As the regulars can tell, the look of the site under went a dramatic change in appearance. All that was done by the powers that be at SBNation. There have been some other changes, maybe subtler, in the last couple months and I want to point them out. This will also serve as an introduction to the newer people who are finding us everyday.
Some music for you while you read. This is a PtR tradition. We like music around these parts.
Porcupine Tree - Modern Prog Rock Band
A while back, some people pointed out that Neill Peart of Rush is why they started playing drums. From what I hear, Gavin Harrison of Porcupine Tree is a modern day madman of the skins. The place where I read about music can't speak highly enough of him as a drummer.
Porcupine Tree goes back about a decade now, but I really like their 2007 Fear of a Blank Planet release. It's a 6 song tour de force. Here is the third song. It's so long it shows up on YouTube in three parts. If you aren't sure you want to commit the time, go to Part II and listen to sections beginning at 1:20 and 6:30. The guy flat out tears things up.
About three weeks ago, we had our 2 millionth page view in PtR history. This was quite the landmark feat. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everybody that reads the site. I'm looking forward to another great year for both the Spurs and PtR.
We have a great variety of very talented people who contribute to PtR. They do a tremendous job of providing great content and put in a tremendous amount of their time. It wouldn't be 1/20th as good as it is if it weren't for their efforts. I'm very proud to work with them and I love them very much. So if you want to say something negative about them, you should know that you'll have to contend with me. And I'm a nasty man when protecting my loved ones.
Seriously, I can't emphasize enough how great these people are.
Those Other Guys
There are other very good Spurs blogs on out there. 48 Minutes of Hell and Project Spurs, in particular. Sure, in some sense we are competitors, but we get along pretty well with each other. I encourage you to read them as well. If you aren't familiar with them, make yourself familiar. We all have our different styles and I think we provide great variety.
PtR has these things called sections that we are using pretty regularly now. When you are on the PtR home page, you will find them on the left. Each section is like a mini-blog where you can find various stories grouped together. For instance, if you just wanted to read the International posts (you know, because they are so popular), you could click on 'International' under sections and you will see all the posts about the Spurs abroad. Same goes for recaps and analysis.
Additionally, you will see there is one for game threads. Game threads are the place where we talk about the games as we watch them. OR, as LatinD likes to say, it is where the magic happens. Because we have gotten a little busier around these parts, and because a game thread of 500 comments tends to kill people's browsers, we will have multiple game threads per game. I expect we will start doing one per quarter. In an effort to not have the front page full of game threads all the time, we will be removing the game threads from the front page about the day after the next game. So if you are looking for game threads, look in the 'Game Threads' section.
Just below the iPhone image -- did you know that there is a PtR smartphone app? -- are the PtR Fun Pages. Here you will find our FAQ, a Quotes page, the Lexicon (when some lazy ass ::cough:: finishes it), Wallpapers, and all images BLAAAAIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!. We'll continue adding more as we go.
We do have some standards around here. Some are atypical for a sports blog. You can read the community guidelines for a good introduction. Additionally, Lauri crafted the following style guidelines. I think they very much reflect the spirit that I would like PtR to have.
One of the best things about Pounding the Rock is its collaborative nature, and the conversations that break out in the comments on stories and game threads are a big part of why the regulars here stick around and participate. We want everyone to feel free to jump into the mix. All are welcome. In a way, we like to think this blog reflects the Spurs style itself—we’re a diverse group with wide-ranging opinions, but respect is paramount. To keep everything enjoyable and to maintain the reputation PtR has for playful but intelligent discourse, here are:
Some guidelines to posting on Pounding the Rock
1. Avoid text-speak and unnecessary abbreviations. It’s not that hard to type out what you mean, and who knows—you may find yourself using interesting words instead!
2. Spell basic words correctly as a courtesy to the people who will be reading what you post. We’re not asking for perfection—people from all over the world come here to read and to post, and for many, English is not their first language. But you should at least take the time to spell "Spurs" correctly. Interestingly enough, a lot of those for whom English is a second language put the native English speakers to shame when it comes to thoughtful, well-crafted comments.
3. Be respectful. Yes, you’ll see a lot of us playfully insulting one another, and we can be a sarcastic lot, but use your common sense. Unless you know someone well enough to joke that way, refrain from ad hominem attacks when responding to a post or another comment. In other words, we (meaning those who know and love him) are allowed to call LatinD "OCD." You (meaning a first-time visitor or complete stranger) are not. That sort of familiarity is earned.
We think you’ll agree that it’s much easier (and more fun) to read language that reflects the writer’s personality. And which argument is more likely to be taken seriously here, "Your assertion that the Lakers have dominated the Spurs over the last decade makes no sense, given that their head-to head record for the past 10 years is 35 to 35. Which, holy hell, surprises even me," or "wtf u talking about, the Sprus r00l, r u insaen?"
Needless to say, all the obvious rules hold true here as they do (or should) across society: no hate speech, no racism, no sexism, no slurs or scurrilous language. That’s basically it! Not so hard, right? Have fun, and remember—someone is always wrong on the Internet.
I will only add to this that mistakes get made. I have on more than one occasion been offensive with other members. Don't be too big of a man or woman to apologize. Nobody's perfect. Least of all me and you.
Reading In This Place -- Knowledge is Important
Learn to use your keys when reading an active thread of comments. z, a, shift-a, c, and shift-c are your friends. For those of you who read, but don't have accounts this won't make sense to you. Comments get marked as read or unread if you have an account. Unread comments are yellow (or a shade of yellow depending on your browser) so it is easy to see which comments you have read since the last time you read the comments. The unread vs read gets saved from one viewing of a post to the next. Also make sure to check out the PtR FAQ.
FanPosts and FanShots
Over on the right side there are posts created by random users. You can do it too. FanPosts should be for things you write yourself. If you want to link to something you found on the web, use a FanShot. If it is something good, we won't hesitate to put it on the front page.
We Aren't Done Yet
There are still more new things coming, we just need to wait for some things to become official before we can tell you.
Again, thanks to all our readers,
Wayne Vore -- the artist formerly known as AusTechSpur/ATS.