After six months of hard work, a year's worth of speculation, and a decade's time spent on the Web, the new Nuketown is online. The redesigned site features a new look that evokes earlier iterations of the ol'thermonuclear burg, while updating it with a slightly glossier feel. New features abound on the site, which is powered by the open source content management system Drupal. These features include:
As I mentioned in Radio Active #31, this month I will be transitioning Nuketown from its current configuration to a new, Drupal-based content management system and a shiny new layout. To avoid having to maintain two sites while I migrate the database from one to the other, I will not be making any updates to Nuketown for the next week to two weeks.
All will not be quiet however. If you want to track the progress of the migration, please read my Atomic Age blog over on Blogger, which will be updated almost daily. Look there for announcements about the second round of beta tests, screen shots of the latest versions, and quasi-technical rundowns of problems remaining and solved. Comments and feedback via the blog or Nuketown's own feedback form are welcome and appreciated!
The Nuketown redesign picked up pace this weekend as I finally sat down and focused on it for a couple of hours. In the process I wrestled the new site's visual design into place, ending up with a fusion of the current blog-like look and the experimental magazine-still site I was playing around with. If you're curious, you can check out a JPEG of the current beta.
The new site echoes certain thematic elements from previous versions -- the atom logo by GreenTentacles is still there, and the color scheme -- white, grey, red, black -- reinforces it while at the same time evoking some of the earlier designs.
If you're wondering why Nuketown's been pretty quiet for the last few weeks, it's because I've been continuing to work on the beta. I've got a design that I like -- it needs some tweaking, but it accomplishes my goal of changing up the site enough to be different while retaining enough for it to be familiar.
I'm playing around with some variant home pages for Nuketown, and I've come up with one I really like: it uses a large photo/image/graphic on the home page, and places the content beneath it. It feels more webzine-ish, and less bloggish, while retaining interactivity (or rather adding it, since there isn't much here now).
After a few weeks of internal debate, I've decided to get rid of the Nuketown-hosted forum. I don't have the time needed to keep the topics there current, it hadn't reached the sort of critical mass it needed to sustain its own conversations, and the stupid spammer accounts were wasting too much of my time.
I'm looking for a few patient, curious readers (and listeners) to help me try out the beta site for the new Nuketown. The testing is pretty straight-forward -- I need folks to login (yes -- you can have actual accounts on the new site!), surf around the site, post some comments, fiddle with the forums.
You've got to love it when a minor lunchtime update turns into an evolving disaster that plunges ever deeper into the abyss of total chaos. That pretty much sums up my Nuketown Forum update yesterday, in which I thought I'd be clever and do a quick update while I had a few minutes, and succeeded in pretty much just destroying the entire thing.
Nuketown's forums have been up since late August, and have been slowly gathering momentum. I'm still experimenting with ways to drive traffic to the forums, including linking to them from some of the articles on the main site, highlighting them in the newsletter and now this: a weekly round-up of notable conversations. I'll be doing one of these round-ups every Tuesday for the next month as an experiment; after that I'll assess how well it worked and adjust accordingly.