If you’re anything like me, getting something new to play with is still one of the best feelings in the world. Despite Power Wheels being replaced by TV’s, there’s still nothing better than busting open a box of pure consumer goodness, then marveling at the majesty of your new piece of property.
It’s at that point that one of the most famous questions ever to cross man’s lips finds it’s way up your vocal cords and off your tongue…
“How does it work?”
At age 10, you didn’t care. You just turned it on and went after it. Nowadays I find myself paying a bit more attention to those user’s manuals that come with the things I buy though. Why? Well, because I probably spent good money on it and don’t want the thing to self destruct if I put Piece A into Slot B, instead of sliding Slot B over Piece A. You know what I’m talking about. (IKEA is the clear exception to this rule, right Chief?) At any rate, I just like my stuff to work properly the first time around, so it just makes sense to reference the manual and get it over with faster.
So with that in mind, I present to you the user’s manual to the new Production Line. I hinted at it yesterday, but we’ve incorporated a number of different features and widgets into the new site, so it probably makes sense for me to explain how each of them works and what their purpose is on the site.
Let’s get down to business.
Maybe the most underrated part of any blog is the comments section. Some of the best dialog and discussion happens after the fact, and many blogs are still stuck with a system where you leave a comment, wait for somebody else to comment and then comment back again before taking that discussion over to Twitter and Facebook to vent about the comment that someone just made about your comment. It gets confusing, especially when nobody even has a clue what site you are talking about after you post your 140 character rant that has no links to the offending material.
That’s where Disqus comes in. You’ll notice that you can just type your comment, then click the “post as” button, at which point you enter an e-mail address and go on your merry way. But you’re missing the fun. If you hover over the Disqus logo above the comment box, you’ll see that it offers you a number of different login options. You can use your Disqus account (if you have one), or use Twitter, Facebook (still wonky. we’re working on it), OpenID or even Yahoo. Personally, I rock the Twitter login. At this point you can comment away, and then right before you click “post”, go ahead and click the “share on twitter” icon. Then post.
You’ve now commented on the actual post, while at the same time utilizing the power of the interwebz to post that same comment on Twitter, while also including a link to the post your comment is referencing. It’s like a mini-blog for you, the reader. You’re welcome.
Pretty self-explanatory. “Tweet” tweets. “Share” shares. “Like” likes. Be sure to click all three after each post.
There’s plenty of other good blogs out there and we’re committed to making sure they get their props here on the site. But if you look closely, there’s 19 blogs on the links menu, and that is very much by design and very much how it will be kept moving forward. 19 slots for 19 blogs. That said, if you don’t see yourself on there, it’s most definitely not a knock against you. Petrella, Disch and I just agreed beforehand that we wanted to keep the sidebars tidy and clean, and one of the easiest ways to do that was to limit the number of blog links we posted.
HOWEVA, that doesn’t mean we won’t be updating the links on a regular basis. Got a new Wings blog? Let us know. Putting out sweet content? Shoot us a mail. We know for sure that we’ll have a pair of links opening up now that BDS is on hiatus and Snapshots is soon to be Malik-less, and we bet your blog would look good on our list. So if we should be reading you, let us know.
The Donate Button
Petrella touched on it, but we’ve thrown a donation button on the site. For the record, YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO USE THIS.
That said, we are putting some money towards the podcasts and hosting and all that stuff, so if you feel like we deserve a couple of bucks and you want to support our blogging habit, feel free to do so.
The bigger point of the donation button is for the work we have planned around charities and other charitable efforts this season. We wanted to ensure that there was an easy way for you guys to contribute to the numerous causes we will be supporting, and the ol’ PayPal button seemed to fit the bill. Our only ask is that when you do make a donation, please be sure to specify what exactly it is for. We like to make sure your money goes to where you intend it to go, and that’s a super simple step to help us out.
You’ve got one feed that updates tweets from myself, Petrella, Disch and TPLhockey (as well as mentions) and another that is Mike Serven’s RedWingsFeed. Both of them are the best at keeping you update don what we are doing and what the Wings are doing. They refresh automatically every 60 seconds.
We ask a question. You answer. Got something you want as a poll question. Hit up the e-mailz.
The Tabs (Navigation Bar)
Home: Well, it takes you to the home screen. /roll credits
Pages: You can learn all about us, ways to spend money with us, or you can click on the most underrated page in the TPL domain: NTC/NMC. The resulting click explains it all.
TP:60: Links to the archives and main page, which will include info about the most recent shows, as well as upcoming episodes.
So there it is. Your guide to the TPL universe. I expect that things will continue to change as the site continues to evolve, so we’ll be sure to let you know when we add things for you to play with. In the meantime, click around and enjoy the site. As always, shoot us an e-mail if you have any questions.
And don’t forget: You break it, you buy it.