If you’re reading this, then you’ve had a chance to check out the newly redesigned and relaunched IndianaRacing.net. What do you think?
There were at least a few different reasons I thought it was time for a redesign:
- I wanted IndianaRacing.net to have more personality, and to serve as a place to simply share some of the things that make being a race fan fun, and less of a traditional media or news-oriented site. A “blog” format is great for that, though I don’t like that term very much (would a blog by any other name smell as sweet?). If you’re confused about what a blog is, here is a definition.
- I started feeling like the bright white background of the old site was too sterile. Dark backgrounds are great for bringing out the full color of photos and if done right, can give a site a cooler (as in “gee whiz”) feel. The tradeoff of course is that text is a little harder to read.
- Technical reasons. I wrote almost all of the code for the previous version of the site myself, and I was spending a lot of time having to write new code to add features, etc. I’ve decided that for the most part, I’ll leave all of that to someone else. I also wanted to take advantage of all of the open source, LAMP-based code available out there as well (if you don’t know what that means don’t worry about it). That doesn’t mean I’ll ever stop “tweaking” things to meet my needs, but it does mean that a lot of the big things will be worked out by generous people with more smarts and available time than I have.
There are some features that have been dropped from the old site:
- The Forums. Heck, even I didn’t post there.
- Membership. Nothing on the new site will be limited to members only, at least not anytime soon.
- News and press releases. I simply don’t have time to sit around and copy and paste press releases that already appear on dozens of other sites.
- The Directory. Very few people showed an interest or submitted information.
But there are also some exciting features that have been added to or improved for the new site. They’re loosely organized around sights, sounds, words, etc. If I could capture smells and tastes and post them on the web, I’d do that too (well some of them anyway).
- Photo Spotlight. This is intended function like a “photo blog”, where I will post and comment on some of my better/favorite photos, displayed nice and big so that people can really see and enjoy them.
- Photo Galleries, hosted by Flickr. Flickr is simply the best site for sharing photos, and I’m utilizing their API to display them on IndianaRacing.net.
- Videos hosted by YouTube and others. Web 2.0 goodness.
- Sound Recordings, available to all. I now have the bandwidth to allow everyone to listen to the sounds without being a member and logging in first.
- Voices. This is a bit of an experiment, we’ll see how it works. I’ve been very interested in capturing the voices of fans and others without having to run around with a microphone everywhere.
- Music. I just wanted to share some of the neat old musical recordings that are available out there, as well as some of the performances that sometimes occur at races, etc.
- The Notebook, for anything and everything that doesn’t already fit in another category.
- Articles and Columns, Reviews, and Adventures… preferably written in the first person, often intertwined with non-racing-related observations and thoughts.
- Headline News, links to news from around the world of motorsports, from a variety of sources (and updated fully automatically).
- The IMS Seating Guide has been improved.
- Memorabilia, anything from full race programs in PDF, to all of the goofy little things you accumulate at the track and elsewhere.
- Links, which replace the old Directory.
- Event Calendar, intended to list special events for fans and major (regional, national) racing events, powered by Google so that people can subscribe, etc.
- The Gift Shop… coming someday.
- Classified Ads, for buying and selling tickets or any other racing-related stuff you might have.
- The Amazon Store and eBay Auctions, your purchases help support IndianaRacing.net!
If you’ve read this far, congratulations and thank you! The last but certainly not least new feature of IndianaRacing.net is that anyone can now comment on almost everything at the site, without having to login. I welcome your comments on the new look and suggestions for more new and fun features. Take a look around, and thanks for stopping by.
- Related Posts:
- Slowing down on the backstretch…
- Notebook: New Photo Galleries, Slideshows Added
- Notebook: Infield Parking
- Notebook: Cycle of a Fan
- Reviews Coming Soon
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