As I type this we're nearing three days since we officially unveiled The New CrackBerry.com to the world. The response to our new digs has been overwhelmingly positive, and readers have been fantastic in helping us hunt down and troubleshoot any post-launch bugs.
With the re-launch dust now starting to settle, I thought it would be a good time to check in and provide a quick update on where things are at and shed a little more light on our plan of action for the weeks ahead. Also, reading through the comments on our site announcement posts, I noticed some of you didn't catch the fact you can choose between two homepage views -- featured view and the traditional blog view -- so I wanted to highlight that to be sure everybody is aware of it. Let's get to it!
Hit the Blog View button for the old style CrackBerry blog!
With the new CrackBerry we wanted to cater to both our hardcore regular visitors and first time and less frequent visitors. The new homepage was designed with that in mind. The news stream on the left provides the 21 latest stories for the news junkies who never want to miss a headline, while the rest of the homepage exposes much more of our recent popular content for the benefit of less frequent and first time visitors. With the old CrackBerry, once the content fell to page two, it was more or less gone unless you searched for it (and unless you knew exactly what to search for, you'd never find it). The new format provides a balanced dose of CrackBerry goodness.
To get to the traditional blog view, all you need to do is tap the button that says "SWITCH TO BLOG VIEW" at the top of the homepage news feed.
That said, we know many of you -- especially our members who practically live on the site (myself included) -- tend to be fans of the more traditional blog format. There was no way we'd re-launch CrackBerry without having the traditional blog view available. There's just something satisfying about being able to scroll through one page full of big images and teaser paragraphs that's tough to beat. To get to the traditional blog view, all you need to do is tap the button that says "SWITCH TO BLOG VIEW" at the top of the homepage news feed. We changed up the button today, per the photo above, to make it a little more in your face so you can't miss it than the text-less icons we launched with. When you choose the blog view we set a cookie to remember your choice - so you'll stick with that view unless you reset your cookies or choose to go back to the featured view. We're like the Burger King of blogs baby... you can have CrackBerry your way!
We wanted to get the new CrackBerry launched in advance of the release of the BlackBerry Z10 in the US market, so we locked down our design and feature set so we could push the site live with time to spare. Now that we're up and running, you'll continue to see the new homepage evolve as we further execute on our full vision. We'll be asking for your feedback soon via a site survey, so be sure to spend time on both homepage views so you have experience with both. Our ongoing goal is to make CrackBerry as freak'n awesome as it can be for all BlackBerry owners, so we want your input.
Finding and Fixing Bugs
Our tech team has done an outstanding job of addressing any and all post launch bugs that have popped up. We still have a hit list that we're plowing through, but the biggest bugs have now been taken care of.
Internet Explorer 8 was causing some problems for users after launch, but that issue has now been resolved. Personally I feel bad for anybody stuck on IE8, but I get that workplaces are slow to upgrade, but at least you're up and running again.
We also had a little bug we had to solve that was causing the site to load slow for the BlackBerry PlayBook browser, but we got it resolved and the site is running fast and smooth now. PlayBook owners should automatically be directed to our tablet optimized site at t.crackberry.com. If not, you can always type it in manually.
Over the days ahead we'll continue to tackle smaller bugs and continue to optimize the site templates across browsers and devices. If you come across anything that you feel is a bug that we're not aware of, be sure to drop it on our bug reporting thread.
And remember, if you see any bugs, just blame KEVZILLA. Apparently it's my fault whenever anything breaks on CrackBerry. I almost pissed my pants laughing when I saw the KEVZILLA landing page while the site was offline during the upgrade process. A nice joke by our design team - I had no idea it was coming. Thanks guys. Love you.
As mentioned, we didn't have time to build out all of the features coming to the new CrackBerry in time for launch. Over the next two months we're going to keep the pedal to the metal on the development of the site. It's going to be exciting to see things evolve.
We're also changing up our process for how we roll out updates. In the past we'd sort of just push new features live as they were ready. From now on, we're going to push updates live in release packages. What we launched was CrackBerry 10. Expect to see CrackBerry 10.1 soon, followed by CrackBerry 10.2 and so on. With each update we'll also release a change log detailing the tweaks and new features added.
I want to save some surprises so won't get into the details just yet of what's coming next. Well, how about I give you one for good measure. Subscriptions to article comments will definitely be in our next release. Speaking of comments, you can now easily spot my comments and replies to articles easily - they're highlighted in blue as you scroll through.
CrackBerry Redesign Contest - Win a FREE BlackBerry Z10!
If you haven't entered our CrackBerry Website Redesign contest yet, be sure to enter! The contest ends Sunday at Midnight PST, so jump over to the forum thread at the link below and post a reply to enter. We'll be announcing the winner of this contest along with the winner of our birthday contest early this week.
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