Hear ye, hear ye! Tally Hallics, Tally Phobics, and all Tally Hall Monitors alike!
HIDDENINTHESAND.COM version 2.5 IS HERE!
I’ve been working for the last couple months (albeit slowly) on a more efficient design for HITS and I’m very excited to finally present it to you. There are lots of improvements found all around the site — plus a few totally new things going on. I’m calling it 2.5, but I’ve never really officially kept track of site versions till now. This is big enough of a change to call it 3.0, but the over-all “look” of the site didn’t change too much, so I’m giving it the ol’ 2.5. It’s basically what Snow Leopard is to Leopard (for you Mac Heads out there).
Anyway, I hope you’ll take a moment to read about all that’s gone into this version and seeing what’s new:
- SPEED. The first thing you should notice is the load time; the much shorter time it takes to load each page. There are still things that require other websites to react quickly in order for the HITS pages to load up fast, but hopefully their delays will be few and far between. If they’re running at normal speeds, the page should load in less than 5 seconds.
- SIZE. The content no longer stretches to the width of the window. It’s a set size. This will make for a much cleaner, easier-to-navigate layout throughout all the pages. This should also be quite compatible with all current browsers, mobile browsers, and netbooks with smaller resolutions. The latest release of Firefox is recommended, but I’ve tested IE, Safari, and Opera on both Mac and Windows. If you’re using IE 6, a message will pop up and tell you that you need to upgrade because, well, IE kinda sucks, and that version is one of the worst.
- MENU. The menu’s been pared down. The most navigated areas are no longer hidden in sub-menus. The menu is now also kind of like the MS Ribbon in the sense that it’s now found at the top of ALL the extremities of HITS, including the Tally Hallmanac (we’ll get to that later), the Galleries, blogs, and Forums. Same menu, no matter where you go. Always right there at the top.
- FAQs. Many improvements here. First of all, NO MORE SEPARATION OF BAND and SITE FAQs! They’ve combined to form one single FAQ area. Furthermore, the entire back-end code of the FAQ system’s been updated. I’ve got security captchas to prevent spam-bots from sending me tons of spam. And YOU’VE got the ability to register yourself as a regular contributor/editor. There’s a new feature called “Instant Response” which is pretty cool, and you may notice a few other little things here and there. Go here to visit the FAQs.
- SEARCH BAR. The search bar at the top of each page searches both HITS AND tallyhall.com! That’s just damn cool when you’re looking for info and you don’t know which site to check.
- GALLERIES. Oh wait. No. There’s a totally new version of Galleries coming, but it’s not here yet. Rest assured, it will come and it will bring with it a much more user-friendly, less complicated experience for everyone involved. I’m testing out the software now and it’s looking pretty good. Keep in touch. I’ll let ya know when that’s ready.
- TALLY HALLMANAC. It’s a wiki. It’s the Ultimate Tally Hall Wiki. This wiki’s gonna blow your mind. Oh, but you have to help get it to that point. Yes. It will require you enter as much information about every single little aspect to Tally Hall that you and I know. It’s going to contain so much information, people are going to think we’re crazy. If you’re a fan of They Might Be Giants, you might be familiar with This Might Be A Wiki. Let’s do that. Or, as close to it as we can. Got it? Good. Get to it!
- CHATROOM. We had one before, so I wasn’t sure if I should have said this was an improvement or a new thing. But since no one used the old chatroom, this is kinda new. It’s no longer flash based. It doesn’t require sign-ups. But it’s IRC driven. So you can register your nicks. There’s a number of customizations in there I think you’ll enjoy. Me being new to IRC, I don’t even yet fully realize the full potential of an IRC driven room, but I know a lot’s there. If you know how to use IRC, there’s a lot you can do. There is no more Mr. Moon bot, but I’m looking into ways to install something very similar in the future.
- TOUR DATE ARCHIVE. The page existed before, but it was not easily accessible. Today, it’s found right there in the ETC. part of the menu and I can’t wait to get your help in helping fill in all the gaps it’s missing.
- POLLS. I have a few polls that will show up. I hope you’ll participate by submitting your votes for whatever poll loads up when you see it.
- EASTER EGGS. They’re not just for dinner anymore.
There are more good things coming soon, too. I’m working on ideas for contests and exclusive interviews, for instance.
I’d like to remind you once again that the whole concept of HITS is for the users; the fans, to control what happens at this site. I’m just the hands that put it together. Your feedback is instrumental and VERY necessary. Please share any likes or dislikes you have, be it in the comments below, by emailing me, tweeting me, whatever.
Finally, I’d like to thank J2 for helping get things together with the Tally Hallmanac and the chatroom. His assistance thus far has been much appreciated.
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for your time. If you notice any glitches, don’t hesitate to let me know. Enjoy!!!