The first thing you may notice is that PopSci.com now looks like a blog. That’s because we think the organizational style of blogs is elegantly simple to navigate and search. Dig into the content, however, and you’ll find the authoritative Popular Science articles you’re used to, plus the up-to-the-minute news and expert opinions you’d expect from a top-notch tech site. And here’s what really gets us excited: you can arrange the “posts” on PopSci.com in just about any way you can imagine.
Start with our seven top-level categories—Cars, Gear & Gadgets, DIY, Military Aviation & Space, Entertainment & Gaming, The Environment, and SciTech. You can use the tabs to arrange posts within each category by date, popularity, rating, or most commented—all without reloading the page.
Below the category level, you’ll find thousands of organizational keywords, or tags, assigned to each article, photo gallery, image or video on the site. These help link similar content together, and also give you a handy way to find all the given articles about a particular topic.
If you click on a tag anywhere on the site (say, robot), you’ll be taken to a page showing all articles assigned to that tag. In addition, each tag has an individual RSS feed you can use to have articles instantly delivered to your personal newsreader, Web site, or social networking page (for more on our site’s copious RSS subscription options, see the RSS Feeds page).
You’ll also soon find tag pages for all your favorite recurring features (5-Minute Project Videos, Gray Matter) as well as a page for each author.
Note on Tags:
Since we’re still in “beta” you may see a few slightly strange tags assigned to some articles. That’s because we enlisted the help of a friendly robot to help us categorize all of the content we’ve imported into the new site—the Yahoo Term Extractor API. This great free web service patiently reads ream after ream of text and identifies what it thinks are the best descriptive tags. Our editors are combing through and removing the funnier ones (that’s the price we pay for referencing pop culture in our articles), and we think you’ll find many of the auto-generated tags to be incredibly useful in linking similar content.
New on PopSci.com is the ability to create your own personal profile. Don’t worry—all you need is a valid email address to register, and then you can do a lot more with the site. Click on “Your Profile” in the top left and see:
Once you’re logged in, you can add your two cents to just about any piece of content on the site—articles, photo galleries, the works. If you find a particularly good comment somewhere, mark it “helpful.”
Our new and improved search (found in the upper-right corner of every page) makes it easy to find articles, videos, galleries and individual images. Even cooler is the ability to save any PopSci.com search as a custom RSS feed (see the RSS Feeds page for more).
Note: Our search is a work-in-progress, so if you see anything unexpected, bear with us—or better yet, send feedback on improvements or bugs to email@example.com.
“Beta” doesn’t imply mere roughness—it also implies greater things to come. Our new open-source Drupal platform allows us a ton of freedom and flexibility, and we’ll be taking advantage of it with an always-under-construction, always-expanding feature set. Still to come are great user-generated contests, special offers and new columns—all in addition to the same sort of high-quality content you’ve enjoyed in the pages of Popular Science.
We hope you’ll enjoy all the new site has to offer.
-The PopSci.com Staff