Pro Tips: Using Athletics Nation

Bob Levey

In which we shed some light on solutions to common community questions, complaints, and feedback.

Greetings, Athletics Nation! Our American League leading Oakland A's had the audacity to take a day off from playing baseball today, so I thought that I would take this opportunity to address a few issues that have come up in the comments section over the recent days/weeks/months.

As you all know, SB Nation re-designed the site entire layout last fall. Everything looks quite different, and some folks are still confused (or even unhappy) with various aspects of the new design. However, I think that some of the complaints may be due to simple unfamiliarity with the site's new functions, so I wanted to share some tips in a more high-profile way.

Issue: FanPosts and FanShots are lower down the page than they used to be.

Solution: Unfortunately, this particular thing is not going to change. These sections have been moved up as far as they can be moved, so we are going to have to re-accustom ourselves to their new location. However, there is a solution! At the very top of every page on AN, there is a toolbar with the following options: Home, FanPosts, FanShots, Sections, Athletics, Tickets, Odds, About. That means that, right smack at the top of the page, there is a link which will take you to a list of all of the current FanPosts (or FanShots, if that's what you're looking for). Yes, it takes an extra click. However, if accessibility is what you want, then you can't do much better than a link right at the tippy-top of the page. One final note on this: If you hold your mouse over the words "SB Nation" on the right side of this toolbar, the options will change to NFL, NBA, MLB, etc. This might confuse you if you are looking for the FanPosts link. To get the regular toolbar links back, just move your mouse anywhere else on the screen and wait a moment. The AN links will come right back.

Issue: The line score and AL West standings used to be on the front page. Where did they go?

Solution: They are still present, just not on the front page. On that same toolbar at the top, find the Athletics link. Hold your mouse over it, and a drop-down menu will appear with several options. The first four options are: Stories, Schedule, Roster, Stats. If you click on any of those four choices, you will get to a page which includes the line score of the current/previous game, as well as date/time/location/opponent for the next game. Above those, you will find the A's current record, as well as a box in which you can select any A's player (or any player from any team) and see that player's profile. In addition, each of those four links has its own extra features:

Stories - You will find the AL West standings in the right-hand margin, and a list of recent SB Nation stories in which the A's have been tagged.
Schedule - You will find the complete 2013 A's schedule, with links at the top to jump down to any particular month.
Roster - You will find the current 25-man roster, with the ability to click each player and see his profile.
Stats - You will find the current statistics of everybody on the A's (traditional stats plus the triple-slash percentages, AVG/OBP/SLG).

Issue: Where did the old Game Threads go?

Solution: In order to reduce clutter on the front page, we have found a way to organize the Game Threads by using the StoryStream system. For each game, we will add all of the threads and the recap to one StoryStream. During the game, you will just see this Stream on the front page, and it will include links to the current Thread as well as the expired ones. After the game, the Stream will be updated to include the game recap, but the links to that game's Threads will still be present as well. When you click on the recap to read it, you will find links to all of the other Threads in that Stream so that you can go back and find that really funny joke that I made in the 2nd overflow Thread.

Issue: Where did yesterday's Game Recap go?

Solution: While you will find the most recent Game Stream (including Recap and Threads) at the top of the front page, you will no longer see any of the previous game's Streams up there. However, immediately below the big glossy-looking front page cover, you will see a smaller box titled Game Recaps. In this box, you will find links to the four most recent Game Recaps (and remember, you can find the old Game Threads within those recaps by looking in the right-hand margin). Note that we are going to start adding the date and/or game number to the titles of these recaps so that you can tell which one is from which day.

Issue: What about recaps beyond the four most recent ones?

Solution: Go up to the toolbar at the top and find the Sections link. Hold your mouse over it, and it will drop down several options. One of those options is called "Game Recaps." Click that, and you will be taken to a list of all of the old game recaps in reverse chronological order (that means newest at the top). Note that when I click that link on my computer, the page initially says nothing except "Load More Stories," but when I click that, the list appears immediately.

The rest of that Sections list also includes a hub for A's Farm articles, This Date In A's History, and Community Prospect List posts.

Change is always hard, and a lot of folks have been coming to this site for a lot of years. However, the fact is that a lot of these changes make things much easier to find, and actually reduce the number of clicks that it takes to get to certain stuff. All of the old features are still here (except for links to other A's-related sites, which seem to be gone); you just have to know where to find them now. Hopefully this post will help folks locate the features which they thought were gone, but had really just moved.

Most importantly: I don't mean for this to come off as some kind of "This is how it is and you're gonna like it" kind of thing. We are very sensitive to user feedback, and do our absolute best to provide you with the AN experience that you want. However, there are limits to what the front page staff can make happen, and we can't please everybody all the time. My intention is to honestly address these consistent questions/complaints, and to do my best to provide you with solutions to your queries. Think of it as more like, "This is how it is now, so let me help you best achieve the AN experience that you're looking for." If any of my tips don't make sense, or there are other questions which anyone would like to bring up, please use this post as a location for that feedback.

Thanks to everyone for making AN the awesome community that it is!

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