This is Not Your Grandfather’s CCO

STOP! You are in the right place….it looks a little bit different with a lot more bells and whistles. But it is the same ole CCO, just a new and improved version.

Welcome to the long overdue redesign of ChicagoCubsOnline.com. For long time readers of the site, we certainly hope you like the new look and will enjoy using all of the new features the CCO now offers.

With the World Series in full swing and the Phillies up 3 games to 1, we figured this would be the right time to unveil the new site….without trying to pull a Scott Boras. Other than the new design, the CCO has several new features. Here is a quick list and overview of most of the additions and changes….

The Community Blog – The CCO now features a section for the Faithful to write their own blog posts. The Community Blog can be accessed through the navigation bar at the top of the main page of the CCO. There is a full description of the new community blog section already posted.

The latest Community Blog post titles are displayed in the second tab on the top right side of the main page….so the Faithful can see what the community is talking about.

Threaded Comments – The CCO added another feature called ‘threaded comments‘. So basically, if you want to respond directly to another commenter you can reply to them instead of scrolling to the end of a full page of comments.

Your comment will show up directly under their original comment, so if you wish to have a conversation, you can keep track of what each other is saying without having to read 25 other comments of no interest to you….it is a very cool function.

Avatar – Once you setup your account, you can personalize your comments or community blog posts with an avatar. An avatar is a graphical image of a user, such as used in graphical real-time Chat applications, or, a graphical personification of a computer or a computer process, intended to make the computing or network environment a more friendly place. An avatar can be any symbol, logo or photo you would like other readers to identify with you.

Improved Search Function and Tags – The CCO now features a very fast search box located in the navigation bar located at the top of both the main page and the Community Blog. Also, at the bottom of each article (on the main page) there are word tags….and for the use of the CCO; they will feature mostly player’s names. So if you would like to see an article the CCO wrote that has a ‘Derrek Lee‘ tag in it, click on ‘Derrek Lee‘ and start reading.

There is a ‘Tag Cloud‘ as well in the tab section on the top right side of both the main page and the Community Blog. In there you can click on a specific name and achieve the same result.

Subscribe/Share/Recommend – There are several ways you can keep up with the latest from the CCO. The fourth tab on the right side features a subscribe section. In that section there is an updated RSS button as well as buttons to add the CCO to your ‘Yahoo‘, ‘Google‘ and ‘Newsgator‘ accounts. Plus you can sign-up through ‘Feedburner‘ to receive an email every time the CCO publishes a new article on the main page.

On the byline of each article on the main page is a ‘Share‘ button. This allows readers to recommend an article by the CCO to other outlets. It is a way to ‘share‘ the CCO’s articles with other news sources.

In the byline of each article, there is also a ‘Star‘. If you like what you have read, click on it, it counts the number of times an article is recommended by a reader. In the Community Blog section the ‘recommended‘ function will play a big role on how long a reader’s blog stays on the main page of the Community Blog.

Print/Add/RSS – At the end of each article on the main page there are more new buttons that allow readers to ‘print‘, ‘add‘ or insert the article into their RSS reader.

Columns – The second tab on the left side is titled ‘Columns‘ or categories. This section was previously in the ‘CCO Lineup Card‘ and was lost when most upgraded to IE 7. ‘Columns‘ are the individual categories here at the CCO. Take a look; there are several that many probably did not know about.

Amazon – There is now a place at the CCO that the Faithful can buy the latest book or DVD either about the Cubs….or just about baseball in general. From time to time, the CCO will feature a book review, kind of the ‘CCO Book of the Month Club‘….if you will. There will be a link to Amazon that the Faithful can use to purchase the item.

Reference Section and Useable Links – The last section on the left side toward the bottom is called ‘References and Links‘. It includes good reference links to Cubs’ stats, payroll, Minor League system, the mainstream media, forums and other blogs. Plus radio links to baseball and the Cubs on the web, as well as baseball info from yesteryear, stats and facts.

This section will be built over the next few days.

Registration – Unfortunately with all of the improvements to the site, it does come with one big drawback. Long time readers of the CCO will have to create/register for a new account to be able to continue to make comments. While your previous comments transferred over from the old database, in order to make new comments you must sign-up for an account. We certainly apologize for the inconvenience, but we thought the good outweighed the bad by far.

All it takes is a valid email account and a little patience. Once you sign up it will take no more than 24 hours (for the first few days we will try to make it quicker) for your new account to become active….then it’s back to commenting like the ‘old days’.

Take your time and look around the new CCO. There are still a couple of features that will be added in the days to come, including a mobile version of the CCO. The speed and load time of the new design should be a big improvement, as well as the readability and organization. If you find anything wrong, or any other improvements you would like to see, drop me an email…. neil@chicagocubsonline.com. Remember we are still learning as well and any bugs/problems will be repaired as soon as possible.

Thank you for a very good first three years of the CCO and I hope everyone enjoys the new design and features….

Quote of the Day

"The only way of finding the limits of the possibility is by going beyond them into the impossible." - Arthur C. Clarke
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