at the chance to fit in a nice “starter” board package in too.

  • Community threadCommunity threads: This allows a single topic to be used on multiple boards (view and post rights). For instance, the “Live at the Georgia NIKE Football Training Camp” thread no longer has to be limited to The Blue Board. It may be on the Blue Board, Georgia Board, Georgia Tech Board, or any number of other message boards that would be interested in following along and interacting. It could be on multiple boards for a single site too. Keep in mind, we don’t have all the guidelines figured out. We understand that fans sometimes have a hard time getting along too, but also know there’s something to community threads that may work. This isn’t going to stop any market from having its own Georgia Nike Camp thread on its site just for its users. This just gives users another option. Right now, only a high level administrator may create these.
  • Multi-quote & historical quotes:  We’ve created our first version of multi-quoting (being able to quote more than one post in a reply). Users who use the new quote button at the bottom of each individual post (in the middle-right), or the old Quote Reply button will now store that quote for future use. Quote Reply still puts the previous post in your reply immediately. If you want to use a saved quote, hit reply, then the ” icon on the reply form to see the list of quotes you’ve saved. Those quotes will be available for future use even after you close out your session. There are going to be some gems that come back to haunt people years later!
  • InstagramBetter control of media placement: Media is no longer limited to the bottom of the post. You may place it anywhere in the post. Images are still thumbnailed (we’ll work on this in the future). More on media types below.
  • Instagram Embeds: Using the Instagram’s embed code (hidden under the … menu on the Instragram image’s page), you may now place instagram photos into our message board posts. Copy the entire embed code into the post and it will show.
  • Twitter Embeds: Using Twitter’s Embed Code ((hidden under the … menu on the tweet), you may now place tweets in our message board posts. Copy the entire embed code into the post and it will show.
  • Vine Embeds: Using Vine’s embed video (hidden under the … menu on the vine video’s page), you may now place Vine videos in  our message board posts. Copy the entire embed code into the post and it will show.
  • Image Vault: A feature I love. Every image you upload to our system is now available for future use through the image vault. Just click New Topic, or Reply, then the image icon to see the images available to you. Click the dots to go through the pagination.
  • Video Vault: Same as image, but videos
  • Flagging Posts: If you see something offensive, hit Flag Post and it sends a message to the mod’s flagging system.
  • New moderator tools: I don’t want to go into many details here for the public. However, we have added Approval Boards that allow a mod to approve a user before they post and other minor enhancements to help our team provide the best experience to users. There are still many more administrative tools to come.
  • Private message enhancements: We’ve added a “Mark All Read” button to the private message options that will clear out your inbox count. The Inbox is working much better (I’m not willing to announce that it is 100% fixed yet). Adam Dillon also added the capability to add a user to an existing private message conversation.

Please understand that this new platform release will be difficult and not perfect. We will work around the clock to get through it and get back to building innovative products as quickly as we can. No one in this industry has pushed the limits and innovated as much as we have since launching in late 2010, and this platform will only expedite those innovation in the future.

Thank you for your understanding, patience and support.

About Noah Stanley

Noah Stanley has 15 years experience in the subscription-based affinity site industry working in multiple networks and roles. He is currently the COO of 247Sports with a focus on tech, products and mobile.

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