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How to Play with WCH's New Toys

How SB Nation's new changes will improve the WCH experience.

Yesterday was a pretty crazy one at SB Nation with the official launch of SB Nation United, a new look for all 316 of our network's websites. Hopefully you took the time to watch this video yesterday, explaining the changes.

I thought I'd also take the opportunity to explain how some of those changes directly related to WCH, because more than just cosmetic changes to the look of the site, there's also a lot of cool technological changes that really improves the experience of visiting the site that I wanted to make sure people were aware of.

-The first thing you probably noticed on the main page was The Cover. This allows me to feature 1-5 major stories at a time, and not have to worry about less important news pushing a big story further down the page. Below that is the section called The River, which is a reverse chronological order of all my posts, similar to the old site. Most new stories, like today's story about the WCHA Preseason Poll, will cycle through The Cover, while relatively minor updates, like Johnny Wingels committing to Miami, will go directly to The River.

-I now have the ability to create Story Streams, to cover stories that have multiple updates. The current situation at North Dakota is a perfect example. When the first story about North Dakota suspending their captains came out, everyone knew that there would be more news to come from it. A Story Stream allows me to put the story about the captains' suspension, the next round of suspensions, and then yesterday's news all in the same place. If North Dakota chooses to add more suspensions, or more legal consequences come from it, I can update that Story Stream again without having to create a new post. It's really convenient to have all that information in one place, rather than repeating the same background information every time a new piece of information comes out. If you're particularly interested in a Story Stream, you can subscribe to the story, and any major updates will sent directly to your Facebook news feed.

- I now have the ability to group certain types of posts together. I've used this to create a special recruiting section to the site creatively titled "Western College Hockey Recruiting" All recruiting news will still cycle through the main site, but it will also be posted in that section for people looking specifically for recruiting news. You can find a link to it in the 'Sections' toolbar on the main page, and in the 'Active Sections' box on the lower right side of the site.

-I can directly link stories from other SBN sites into this site. For example, I was able to plug BC Interruption's story on Frankie Vatrano leaving Boston College right into the main page. That gives you more local, in-depth analysis to a story where all I really had to add was, "Did you know Boston College isn't even in Boston? Fricken crazy."

It's a lot of changes, which can be overwhelming, but in the end, should make the coverage here much better. If you have any questions/concerns/comments, feel free to leave them in the comments, or hit me up on Twitter @ChrisDilks