Blog for Arizona Has New Look, Improved Functionality

ColumnTopBlog for Arizona– Arizona’s longest running and most prolific political blog– has transitioned into the modern era of mobile communication with a new look and greater functionality on Word Press.

Nearly 20,000 blog posts by 11 authors have been transported from TypePad to Word Press– a gargantuan task. Special thanks to Dave Safier (who was with Blog for Arizona when we started this project) who worked with TypePad, Word Press, and Go Daddy on the technical aspect of the transfer. I worked with Safier and BfAZ founder Michael Bryan to create the new masthead and the HTML for some of the features. (If you knew how long it has been since I coded HTML and how little I know of CCS, you’d be really impressed. I want to add a special shout out to the technical support offered by WordPress.org.)

Today new site can be found at BlogForArizona.net now but will eventually be back at the original address BlogForArizona.com. The old TypePad address will be an archive. [UPDATE: Things have been a bit glitchy today– a few technical difficulties moving from one url to another, but trust me, it will be really cool once it’s done.]

Major improvements in the site include…

More content. With 11 bloggers– six in Tucson and five in Phoenix– BfAZ has fresh statewide content 24/7. Do you want to know what happened at a City Council meeting, at the Legislature, at the Arizona Democratic Party meeting, at a Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) meeting, at a political event, at a school board meeting, or at a protest rally? You’re NOT going to find that breadth of news coverage from theArizona Daily Star, the Tucson Weekly, or those newspapers up north. Go to BfAZ for news, commentary, photos, and original video.  Five of BfAZ’s contributors have had their own independent political blogs for years (and continue to cross-post)– Craig McDermottDonna GratehouseTom PrezelskiSteve Muratone, and me. Allowing independent bloggers to cross-post gives BfAZ a richness and variety of content that no other political website in Arizona has.

Visibility on mobile devises. This is one of the major reasons for transitioning from TypePad to Word Press. On a smart phone, the old BfAZ site displayed as a teeny tiny version of the entire website. Now, when you view the site on a smart phone you will see the most recent posts, with a link to the full site.

More ways to view the news. The old site had a standard blog format, which emphasized most recent posts. Unless you searched the site or used the category click-throughs, it was hard to find other content. The new site has the newest posts in the main blog stream column, but it also has an author section which shows the most recent post by each of BfAZ’s 11 authors. (Do we now have more writers than theArizona Daily Star or the Weekly?) In addition, there is a category cloud, the Donkey Feed with clicks to other stories, a list of 20 most recent stories, and most recent comments.

Easy social media sharing. The Word Press site has vastly improved social media sharing options. Each post has a widget which allows easy sharing on Facebook, Google +, Twitter, LinkedIn, and much more. Please share! BfAZ bloggers will also be linking their Twitter feeds to the site to provide even richer content.

Improved calendar. Between the AZBlueMeanie and Carolyn Classen, dozens of political and community events are posted on BfAZ. In the top navigation bar, there is a calendar link.

As we transition over the next few days, we’ll be working on broken links and technical aspects. Please be patient. Once the transition has completed,

5 responses to “Blog for Arizona Has New Look, Improved Functionality

  1. This format holds fewer posts and you can’t see the status of discussion on the side. I think you have lost your soul. Its been awhile but I am off to espresso pundit. bye folks

    • blogforarizona

      The new comment string is on the right. The comments are currently moderated — until we get everything set up. Sorry, I was asleep at 4 a.m. when you posted. Thucky, don’t go. How could we live without you. 🙂

  2. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I love being able to read this blog on my phone and comment without it disappearing.

  3. North of the River

    The RSS feed of the new website is screwed up,and DOES NOT show the COMPLETE printed word of the WHOLE story,like is used to be!!!!! Also,somebody screwed up AZ Donkey RSS Feed MONTHS ago stopping who was the author and time of posting.

    • blogforarizona

      We are still transitioning to the new design. Hopefully, everything will be functioning properly soon.

      Regarding the changes to the Donkey Feed “months ago”, perhaps that was when Google Reader died. BfAZ changed the service that compiles the reader at that time.