Thanks to a new partnership with the Associated Press and SB Nation's increasing coverage in a variety of areas, there's some cool new features popping up around the network as we head into the start of the regular season, some of which all of us -- managers, writers, contributors, even folks like you who make FanShots and FanPosts -- can utilize to keep the Snakepit at the forefront of Diamondbacks coverage.
1) AP/Getty Photos
Game recaps and other feature pieces will look better than ever before thanks to our new access to AP and Getty photographs, one of which is featured at the top of this post. The new tools have some handy auto-cropping features and offer a variety of different formats for placing photos within posts, and already come coupled with captions and links to full slideshows of particular games. Of course, writers will also have the ability to insert their own captions without disturbing the photo attribution, an example of which is above. So all you Conor Jackson fans out there will have plenty of chances to see his eyebrows this season in all their glory.
2) Team/Player Pages
At the top, underneath the main banner for the AZSP, is a new little button that has a wealth of possibilities.
The "Diamondbacks" tab links to the new SB Nation team pages, which are a nice connection for all things Dbacks on the network. The page collects every post that features the Diamondbacks in some way. Most of the content will be the posts you see here at the Pit, but it also includes stories, FanShots and FanPosts from other blogs that have the Diamondbacks listed in their tags (for example, Cy Schourek's extensive preview of the 2009 Dbacks season over at Red Reporter, which I haven't seen mentioned here yet). This means that it's that much more important for you to tag your FanShots/Posts with the relevant teams/players mentioned, as they will appear on the appropriate pages. The team pages also include a full schedule (with links to each team's own blog), a complete roster, and stats for the entire team. It's a wonderful resource for finding other blogs who are talking about the Diamondbacks besides the ol' Snakepit.
Speaking of player pages, there's some new additions there as well. Each player has his own page that compiles the articles that mentioned him, such as this one for Eric Byrnes. The system is similar: if the player is tagged in a post, it'll appear on this page, along with up-to-date stats (if you really want to be reminded of Byrnesie's BA last year), a brief bio, a link back to the SBN blog that features his team, a transaction/injury compilation, and even which poster has most frequently featured that player in their articles. Essentially, the higher-ups have created a system that enriches their content by using the content that already exists -- the tagging idea merely serves as a way of gathering all of that information together into convenient places. So if you haven't already, be as thorough as you can with tags in whatever posts you make, and this system will flourish even further.
[Note: the tags you need to use are the ones from the teams and players drop-down lists on the right - the free-format "TAGS" box below is NOT used for that purpose and will not cause a story to show up in the right place.]
3) Additional Coverage
Listed on each team's schedule page (as well as on the right sidebar on the front page and a couple other pages) is a link to the right of each game listed called "coverage."
The coverage page manages to stash all of the relevant information before and after each game. That includes previews, GameDay Threads, recaps, etc. as shown from each team's perspective (provided that team has an SBN blog, of course, which for baseball isn't a problem). Essentially, this is going to be Skins' home this season as he dances between our own threads and that of the enemy. Again, though, it's a handy way to get additional coverage of the Diamondbacks, as well as engaging other fan bases in discussions about our fantastic team. The usual caveats about playing nicely at the blogs of other teams still apply.
Coupled with the recent immersion with Yahoo! and USA Today, these new features are really giving us a pretty impressive platform to work with, especially when you factor in the site redesign that happened just over a year ago. If nothing else, it's a couple new exciting toys to play with as we inch ever closer to that most wonderful of Mondays, Opening Day.