Greetings, and welcome to Go Iowa Awesome, the latest outpost of Blogfrica manned by the former crew of Black Heart Gold Pants. If you're here, you are probably familiar with our past work. Before we go any further, there are a few things about Go Iowa Awesome that will look, sound, and be familiar to any longstanding BHGP fan.
- GIA will try to do what we've always tried to do: Be the smartest and funniest website dedicated to Iowa athletics on the Internet. We'll cover all the news fit to print, but we don't attempt to be first to report stories. There are a lot of good, hardworking reporters covering this program. You should read their work, and then you should come here to talk about what just happened.
- GIA will remain steadfastly focused on the community that we, as Hawkeye fans, have all built together. One of the reasons we changed our site was to better facilitate the ongoing conversation that you, the commentariat, carry on perpetually. We believe that, once you've had a chance to adjust to the new digs, you'll agree that life as a commenter is pretty good here.
- GIA will not take itself, or anything else, too seriously. Our license to laugh at everyone else is based on our ability to laugh at ourselves, and we don't give up that privilege lightly. We always endeavor to put out the most solid and wide-ranging analysis that a handful of Iowa fans can make, but we also believe that, if we can't have fun with our sports, there's not much reason to continue obsessing over them.
- GIA will remain independent. We've never asked for a press pass or attempted to get any more access than any other fan, because even the best and most seasoned reporters need to protect that access. Down the road, that press pass streak could end, but we refuse to let the pursuit of access get in the way of what goes on the site.
- GIA will remain free for everyone. There will be no paywalls on content (there is one small barrier in the new forums, which we'll talk about later), even though we've gone wholly independent. We will ask you to help our our advertisers and use our Amazon links when shopping, and we may occasionally ask for donations to keep things running smoothly here, but we'll shut down and go home before we start charging you for our content.
There are, of course, some new things at Go Iowa Awesome.
- Obviously, things look a bit different. We're working on the platform used by Eleven Warriors, and are joined by some of our best blogfriends at the all-new Roar Lions Roar. If you're familiar with the 11W crew's work, it will look very familiar.
- The biggest change for you, as readers: We've got message boards! The fourth heading in the menu bar across the top of the screen is the "Forum," which contains the new GIA commenter boards. We didn't want these boards to turn into every other Iowa message board, so a couple of things: The comment account rules apply there as much as they do in actual posts, and Iowa message board demigod Planned Sick Days has been placed in charge. Hopefully, this prevents the forum from turning into Pat's House of Hot Takes and Used Tires, but we'll adjust as necessary to keep the site's main goal -- having fun with Iowa athletics -- alive and kicking.
- That's not to say that the forum should replace comments in active posts. Quite the contrary: If there's something on-topic with the post, we encourage you to raise it in the comments. The forum will help in two key ways: First, it's the new permanent home of Hamsterdam, our off-topic thread so frequently overloaded with insanity at the old site. Second, PSD will update the other boards throughout the day with news stories, allowing you a place to talk about breaking news before we've weighed in with a post.
- The staff is largely intact from the last site, but you're going to hear a lot more from a couple of our contributors. Iowa blogging stalwart Mike Jones is the new GIA football manager, and Matthew Lundeen -- the man responsible for all that Franalysis over the last couple of years -- will manage basketball. Of course, the best damn college wrestling writer on the planet is still in charge of our Iowa wrestling coverage.
Here's what you need to do to get started:
- Register for a new commenter account: I can promise you that your SB Nation login won't work here, so you'll need to register anew. The link to open a new account -- or login to an existing one -- is on the top right of the screen, or available at this link. I ask one favor: If you're going to change your name from BHGP, don't steal someone else's well-used name from BHGP. I'm assuming many commenters are going to stick with what we all know, and I don't want a fight over who is the real WaterlooChazz. This is a sports blog, not a John Travolta-Christian Slater vehicle.
- Update your social media and bookmarks: You can follow GIA on Twitter at @IowaAwesome, and add us to your Facebook friends as a welcome respite from campaign takes.
- Poke around: There's a bunch of cool new stuff to try out, and by wasting some time looking around, you can help us find any bugs/glitches/etc. Email [email protected] with anything you notice.
We've loaded the front page with new content today for you to review while you get your bearings. Tomorrow, we'll get back to a regular publishing schedule. After all, there are only 33 days until Iowa football, and we have a lot of ground to cover.
Thanks for coming to our new home. Go Iowa Awesome.