Different But Same: Welcome to the New RTC…Posted by rtmsf on September 6th, 2011
Here’s hoping everyone had a superb Labor Day weekend to celebrate the end of summer and coming of fall. It may have been college football weekend elsewhere across the sporting universe, but here at RTC we’ve been whiling ourselves thinking about the upcoming roundball season. With that in mind, we’re pleased to announce a completely redesigned site, streamlining many of our existing features and adding a couple of new ones. Our hope is that a simpler and sleeker interface will enhance the user experience while still offering the comprehensive commentary and analysis on college basketball news that we’re known for.
The major changes to note are as follows:
- The Independent Voice of College Basketball. We’re not quite sure how it happened, but in the four-plus years since the debut of RTC we’ve evolved from a one-man showcase of college hoops opinion and nonsense to a 40-person team of extremely talented writers showcasing college hoops opinion and nonsense. Although we have a very basic affiliation with Big Lead Sports to provide advertising, we are one of the few remaining college basketball sites free from corporate overlords directing our content and analysis. We are proud of our independence in terms of creative control, and the day that we lose that here will also be the same day we shut the whole thing down. You as the reader may not always agree with our opinions here at RTC, but you can rest assured that you’re getting a legitimate and honest take.
- Conference Check-In Carousel/Nightly Nonsense Tabs. This feature located at the top left of the site under the navigation bar will make it easier to keep up with our 31 conference correspondent updates (called Conference Check-Ins) during the regular season. The most recent Check-In on a given day will post on the far left side under the “Latest Check-Ins” tab, and the carousel will allow readers to scroll back through the last 15 posts to find their favorite conferences. Conference Check-Ins will resume weekly in mid-November. On the right hand side of the carousel, you’ll notice a blue “Nightly Nonsense” tab, which will provide a daily listing of the key televised games of each day during the season for your viewing pleasure. This feature will resume again in early November on Opening Night.
- TumblRTC. You’ll note on the right sidebar that there’s a new widget we’re calling “TumblRTC.” Tumblr is a blogging platform that many folks have fallen in love with in the past year, and we’re planning to give it a shot too. The best way to describe how we hope to utilize it is “RTC for Busy People.” It’s not meant in any way to replace our long-form content on the home page; rather, we intend for our TumblRTC posts to complement it. TumblRTC will be heavy on photos, quotes, videos, links and any other media we find and think might be interesting to you guys, and it will also provide readers with an interactive way to provide some of their own content back at us. You will be able to see the last few TumblRTC posts on the RTC home page (above right) or you can see our entire stream at rushthecourt.net/tumblr/.
- RTC Microsites. These six buttons for each of the power conferences currently sit at the top right of the page where the old Announcements box resided. Over the next couple of months, we hope to start rolling out conference-specific ‘microsites’ focusing on all things college basketball within each of those six leagues — the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC (for as long as they exist). Each microsite will have its own subdomain and dedicated writer(s), and the idea will be to cover those conferences with a depth of scope and analysis that is simply impossible on our nationally-focused home page. Stay tuned on these — we’re very excited about them. We’re still looking for talented writers to staff these six microsites, so please send us your information (i.e., area of interest, background, writing sample) to firstname.lastname@example.org if you think you’d be interested.
As always, none of this means anything if our readers don’t like what we’re doing, so feel free to share your feedback with us in the comments, via email or social media. We’re always listening.