You've Got a Home on Our New Web Site 

Version 2.0 of our web site offers more opportunities for reader participation, greater social networking tools, and a redesigned search interface.

People who have recently visited EastBayExpress.com have no doubt noticed a difference in the basic look and feel. On Thursday, we unveiled the second iteration of our site since becoming independent in mid-2007. There are several significant changes, but the biggest ones all involve you.

In column one of the new home page, you'll find evidence of our greater emphasis on reader-generated content. Your comments, your reviews, and your event recommendations all have a greater role on our site. Perhaps most notably, people who subscribe to our newsletters or post comments or reviews on the site now have their own personal profile. That page aggregates a member's comments and can be used to share upcoming events and favorite locations or stories with friends. Click the "Your Profile" tab to get started.

Visitors to the site can now share their opinions about not just our stories and blog posts but also any upcoming event or East Bay location. And unlike another site that has been criticized for modifying reader reviews for commercial reasons, the Express will never tamper with or change the order of your reviews. The only time we will remove a review from our site is when it violates our Terms of Use, which readers can review via a link at the bottom of every page. Threatening comments, inappropriate language, and spam are not permissible at EastbayExpress.com.

Another major change revolves around improvements to our search interface. Whether you are searching for an old story, an upcoming event, a movie time, a site member, or one of several thousand East Bay locations, you'll find a new interface that makes it easier to narrow your search or find what you are looking for. To search, just enter a search term in the window in the upper left corner, or use any one of the pull-down menus containing a magnifying glass.

The site also includes an expanded range of user tools. Each story can be added to a custom list, bookmarked on a page of personal bookmarks, or shared with the world via easy links to Digg, Facebook, Twitter and a host of other social networks. And upcoming events can be added directly to your iCal or saved on your profile page as a way of telling friends what's on your agenda.

As with any new web site, there will be bugs. If you encounter something that isn't working properly, or have suggestions about what we could do to improve the interface, please feel free to e-mail me personally at Editor@EastBayExpress.com. I hope you like what you find.

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