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As I wrote a few weeks ago, I felt things had gotten a little stale around Pitch Invasion parts. The sterling work of my fellow regular PI writers Andrew Guest, Peter Wilt and Richard Whittall aside, my own posts were stuck in a rut and it seemed time to put a fresh coat of paint on here and rethink how the site worked under the hood. What I’ve been working on since is to try and develop a new design which would highlight more strongly the content that I hope makes this site a worthwhile endeavour.
And as you’ll see looking around the site today, we have re-launched with a new format that hopefully better fits the different styles of posts we have: the magazine-style essays, the photography, the quick links and commentary that formally resided in the Sweeper series.
Tying it together is a new homepage layout that displays posts differently according to the category of the content:
In the left pane, we find the most recent “Featured Essays”, longer posts that deserve prominence for extended periods of time. You’ll notice that these features, such as Andrew Guest’s post today on “Post-Invictus: South Africa’s Greatest Soccer Moment”, have their own special format on the post itself, with more prominent titles and author information. The font is now larger, and serif, for easier reading.
In that middle pane, we find at the top short text links to recent “Diary” items, a new category (that this post is in) which replaces the Sweeper: these will be regular short updates on links of interest, brief notes and timely blogging. Basically, a place to store bits and pieces worthy of note but not of prominence on the homepage for an extended period of time.
Below that are links to and large thumbnails from the photography category: what was “Photo Daily” is now “The Big Picture”. And if you click on one of those images, you’ll see that category of post has its own, wider content format to better display the gorgeous photography we pilfer from the Pitch Invasion Photo Pool on Flickr (and the new name is also, of course, a nod to the amazing Big Picture on Boston.com).
And on down the page in that pane, we display the most recent entries from a few special series of posts, including World Cup 2010, Bill’s fantastic illustrated maps, our stadia feature, the recent series on supporter ownership and the classic programmes — with this prominence hopefully meaning these series don’t get lost in the flow as much.
Overall, there are still a few kinks to iron out and a few more changes to make, and all feedback will be gratefully received either in the comments here or to firstname.lastname@example.org. But I wanted to launch this ahead of the World Cup, and so I can get back to longer-form writing myself — perhaps I’ll feature one of my own essays sooner or later. . .
As ever, thanks to all of you for reading, commenting and to the many of you who are generous enough to link here from your blogs or on Twitter. And a special thanks to the stable of Pitch Invasion writers, in particular Andrew, Peter and Richard, though amazingly, in the three years since Pitch Invasion launched, 40 different writers have contributed here — thank you all. The World Cup will be our focus for the coming two months, but after that, I’m hoping to draw on this stable more for a stream of essays to keep things fresh and interesting going forward. Hope you like the new Pitch Invasion.