If you're reading this, you've discovered that we at Gear West have a new blog. Of course, we've had a hosted blog (at http://gearwestxcskiing.blogspot.com/) for several years, but we've put in a significant amount of effort into updating our website to improve your experience while shopping here, and the launch of the new site highlighted just how much the old blog felt disconnected. We looked briefly at updating or moving the current blog to integrate it more closely with the new site, but ultimately decided that the simplest solution would be if we made a clean break and started from a new blog from scratch.
Once we decided to make that break, the first step was to take a close look at how we have used our blog in the past and how we plan on using it in the future. The biggest thing that stuck out was how many different voices and viewpoints we've heard from in the last few years. In fact, we briefly considered splitting our content into two distinct blogs. In the end, though, we want the blog to give you an inside look into the world of Gear West, and it became clear that one unified picture was going to be far better than two incomplete pictures.
This breadth of topics, however, can seem a bit disorganized and hard to follow, though, and this is something that our old blog I feel struggled with. To combat this, I put a major focus on highlighting tags and authors in the new blog; the filter box on the left hand side of the post list mirrors the filters on the ecommerce site and provides a fast way to find posts from your favorite author or on the topic on your mind. We also wanted to foster a more active community on the blog, so making a simple, streamlined commenting system was imperative. Being able to comment with your gearwest.com login we hope will encourage more people to comment than on our old blog, which required a completely seperate and superfluous login from blogger.
All in all, I'm pretty happy with the result. Like the rest of the site, the blog now feels very clean, streamlined, and intuitive. We'll be posting some more things in the coming days as the other bloggers test out and get used to the new system before we transition into a more regular blogging schedule. I'd love to hear from you folks, though. What are your thoughts on the new blog, or even the new look website as a whole? Let me know in the comments below!
-Posted by Josh Doebbert on Jul 30th 2013