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Watch out for Falling Code

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be continuing to make changes, major and minor, to The Big Green’s layout and functionality.
Some of these changes are fixes to tiny microscopic problems that we’ve noticed over the last few months. Others are huge cosmetic changes that help change the dynamic of the site. (If you see the spiffy new headline fonts above, you know what I’m talking about.) Others still are giant undertakings that will add some further functionality to the site — those will take longer, but you’ll see them eventually.
As readers, I want to know what you think — are there any changes you see that need to be made to the page? Is the site about to explode on your computer? Is there some little design glitch that you feel the need to scold me on?
I imagine there are problems with various web browsers, but me and Jeff Greco, the site’s backend coder, have tried our best to make sure the big problems are out of the way. Recent versions of Internet Explorer for the PC and Mac, Firefox and other Mozilla variants, Netscape and Safari should work fine. In fact, if you have Flash, it will work even better without a lot of extra download time.
Our site will continue to grow — the redesign, completed in September, was only the beginning. If these changes make the site stop working for you, please let us know. Send an e-mail to letters@thebiggreen.net and inform us of your problem. We have classes, jobs, the whole kit-and-kaboodle, but we’d still like to be able to help our visitors out as much as possible.
Finally, and I’m sure that the staff hears it more than enough from me, but I’d like to commend The Big Green on becoming one of the essential elements of MSU student journalism. I’m no longer a student — a recent grad, in fact — but I’ve watched this site grow from a speck in founder Beth Desy’s eye into something with continually engaging articles, strong designs, and a real feel for the MSU community. The best part? It only took them two years to get to this point.
Watch out for these guys — they’re going to surprise you over the next few years.

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Fresh Look

Don’t rub your eyes too hard. Last time you looked at this site, it was different.
The Big Green has gone through quite a bit of change in the last couple of years. When it started, it was a mere glimmer in founder Beth Desy’s eyes — a vision that she and a handful of writers wanted to see succeed. There have been lots of small victories in the site’s history, and Desy and current editor-in-chief Sarah Hunko, along with a small army of writers and editors, have each made their best effort to create a valuable resource to MSU students and the community at large.
But, eventually, we reached a point where we wanted to go further — rather than merely trying to be a great resource, we wanted to feel like one. Our new redesign is the first step to this. With our updated look, we have a lot more flexibility to do things visually, have our own identity, and most importantly, reflect the MSU community as a whole.
[face] Among other things, the logo has been overhauled, with a focus on simplicity and clarity. The article pages offer a lot of flexibility and allow for creative treatments, and a new engine has been created to run the site. We wanted to make the site something to be proud of, a valuable part of what MSU is all about. It’s our great hope that we succeeded.
Another big change you might notice is our separation from former hosts allMSU. We looked at our options, and while they really helped the site get started, we reached a point where we wanted to do more. Nothing against them; we still love them. In fact, we’ll give them a free link. But it was hard for the magazine to grow under the shadow of another site.
I’d like to give a big thanks to all of the people who made this redesign possible, especially those who provided loads of input. In particular, I’d like to thank Jeff Greco, who spent many long nights coding the site and backend with me; Mandy Messer, who provided a lot of input for the redesign and will be taking the site’s design helm this year; and Sarah Hunko, who provided honest input, guidance and direction. If it wasn’t for you guys, this redesign wouldn’t be where it’s at now.
I graduated from MSU over the summer, and I now live out of state, but I’ve worked really hard on the site nonetheless. I saw what was here and wanted to make it that much better in my own way. I experienced a lot of good things in the MSU community that never hit any of the other publications in the East Lansing/Lansing area. I hope that some of those good things make it into The Big Green over the next few years.
In case you have any questions, please send us an email at letters@thebiggreen.net. We’d like to know what you think.

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