I won't lie to you. I can't even try to hide it. I have to say it:
Memorial Day Weekend is, without a doubt, the single slowest weekend of
the year for Browns news.
It's sad, but true.
During Memorial Day weekend, NFL executives everywhere are focused on
critical issues such as napping and jetting about the planet, leaving us poor
slobs largely news-less. Some people can be sooooo inconsiderate. The
best we can hope for, news-wise, is that another Baltimore Raven gets arrested
or that Plaxico Burress drinks too much beer, with the ensuing hilarity.
On a normal website, operated by normal people, this sort of weak news period
would mean that everyone goes on vacation, or that people participate in
something we've been told is called a "life". Whatever. Here, it means we're
busy "upgrading things", which means that we're making well-intentioned changes
which results in broken techno-stuff and general irritation. Being a webmaster,
I excel in that sort of thing.
One of these "upgrades", which will take place in the coming weeks,
is a revision to our discussion forums. This upgrade will be to Version 7.2
of ezBoards. The new version is already in Beta test on the Redskins site, and
that is going well, so I expect it will be rolled out soon. Watch
BerniesInsiders.com for an announcement.
There are three things in this upgrade which make it interesting, useful, and
1. Private messaging mailboxes
The boards current private message system, whereby board members can send
specific messages to each other rather than talking through the public forums,
is somewhat difficult to use. It works pretty well, except that it sends
messages through email, which doesn't work if someone's email address changed.
Sometimes it can also get confusing when trying to respond to a private message.
The new messaging system will be entirely enclosed within Bernies Insiders,
and usable by all registered forum members. You will be able to send messages
directly to another board member and have them show up in an in-box which
resides on the board itself. Whenever you log in, right by the "Logged In As
.... ", you will see an in-box for messages displayed along with the number of
unread messages. This will make it a lot easier to have side-conversations or
talk directly to your fellow dawgs on the boards without having to exchange
What makes it an example of the evil wrought by vicious capitalists is that
the folks at TheInsiders will be providing one set of capabilities for our
subscribers and another for folks who haven't ponied up for the
bargain-at-twice-the-price subscription plan. Non-subscribers will be able
to keep a set number of messages around and will be able to send a set number of
messages each day. Subscribers won't have those limits. The system will still be
very helpful and usable for everyone, but becomes more powerful if you're
supporting the site via a
subscription. For instance, subscribers will have the ability to organize
messages they receive via folders. Stuff like that... just a little extra
advantage of being a subscriber. Even if you haven't subscribed, though, the new
system will still be better than what we have. I think you'll like it.
2. Shadow and Copied Topics
We've had the capability to move threads from one forum to another for a
while now. With the new version, we have the ability to copy threads from one
forum to another. This will be especially handy in the
Ask the Insiders
forum where we like talking about a subject even after our Insiders have
answered the question. Unfortunately, this makes it harder for occasional
visitors to find responses from Lane, Dave, Mike, and The Owl amidst all the
chatter. Now, we will have the capability to lock down the original thread so
Insider responses are easy to find, but copy it to the
Club Lounge for
continued talk. Fun, fun, fun.
Shadow" topics are threads that are moved, but leave behind a "shadow" so
that folks see the old message title. The conversation continues in a different
forum. This is a nice capability for moderators to move threads and easily point
forum members to where they went.
3. Built-in Chat
The new version of ezBoards allows subscribers to also have a chat room built
into the boards. That allows them to move from the boards to the chat room using
the same name and password, which is kind of neat. We won't be using it on
Bernie's Insiders for now, however, since we have our
existing chat room,
which is still more powerful than what ezBoards offers. Our chat room, with the
exception of Browns Uncensored each Thursday, is open to all Browns fans, and
we're going to keep it that way.
I'm pointing this out, since you may see the new chat in use on other
TheInsiders.com message boards, and I want everyone to understand why we're not
going to use it for now.
We're busy at work on a lot of other things during this slower news period,
which you will see start showing up next week. But more on those when we get
Have a great weekend, dawgs! We'll still be here publishing new articles,
doing newswires, and the like, all weekend, so drop by if you want to take a
break from the holiday fun.