Your Guide to TCL Version 4
As you may have noticed, The Checking Line has a new look!
The staff here at TCL has been constantly trying to bring our users the best web experience. From our lowly start as a plain-old blog back in September of 2009, TCL has grown to a website of nearly fifty bloggers, following most of the teams in the NHL and all the happenings at all levels of hockey.
From our feature coverage of the Philadelphia Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens, to the individual efforts of the bloggers of teams such as the Phoenix Coyotes and Vancouver Canucks, TCL strives to bring you the most comprehensive hockey coverage on the web. Over the summer months, we'll be looking to refine that coverage, and add new bloggers for teams we don't cover as thoroughly as we'd like (if you'd like to join the writing staff, please let us know via our contact form). In order to do this, we've put together the most complete version of the site to date.
Major props go our to Phil Therrien and Sam Hall of Electronic Press, who put many hours into designing and building the site over the last few months.
So in case you're feeling a little lost with this new version, let us take you through some of the new features on the site:
- New Frontpage Layout: The most visible change of the site has to be the new look of the frontpage. Most of the elements of the old page return, but with an update look and a few extra features. Our rotator for "featured articles" is now longer, more detailed and more colorful, and gives you the option to visit the article, the comments of said article or the author's blog roll.
- Columns: Below it, "featured columnists" gives you the latest from our more "high profile" writers, and can be filtered by author. Below that is oru complete blog listing in "all columns", filterable by category.
- Right Frame: On the right panel, you'll find our hot topic discussion, our new forums and mailing list (more on that later), our caption contest, and the return of "my discussion", which tracks the subjects you've commented on with new posts. Below that is a listing of which users and writers are currently online. Finally, you'll find the latest comments on articles as well as a Highlight of the Week feature in the middle column of the site, and a link to our friends at Grinder Threads on the left.
- Comments: The comment section of our articles has also been refined, allowing you to reply directly to a main comment, which creates a "thread" of sorts. Comments also appear automatically, without refreshing the page.
- Tags: V4 also introduces a new "tag" system for filing blog and forum posts, which will make searching through our content much easier, along with categories.
- New Forums: The highlight, of sorts, of the new site is the completely redesigned forum section. We've dropped our traditional forum look, opting instead for one inspired by your favorite social media websites. Using a tagging system, you can now post simply and easily on the main page of our message boards, attaching links, images, or links to videos as is necessary. These posts will automatically show up on our front page and just like our articles, they will be easily searchable, so please use them!
- Profiles: Seeing as the focus of the site is now geared towards interactivity, we've refined our profile pages, adding more detail and connectivity options. You can now log in using facebook and twitter, and we've introduced "user points", which rank users based on how much they contribute to the site. So if you want to beat me for number 1 spot, post often!
- Mailing List: Another new feature on the site is our mailing list, which will periodically send out e-mails to subscribers with details on what's been posted on the site, upcoming events, and even some promotions, such as through our affiliates like Grinder Threads. So sign up and we'll be sending our our first e-mail shortly!
There is plenty more to discover on the site and also that's to come, so check out all the cool new additions to the site, and let us know if you find any glitches, or if you'd like something added to the site, simply by using our contact form. We welcome any and all feedback, and we thank you for using The Checking Line!
Moreover, as mentioned above, if you'd like to contribute to TCL for one of the teams you feel could use more coverage, please let us know!