Kicking Chess.com's Tires
From September 2002 to August 2008, I was the Chess Guide at chess.about.com. On the following screen capture, you'll see that the photo is the same one that I use on Chess.com. My wife took it on Easter weekend this year.
The About.com position is perhaps unique in the online chess world and I was happy to have the opportunity to do it. I didn't leave it voluntarily; I was pushed. Times change, people change with the times, and I was no longer the right person to do the job that About.com wanted. The following screen capture shows the 'unguided' site as it looks now. Above the ad that says 'Insure Yourself' is a link to 'Apply now' for the position of Chess Guide. If you like to write about chess, think about applying. Chess needs good people who can promote it positively.
If you look carefully at the image, you'll see that the lead article, in the middle of the page, is titled 'Site Review of Chess.com'. The page is probably going to look that way for another month or so, until About.com hires and trains a new Chess Guide. If it looks a little suspicious that I ran a piece about Chess.com and then started posting here, be assured that it was mainly a coincidence. If About.com had cut off my access a day later, that article would have read 'Site Review of the ICC'.
It is, however, no accident that I decided to contribute to Chess.com. While working on the site review, I was very impressed with the work that Erik and team (see Building Chess.com: Part 10 - The Team) had done in a little more than a year. Chess.com is a great site for chess and a great site for chess players.
When I write for a new site, like I'm doing right now, I prefer to learn things a step at a time. First I learn how to post text; then I learn how to post images; then I learn how to post games; and so on. This post is a test of images (the two screen captures) and a trial to see what it takes to transfer my offline work to Chess.com's blogging tool. I always compose my work offline. It lets me see how well my thoughts hang together and provides an insurance policy against any sort of system failure while I'm composing my post.
Now I'm going to copy this post to the Chess.com blogging tool...