Welcome Back to SmallNetBuilder

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Tim Higgins

Moving SNB out from under the “Toms” umbrella is both symbolic of the focus of the site and its ownership. SNB is all mine, baby, with all the advantages—and challenges—that ownership brings. But with TG Publishing handling SNB’s advertising and marketing, I can focus on the content, which has always been why I do what I do.

As Omid says in his blog post, SNB is intended to be as the name implies; a place for people who pursue the fine art (ok, so maybe more of a brute-force effort at times) of putting together networks for home, home office and small businesses. As anyone who is in the business knows, building smaller networks is very different than assembling and running enterprise-grade networks. Budgets are generally smaller, so you don’t have access to the “big iron” and applications help that the big guys do. You also know how hard it is to cut through the FUD and hype that vendors throw out and get the straight poop on the products that you’re going to spend your (or your customers’) hard-earned money on.

Well, that’s what my mission has always been and will continue to be on the re-birthed SmallNetBuilder. This time I’m using a different open source CMS and hope to keep the growing pains to a minimum. But be sure to drop me a note when you see something funky or not working. I’m also trying a few new things and will depend on you all to keep me moving in the direction that is most helpful to you.

Everyone else on the planet seems to think having a blog is a good idea, so, yeah, we’ve got one too. But I’m not much of an Op-Ed writer and think there’s enough of that on other blogs. So instead, I’m going to use the blog to occasionally point out the foolishness that passes for product positioning and design for those who deserve it most. I’m also lining up some folks who I hope will provide some behind-the-scenes views of the standards making process in a few of the most interesting wireless technologies. I’ll open to other ideas and contributors, too, so let me know if you want to give it a shot.

Anyone who used TomsNetworking knows how painfully bad the site navigation was. Hell, I ran the site and couldn’t even find stuff once if fell off the section index pages! So improved site navigation was something at the top of my site design list and I hope you find the SNB approach more helpful.

When you click into any of the sections, such as Wireless, NAS, etc., you’ll see the ten latest articles sorted into Reviews, HowTos, Features and Tutorials, along with the latest news in that subject area. If you don’t see what you want there, just click on the More… link at bottom of each section, or use the links in the Browse All box in the left-hand column.

The Browse All box will change according to the section you’re in to help you narrow in as quickly as possible on what you want. If you want to see all Reviews, HowTos, Features or Tutorials, just use the Browse All box on the home page. Of course the site Search box is always at your service, perched up on the right side of the top nav bar.

I’ve also decided to adopt the Tag Cloud that seems to be all the rage now. It’s another way to get you quickly to what you may be looking for, with the size of the word in the cloud indicating the relative amount of the content we have on that topic. Just click on a word and you’ll get an index of related articles.

And speaking of Related Articles, you’ll now find links to them in the left column whenever you’re on an article page. I’m trying various data sorts to present the links, so let me know if you’re finding the links shown to be helpful or not.

You’ll also note a new Security category in the main menu bar. It’s a bit thin right now, but I hope to get some coverage of network and even personal computing security going. Once again, let me know if you’re interested in contributing here.

If you’re looking for RSS feeds, just right-click on the embedded in the front page Top Stories, Latest News or More Articles boxes and copy and paste the URL into your feed reader.

And there’s more coming, as fast as I can get new features added. Slideshows, expanded Router and NAS charts and at some point a Wireless Chart will be up, too.

So reset those bookmarks and stick around for tons o’ fun and excitement. SmallNetBuilder is back and better than ever!

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Going back to our roots

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