Morning Coffee

Our boy Vince Young was honored in the state capitol yesterday for his outstanding rookie season with the Tennessee Titans. (Steezy's got a photo.) This should actually be an interesting offseason for Young's professional team, as Tennessee has gobs of salary cap space and a solid draft position. This is a big opportunity for them to improve the team around their star QB.

The Longhorn baseball team won their third straight Tuesday Softie, this time hammering Texas State 7-1 at the Dell Diamond. The 'Horns got three runs in the first and four in the second, while six Longhorn pitchers combined to keep the Bobcats in check. Next up for Texas is a three game set with Washington State over the weekend in Austin. In other news, junior Adrian Alaniz was named Big 12 pitcher of the week for his seven shutout innings against Stanford over the weekend.

Billyzane got the Great Debate under way here at BON, and now SMQ and Kyle have taken the torch. So far, four dispatches - all interesting.

Last, I turn your attention to this diary, in which I asked readers to start looking at Corn Nation, SBN's first site to get the network-wide upgrades we plan to implement.

Not surprisingly, most of the reaction so far has been comments resistant to change - a sentiment I understand. However, I'm not asking, "Should BON make these upgrades or not?"  I'm asking, "What works, and doesn't work? What features are causing problems when you try to use them?"

The fact is that we -are- going to make some changes, but before you start worrying, allow me to explain a little bit.  As you know, BON is about the community. In fact, that's the operating philosophy behind all the SBN blogs. This is supposed to be a running conversation, and the features that SBN blogs enjoy (like a good commenting system, diaries, and so on) are what make them unique and, in our view, superior.

The upgrades we are implementing have everything to do with enhancing community features. I don't even know what all the new stuff is, but I do know that all of it is built around enhancing reader participation and interaction. As you're aware, BON's community is already one of the best in the CFB blogosphere. The new changes will all be geared toward giving you, the readers, more ways to interact with the site and each other. As with all change, we expect there will be some hand wringing, but we're very, very confident that, once you get used to them, you will strongly prefer them.

As an example, think about our Open GameDay threads. In the current system, you have to refresh the page 100 times as you try to keep up with the conversation. The new system will simply refresh the conversation as it unfolds, making our dialouge as we watch Texas together more fluid and strong. That's just one example of the many improvements the new system will offer. Yes, it will take some getting used to. Yes, the current BON is fine as is. But I promise you, the changes will be for the better. If BON is your home base for your work day - which it is for many of us - your go-to spot's only going to get better.

One last thing before I open the floor back up for discussion. The community is not just one of the best - it's one of the biggest. BON is growing at a rapid pace, which is terrific. Each month a new billyzane or 54b or EyesOfBevo arrives to join the conversation. As large as the conversation is becoming, these changes aren't just "change for change's sake," as some have worried. These are changes for improvement's sake. Long conversation threads will become much easier to navigate and participate in, and as the number of voices in the conversation grows, the vehicle for communicating must grow and improve with it.

So please, try to give this a fair shot and approach it with an open mind. After all, these changes are, ultimately, about making things better for the readers.  We're very optimistic that's what will happen.

--PB--

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