Arlington, VA

Update at 10:25 p.m. on 4/24/11 — Most features of the new site are working, but it may take up to a week to get to the point where we can turn the forums on. Please excuse any snafus with the registration and login process, as well as any site slowness. Thank you for your patience.

Update at 4:15 a.m. on 4/23/11 — The forums are not operational yet. We expect them to be in place by Monday morning.

First, I want to thank all our loyal readers and commenters, who have made this site into a real community in just over 14 months. Our 3,100 Twitter followers, 2,400 email subscribers, 1,300 Facebook fans, and 200 Flickr poolers — as well as the 42,500 article comments we’ve received since launch — are all testaments to the passion many have for Arlington and its unique neighborhoods.

Several months ago, we decided to invest in a site redesign that will help enhance the community functions of the site, while at the same time making the site more visually-appealing. I’m pleased to report that, if all goes well, the new design will be in place by Monday. Here are some of the enhancements you can expect:

  • Cleaner page layout
  • Message board (forums) for community discussion of issues not covered in articles
  • User registration, custom profiles, custom avatars and (maybe) private messaging
  • A login will be required for the forums, but anonymous comments will still be permitted
  • Prominent positioning for latest articles, comments and forum posts
  • Current weather conditions visible on all pages

Early Saturday morning, the site will go offline so that that we can begin transitioning to the new site. Please excuse any technical problems that may ensue.

Although we’re not indulging in the Silicon Valley cliche of visually labeling the new site a “beta,” it will truly be a beta version for a few months. We expect fixes and changes to be a continuous process for a couple of months after launch. Feel free to use the comments section of this article to discuss the new design, report bugs and suggest changes.

Thank you again for your loyalty. Have a happy and relaxing Easter weekend and we’ll see you back here on Monday.

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