A New Year, A New Website!
Written by C.J. Martin

It’s been a LONG time coming…. I have had plans to redesign the website for two years – slightly more actually. It had been the bane of my existence. It was functional, and folks even liked it, but I knew it could be so much better. After a lot of procrastination, dragging my feet and demanding perfection before we launched, I have been convinced we can wait no longer.

Before I go on and explain some of the improvements, I want to give a huge shout out and much thanks to Ben Sullins. Ben has not only been the primary engineer of this new and improved website, but he has also been the prod that has moved it along when it was the last thing to which I wanted to pay attention. Without Ben, it would probably be another two years before we made any changes.

Additionally, Wayne Slavin pitched in more time than he could possible manage while finishing up a masters at Columbia and working full-time out in New York. It didn’t seem to matter how busy he was, he was willing to help when called upon.

So let’s get into it . . .

The new blog has a little different layout. We have separated the blog article from the workouts. This should allow us to better highlight our substantive blog articles. I am proud of the content our coaches produce for our community, and the more I can shine a light on their good research and writing, the happier I think our community will be.

Where is my workout?
On the top right hand side we have neat little tabs for the workout of the day for all three of our different programs. Click the “Fitness” tab and it will reveal the Fitness Workout of the Day. Same goes for “Competition” and “Performance.”

Where do I post my comments and results?
Part of the idea behind separating the blog article from the workouts of the day was to encourage better usage for logging workout results and foster more discussion about the articles posted. We want our online community to be interactive. We have a great community that has never (and may never) set foot in Invictus. We want to keep them in the loop and engage them in dialogue, and we also want to be able to support them and celebrate their successes in their workouts. So in my ideal world, two things would happen:
(1) Lots of people would comment, ask questions or start discussions about the article in the comments section under the article. This is the forum where our coaches dwell and help to answer questions or expand upon what was written in the article. It should also be where our members dwell to congratulate others, make announcements or start discussions that pertain to the whole community.
(2) Everyone would post their workout results in the “Post Results” section of each workout. We preach tracking your workouts and progress, and encourage everyone to do so through their Performance Logs at Invictus. But there is no reason you cannot keep track electronically. The “Post Results” section can serve as your workout log. That way you know the exact workout you performed and you have an easily searchable way to look back at your previous performances. It also means you can see what your peers were doing. For example, if everyone following the “Competition” workouts diligently posts their results under the Competition workout each day, we will have a great community of support and friendly competition to help motivate you all.

Can I use Facebook?
You bet your boots you can! I tried desperately to fight the TwitFace revolution, but it appears that 99% of you all love social networking. I am apparently too old to fully grasp it, but I do recognize that it makes life easier for some of you if you can keep up to date through one medium. Facebook is now integrated with the site, so if you choose to use Facebook, we just made your life easier. If you don’t love the Facebook stuff, no worries, you still have the option to post just like you always did.

Can I buy some Invictus gear?
ABSOLUTELY!!! The online store is up and running . . . and all of our gear is modeled by your favorite coaches! Some descriptions will be added and some improvements made over the course of the next week or two, but at least we’re operational for those of you that want to purchase some gear and cannot get down to Invictus.

More to come!
We had to get this site launched on January 1 or I could not have lived with myself. BUT, this is just the beginning. We have in the works several more improvements to the website that we will roll out over the next several days and weeks. This is a work in progress, but it’s the direction we want to move in, and that makes me very happy!

A Call for Feedback!
As I hope you know, we are constantly searching for better ways to serve our community. We find that the inspiration for our best ideas always comes from members of our community. So please tell us what you think of the new website. What works well for you? What would you improve upon? How can we make the website something that better suits your needs as a member of our community?

Looking forward to your feedback, and above all, looking forward to progressing with you in 2012!