Navigating the New Corn Nation

Eric Francis - Getty Images

The SB Nation United format for Corn Nation is quite the departure from the previous iteration. This post will hopefully help find lost functions that went missing in the move while explaining some of how we'd be able to use these tools.

So. Yesterday you were introduced to the new face of Corn Nation and SB Nation. The new look is somewhat jarring and there are going to be kinks and adjustments to be made by everyone. We ourselves are still learning the full power of the new tools we've been given.

That being said, we're all aware this is just as insane for you as it is for us - and we had prior notice.

So I'm here to help by explaining what I can about the new layout. We'll work from the official SB Nation United Quick Tour PDF. I'll try and sum up how we MIGHT use the tools they describe.

I am doing all of this from the perspective of a full-sized browser window in Chrome 21 on Windows 7. Your layout may vary but the general features are the same.

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The Network Navigation Bar is fairly self-explanatory. Clicking the main league name at the top brings you to that league’s main page. Hover over the menu to get other options. Unfortunately for college football, they don’t make this particularly simple. To some degree, it’s easier to search Google for “school-name SB Nation”. I sent a request in myself for something to happen here but it’s really a minor feature.

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The Cover, simply put, is the colored grid on the front page that you’re presented with when you first visit Corn Nation. Yes, it’s huge. Yes, it’s heavy in color and graphics. So what’s it for?

The Cover can be changed depending on the situation, with anywhere from one to five stories presented. (For instance, on Saturday, we might have a three story setup with one large box and two smaller boxes: the Game Thread would be found in the big box with a Story Stream for the game and Game Day information in the smaller boxes. We'll become familiar with those in the future.)

The stories shown are either being highlighted by us or are newly published. At this time, there’s no way to differentiate between featured pieces and just the latest articles. Yes, we will be making editorial decisions on what stories we feel are important. Before you get upset about that, let me point out that all recent articles are available on the front page.

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Underneath the Cover and the site navigation bar (more on that in a second), you’ll see more articles. These are arranged in reverse chronological order, with the newest first. That story could be anywhere from the first story of the day to the sixth story of the day depending on how many articles we have highlighted. (Again, we’re sorry we can’t differentiate at this time.)

You’ll also see lists for the FanPosts and FanShots, with the most recent post at the top. Front-paged Fanshots and Fanposts will be found in the same “stream” as our articles. As far as we can tell, FanShots and FanPosts will not be able to be added to the Cover.

There’s more tomfoolery towards the end that is sort of redundant to our next topic so let’s get to it.

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Let’s look at the Site Navigation bar.

Team: This is the same information that was previously found along the top of the previous format

  • Stories: This takes you to the main SB Nation team page where it will show an aggregation of all Nebraska-related stories.
  • Schedule and Roster: Self-explanatory.
  • Stats: This doesn’t lead anywhere useful. (There are no stats at the link, just a placeholder.)
  • Tickets: This will lead you to the TiqIQ site to find tickets to Nebraska games.

Community: This is where you’ll find the complete list of FanShots and FanPosts (including those which were front-paged)

  • FanShots: Order of arrangement is that the newest post is in the top left corner. Read down, then to the top, down, to the top, down. (On mobile or smaller window sizes, the page goes down to one column with the newest post at the top.)
  • FanPosts: In a desktop normal window, it appears with selectable filters for how to arrange the FanPosts. In one-column format, the selectable features are pushed into a pull-down menu.

Sections: If you go up to the Sections pull-down menu, you'll see several sections.

  • BlogPoll: Refers to Jon's weekly ballots - it is shown in reverse chronological order, with the latest poll at the top.
  • Cobby: This is Cobby's new playground. The graphic at the top is chosen by us, all the articles below are in reverse chronological order.
  • Corn Flakes: These are all the Reads posts, organized in reverse chronological order.
  • Galleries: These are our photo galleries (in the future), reverse chronological order.
  • Husker Football 2012: These are all the Nebraska football stories published here, in reverse chronological order.

Library: If you go to the Library pull-down menu, you'll find more links.

  • Husker Twitter List: This is the same Twitter Feed from the old format. Just load it up in a second tab and check!
  • BlogRoll: Updated last night, this blogroll contains links to all of the other Big Ten SB Nation sites as well as many Nebraska and college football blogs outside the network. Until we get a more permanent solution, consider this our gesture of assistance. Alternatively, you can go to the team list and search for your team of interest.

Other things to note:

  • Ideally, the number in the cartoon talk box above each article represents the number of comments, with the numbers in the shaded box to the left representing new comments. This may be wonky for a couple of days.
  • All the keys for commenting are the same as before. There is no “Z” key for refreshing on mobile. Frustrating, I know. But hey, you can mobile rec now.
  • Speaking of mobile, the SB Nation application is not being supported any more. If you have the Android or iOS app, you may as well get rid of it. (The reason is it doesn’t make sense for them to develop five different applications for each ecosystem out there to interact with a website when a single HTML5 website can dynamically respond to the device resolution.)
  • Logins should work similar to before – if not, contact the SB Nation support people. (Info below)
  • Problems with commenting (such as being unable to make a new comment) should also be referred to SB Nation Support.

Have a problem, concern or suggestion with the new setup, here or anywhere on the SB Nation network? Shoot an email to support@sbnation.com. Along with a somewhat calm description of the problem, remember to include your computer's (or mobile device's) operating system and the browser you're using (and the version number) so they can, if possible, replicate the problem that needs fixing.

Would something like The Verge's "new articles" indicator in the top left be something you'd accept? Let them know! (I'm going to guess they won't be reverting back to the old format, but you can try that route too.)

Note: IE8 (Internet Explorer 8) and earlier are known to have problems rendering the site and using the built-in functions. That's because IE8 and earlier aren't compliant with the modern internet. I'm sorry. (Your old Blackberry running BB 4.5 won't load it either.)

Again, the new format launched yesterday. It'll take us a little while to sort through all of the toys and figure out all the new quirks. Rest assured, we'll be working with you and SB Nation to navigate this transition ("live beta").

In the meantime. we'll continue to churn out the quality content you've come to expect here at Corn Nation and we hope you'll stick around to read and comment.

-Salt Creek and Stadium

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