It's 7AM, and we're on our way out of Iowa City, headed towards downtown Chicago for yet another Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon and Media Days. The unofficial start of football season, the savior from baseball (do we really need 162 games? ) and WBNA Brawls. This year, as we have each year past, we're pushing out some new ways of getting content to you folks on HN. Jean Finley and Brian Finley have both been hard at work behind the scenes over the past several months, and here's what we've added, so far.
First, and most noticeable, is a re-designed top story slot on Hawkeye Nation's front page. You'll have access to the top 6 stories, each with an accompanying image, or, if you prefer, you can look just below the main box for a listing of all content from the past week, as the last 6 days of Audio, Features, Photos, Transcripts, and Videos are available. This will come in most handy following football games and Tuesday press conferences, when the content items push past single digits and into the dozens.
We're also debuting our live updates system. During our initial pilot run, we'll be using this system mostly for press conferences, but it may expand later. By visiting the specified story page during a special event, you'll be able to keep updated with up-to-the-minute snippets, live from the mobile phone of one of the HN Staff members. Many will remember that last year at the Big Ten Media Days, Albert Young dropped the bomb that Shonn Greene was staying in Iowa City and planning on returning to the team next year. Instead of waiting two or three hours to get the word out, it'll be instantaneous. There's not room for all the Hawkeye fans inside the Hyatt Regency Ballrooms, but this will help bring you just a little closer.
We've also revamped our audio player application, making it much easier to use, much more imformative, and more widely available. Users using a Macintosh computer or Firefox web browser may have had difficulties in the past, but we've rectified those issues, going to a custom Flash-based player. This also opens up possibilities that we'll reveal later on during football season.
In order ot make sure you can enjoy all the new features, there are just a few things you need to be sure of.
#1 - Update your web browser. We'd recommend using at least Internet Explorer 6 or Firefox 2.0. We've done our best to make it compatible with all platforms, but we can't guarantee 100% compatibility. If you can't access a particular item, e-mail me at email@example.com and we'll see what we can do.
#2 - Update your Flash player. Almost all of the new widgets running around the site are built using Adobe Flash. To make sure you can get the most out of them, go HERE and download the latest version.
#3 - Check back often! We'll be updating the content on the site all the time, so check back often, hit that refresh button and see if there's anything new!
That's all for now, I'm headed off to Bruegger's to grab a breakfast sandwich, Rob doesn't like to stop much on the road.