Just a few observations I would like to share with you all, and a couple suggestions on what I think would make this site even better, while they are still listening.
1) When Jeff closes comments on a thread, you can still comment as long as you had the window open before the closure. You also can't reply to posts that show up after thread closing, but can reply to old postings. This seems like it could be fixed by putting a check in the posting code, and popping up a modal box instead of submitting the post.
2) The hot keys stop working in threads that are closed. Not a big deal, but it would help those of us catching up from coming back after an extended spell away from the game threads.
3) Speaking of hotkeys, if I am scrolling through comments with z, and new comments pop up above the currently selected comment, z will clear those comments while staying in its current place on the page. This can be gotten around by using c+x when new comments pop up, but if you hit z at the same time the comments pop up, you're screwed.
General Design Additions
I thought I was going to have to greasemonkey this site to a shell of its former self, but the wide mode makes it not worth the effort. That being said, here goes.
1) Kudos - You guys make a clean site. No errors or site scripting woes (at least in IE7/FF2).
2) Diary creation screen - It seems there should be a site-specific list of tags accessible, possibly in a popup. I see that if I start typing, previous tags (or possible tags) show up. While I think this is a great feature, it doesn't help when you're not sure what tag you want in the first place. Currently, I open a new tab to the main page and open up the tags from there.
3) Ignoring a user - A way to automatically collapse or hide all posts by a user list would be a great addition to the site, IMO.
4) Expanding threads - A simple + with an auto-expand/collapse ala DK would make the site a little more usable when loading up from a default collapsed mode.
5) User-specific sidebars - I could give a shit less about Most Commented (always going to be game threads), Rotoworld, Sections, Rosters, and FanSplurges. At the same time, I personally would like to have the front page posts on the sidebar with the diaries while in a thread, as I would prefer to never hit the main page during an extended stay. This doesn't even have to be a drag functionality ala Google, it could just be a simple set of drop-downs.
6) Mobile View - I'm sure you've heard this a hundred times so far, but I would also like to throw my request in with the pile.
7) Hotlist functionality - Not so much in the DK sense, but to tag certain comment threads that you know you will want to bring up later.
Content Design Additions
I don't mean content in a "Jeff needs to write better" way, I mean things that are currently designed well, but could use a feature upgrade or two.
1) Furthering AJAX usage - I would like you to consider adding the post comment counts to the list of things you update, and eventually the posts themselves (I know this is a lot more difficult, so I'm not expecting that so much).
2) My Blogs Button - My usage patterns are pretty stable; I mostly stay on LL, but occasionally read just a couple other blogs (HH for laughs, AN and TBLA for good reads). However, the My Blogs list is currently alphabetical, with only one of the blogs I read on it. I would use that bar much more often if I didn't have to select the More SBN Blogs link at the bottom of it, and scroll to find the correct site.
I'm sure I'm not the only one that has been thinking about all these things. So I'll end with a couple questions.
What things would you like to see most with the new format?
What problem is bigger, the neutered search, or no embeds in the comments?
And a question for clockwerks or one of the other SBN staff - Is there a portion of your blog that we can submit these kinds of things to? I didn't see one in my cursory look through the SBN main site.