Progress: SMYN Network

My fellow SMYNjas,

We at Show Me Your News have our internal secrets for the future, which we are good at keeping. At the same time, we also believe in a sense of transparency. Not only do we think you all as SMYNjas deserve it, it’s just how we believe to operate.

So when it comes to the SMYN Network, an idea many months in the making, we were so glad to finally reveal that secret two months ago. We were even more relieved that the feedback was mostly positive.

With that said, I write this now to show the progress we are making. In addition, I welcome your feedback, as this is intended to give you a place to make recommendations or commendations about the work we are doing to develop this Network concept.

Yesterday, we finally installed WordPress pages for STAGE 1 of Network development. These five pages represent the other shows, beside Show Me Your News, which will encompass the SMYN Network. Anyway, Stage 1 involves creating CONTENT PAGES for these shows. You may be used to our SMYN content page here – http://www.showmeyournews.com/podcast/ – however, you will notice that it has received a theme and layout facelift.

Similarly, the other pages have been established with this theme in mind:
Wut R U Playn
WTF, Pokémon!?!
Read the Manual
N64Ever
SMYN Top Ten

By this point, you have noticed that these are still very incomplete. That is because there is still a lot to coordinate. Posts must be made with full content, as opposed to placeholders. Metadata must be confirmed by show hosts. Feeds must be established, where appropriate. Logos must be reworked or created from scratch. Specific sub-pages must be created for each show. As you may imagine, this is a lot of work.

Now, we could make this development all private, secret and under-wraps. However, this goes back to the sense of transparency I mentioned earlier. Giving you access to view what progress we are making not only keeps us on task, but it also allows you to provide feedback. After all, the SMYN Network is intended to be a website that rewards long-time SMYNjas, but also welcomes new ones with tons of content and plenty of friendly faces.

The establishment and finalization of these content pages is Stage 1. These will remain unlinked to our main page for the time being, public only in the sense that SMYNjas will know how to access and view them. There is also another step that will need to be done before Stage 1 is complete. We’ve discovered that will likely need to move our audio content that we are currently hosting on our server to a brand new one, which may involve URL changes of those audio files. This will not break any iTunes feeds as far as we know, but it will take more work on our part to change the directed URLs in each of the content posts. This change will hopefully be rolled out slowly over time and should be unnoticed, but any mention of direct mp3 URLs we’ve discussed before will likely be ancient history.

Once Stage 1 is complete with the finalization of content pages, we move on to STAGE 2 – the final step. We must rework the main page at http://www.showmeyournews.com/ to reflect the new SMYN Network, while maintaining the homepage URL. The URL for the forums will also remain intact. We hope to keep the layout of the main page very similar, to keep necessary things intact (such as Front Page News posting) and to improve further on what already works. While I have discussed many of the intended changes in the Florj staff section of the forums, here are only a few of the biggest changes that we need to make.

– Change main header logo and social media links
– Update or add links in top black bar
– Livestream LIVE banner triggers below black bar and above blog content
– Change affiliates section to shows (quick-jump to content page): SMYN, WRUP, WTFP, RTM, N64E, TOP10 – move affiliates to page/dropdown under top black bar links

Once Stage 2 is complete, the age of the SMYN Network begins. As I mentioned in Episode 116 of SMYN, I hope for that to be complete by the start of September. However, it wouldn’t be SMYN without technical setbacks, so we’ll see what happens. In addition, I now must leave for a business trip in Traverse City, MI, which will occupy a good deal of my time this week.

So, SMYNjas, your Network’s construction is in your hands, in a way. Let us know what you want to see and let us know what we’re doing right, so that we can create an even greater community that we can all be proud of.

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