Well, it feels like it's been a super quick 2 months since we decided to totally rebuild the site. It was a decision that we took with the future and scalability in mind. Our old site was ok, but did nothing but reinforce that we were just another social network and we believe we have something more than that. We wanted our brand to mean something to adventurous people all around the world and we had to figure out how to reach them better, how to appeal to them and convince them that Fidgetstick/ is a community worth being part of.
So, with the imminent relaunch, I'm pleased to give you a sneak preview into the site, with a few cheeky screen shots I took without anyone knowing...
Here's the new homepage.
As you can see, we've gone for a much cleaner look. The main image and text is there to communicate more clearly about the main features of the new site. From the images in the bottom left corner, you can see that you have the ability to change the look of the site, very simply, at the touch of a button. We've created a small library of themes to get us started, but plan to increase this with branded templates, event-based templates, charity templates and all sorts.
You can also see in the top left corner, an example of the new modular flexibility function. You can basically move modules around and make the site look like you want it to look, not how we tell you it should.
You can also see that we've got Facebook Connect integration, allowing seamless login using your Facebook ID - goodbye multiple usernames!
Here's the new Profile Page
Here you can see a few of the main features on display. The most important feature of the new site is the extended profile information section (see left hand part of image). Here, you don't just select the sports you're into (like on the old site). No, no. Here you can create a much more detailed CV of your adventure sports interests and experience. This is really important for a few reasons. 1) The community wants to know more about you and sharing this information is very interesting and 2) we use this information to connect you with people that can help you realise your goals or objectives for that activity. For instance, connecting people who want to try a sport out, with someone who is qualified and loves to teach it.
A few other features include Twitter integration for your status updates - post here and it autoposts to your twitter account too (if you choose). You can put your Facebook photos on your profile page without re-uploading anything. You can see where all your friends are on a cool interactive map and there's loads of other fascinating apps available or in development using our very accessible and flexible API.
Here's the new Product Page
Now this is seriously cool, and I for one can't wait to start using this properly and sharing it with the world. In November, we committed to building the largest single product database for adventure sports products across all sports categories. So far, we've input over 10,000 products by hand (no data feeds or anything). Our plan is to partner with shops and brands to increase this massively to include products from the past and ensuring continued updates in the future. Here you can find information, review, rate and discuss products. At the top of the page, you can also see the "Had It, Got It, Want It" feature. This allows you to create a personal product profile around your own adventure sports products - what snowboard you had, what bike you want, what scuba gear you're using. It will allow you to see what your friends have, have had or want. If you're looking to buy, you can seek out current or past owners and seek their advice. The possibilities are huge here. Personally, I'm just looking forward to getting the embeddable widget done so I can also show off my products on my blog, facebook and other sites.
So, there's a quick snapshot of some of the main features of the new site. I hope you like the look of it and that you'll spare a minute or two to check it out when we announce the go-live next week. We really would like to bring adventurous people from all around the world to join us in being active, interesting, passionate and friendly community members.
As always, your comments, feedback, advice and opinion is appreciate - just leave your comments below or tweet @r3trosteve