The site seems different today because it is different. Not only have we entirely redesigned the way this site looks, we've changed the way it operates. Yesterday, you were a reader and a commenter. Today, you can use a new platform we call Kinja to become a writer and publisher. Here's how.
With the full launch of Kinja, which is based on the commenting platform you've been using already, we've opened up io9 to all of you.
First, The Redesign
You'll notice we've nixed the static, three-story layout on the front page returned to a free-flowing, endlessly scrolling blog. We missed it; you missed it. We've brought it back.
There also a few new tools, including the ability to "star" stories and comments, as well as "follow" anyone in the system. We've also added image annotation, which lets you attach comments to photos at the top of a post.
The comments will look familiar to those of you who have been here since the launch of Kinja commenting last year, we've just opened it up and made it a little easier to navigate.
Everything here has been Beta-tested by readers and users over the past few months, but we're still rolling out improvements so if something seems odd please drop us a comment or open a ticket with our help desk. We also have a general FAQ and a more detailed explanation from the head of tech.
Create Your Personal Kinja Blog
When you login for the first time you'll notice you'll be invited to setup your personal Kinja blog. This is similar to what your personal page used to be with a few important changes. First, you'll notice it's hosted on whateveryouchoose.kinja.com (you can see me at annaleenewitz.kinja.com)
Your personal Kinja blog will include all the comments you make. But it can also become a place for you to write and share articles, Tumblr-style. You can make it a personal blog, or make it topical — post about your dinner last night, or about Klingon culture.
Your blog will have a layout similar to io9's and will have all the same tools, including image annotation. Any user in the Kinja universe can follow you. Want people to stumble across your posts? Use tagging. Tag something "Starfox" and it'll show up on the kinja.com/tag/starfox tag page so other people can find it.
You'll be able to republish articles from io9 onto your personal blog, as well as from Kinja blogs created by your friends. io9 will be able to do the same. If we republish something you created, you'll get the byline, the credit, and it'll be clear where it came from.
When we look for the next generation of writers for our site, we'll be looking at who does well in Kinja.
We're moving the Observation Deck forum to its own blog, with some of the most prolific O-deck authors at the helm. We're also leaving open the #observationdeck tag at kinja.com/tag/observationdeck, which is where all stories you publish with that tag will go.
If you were running a forum before, now you can turn it into your Kinja blog. I fully expect to see thursdaytales.kinja.com and eatmyshortsjjabrams.kinja.com, along with a ton of other stuff.
Let Us Know If You Have Problems!
Our awesome tech team and community moderators are still in the process of improving this design. We want to know if you find bugs, have problems, or are just plain confused. Actual humans (and a few robot sidekicks) are standing by to answer your questions at email@example.com