Hello all and welcome back to TDG - The Daily Grail. Or perhaps that should be welcome to DUAT! What's going on you might ask? I would answer a heck of a lot, so if you'd like to read on I'll try and fill you all in on what is happening in the TDG world. What follows should be a good introduction to the new setup here at TDG, so please do fill your coffee cup and read on...
The New Look
No doubt returning TDGers will have noticed a slightly different look - at least in the logo and colour scheme of the website. We have tried to mimic the old TDG layout as much as possible though. While we had a dead ringer for the old TDG ready to go, we decided at the last minute to subject ourselves to abuse by changing everything around. Our reason for this is simple - while we have returned to the old TDG, the website is now part of a larger concept. TDG is now the internet news/blog section of a larger 'idea' that we call DUAT. We wanted everyone to know right from the outset that our plans are bigger and bolder than before.
What is DUAT?
Many of you are probably familiar with DUAT - this is a CD magazine produced by myself (Greg Taylor), Simon Cox (former Editor-in-Chief of Phenomena Magazine), and Mark Foster (former Art Director with Phenomena). We only produced one issue of DUAT - well-received I might add - before we were all asked to participate in the Phenomena project.
While we were delighted with what we created at Phenomena, getting back to DUAT is an exciting prospect as it allows us to slip free of the 'print' medium and indulge in a wide range of presentation format, from video and audio, to plain text and internet formats such as Flash etc. Additionally, we now have the freedom to pursue our own ideas to the fullest, and I think you'll be excited by what we're building at the moment. We therefore decided to pursue all of these projects under the umbrella of DUAT - the magazine, TDG, and other exciting projects (see below).
We will soon be announcing a schedule and line up for DUAT II , with a lot of content already 'in the bag' so to speak. Additionally, as part of the new TDG-DUAT concept, we will also be making some of the DUAT content available here on the website - multimedia presentations such as video interviews and tours of famous sites...Egyptian temples, Rosslyn Chapel etc. Needless to say, we can't put the whole thing on the web due to large size of the complete video files and other content - so we will also be selling the complete issue of DUAT in DVD form to watch at home on your television or computer.
One thing you can't replicate on a DVD though is a community that can discuss, debate (and sometimes just plain argue) the subjects at hand. That's where TDG comes in, as the internet face of DUAT where you can get your news and have some fun in the process. Plus we get to include TDG dudesters Bill, Rich and Jameske...and that David dude who lurks around back somewhere...in the DUAT concept just to spread the love.
This Damn Cool Website
Okay, while the layout of the website is much the same as previously, we have completely changed the engine behind it. This gives the user a lot more power and voice than previously. For example, if you've registered as a member, you will find that going into your account (in the left-hand main menu, 'My Account' and then 'Edit Acccount') gives you the option of changing what you can see on the page.
So if you don't like the archive calendar - get rid of it. Conversely, you can add cool things to the page that aren't there by default. For instance, as I'm writing this, I have the news feeds for Space.com and Astrobiology magazine present in the right-hand side block. Get in there and configure, I'm sure you'll enjoy playing with it (no not *that*, the interface you dirty children).
As we move along we'll be adding other ideas as well, which I'll inform you about as we install them. One such is a little real-time chatbox where you can discuss things in an IRC-like interface.
I should add, that once we escape the claws of time a little we will be adding new themes to the site. So if you prefer black text on white background we'll try and have that for you...heck, we might even make an old TDG-like theme as a nostalgia piece. This brings us to another crucial point - TDG was, and still is, a community-based site. So if there's something you want, think would be a great idea, then email us and we'll try and implement it. We're completely open to change, and I hope you are too because we're bound to shake things up occasionally.
This one excites me. Another feature of the new system is that every registered member gets to keep their own blog (internet based diary, log, call it what you will). So if you are a member, you now have the capability to create a blog here on TDG and let the rest of the community read it. If it's popular enough, your blog will pop up in lists here on the site...hey, I might even post it to the front page and claim it as mine (well, at least post it to the front page).
Get into it, I want to see of your ramblings!
Things...They are a' Changin':
Now the caveat - while we present this beautiful website to you for your fun, enjoyment or sadistic voyeur pleasures, we warn you that we're so busy adding content here and finishing other projects that we may have missed something simple. If so, yell at us and we'll fix it. This website is a work in progress, and we intend to keep adding new features and themes to make it a real tool for the alternative community to keep in touch with what's happening (and each other).
Not only is the TDG aspect a work in progress, but we're currently so starved for attention that we are diversifying into some other exciting projects which will all come under the DUAT umbrella. For example, Simon has just published a book analysing Dan Brown's best-seller THE DAVINCI CODE, titled CRACKING THE DAVINCI CODE (ooh look, here it is) - we're currently creating a really cool DVD and website to accompany this book as well. As it's all under the DUAT umbrella, again - we'll be giving you access to some of the raw data from this...video, inside stories etc. So stay tuned for announcements, we're cooking up a spicy brew.
To finish, once more I'd like to welcome everyone back to TDG , and hope you'll enjoy the new concept of DUAT with the associated benefits to all members. Also, I hope everyone appreciates the spirit of this site - for example, TDG editors Bill, Jameske and Rich didn't hesitate in deciding to leave paid employ with Phenomena and come back to TDG (that rocked my world). This is a community site, so speak up - post comments, opinions, send us news, rumour and innuendo. Send us emails with what you'd like to see. Tell us what we're doing right, and try to be gentle when you tell us what we're doing wrong.
Welcome one and all to the show that never ends, TDG. Let's have some fun.