Our cyber-ether gurus, Kris Scott and Luke Shertzer, report that all is on schedule to debut the new Back Talk at the beginning of March. I saw the templates yesterday, and the new site includes most of the items that visitors to this site have asked for over the past six months. And it looks pretty snazzy, too:

• Better comment tracking, so you can see who has said what about which post more easily.

• A beefed-up about page with updated contact information and easy-to-follow instructions on posting and commenting.

• A search feature and more detailed category listings.

• Commenter posts, so that visitors can report news and initiate discussions. We’re still working on the details for this, which has been the most requested feature for any  upgrade.

Finally, though the site won’t look especially different, it will give us the flexibility to make improvements more quickly and more easily than with our current interface.

Eventually, the site will include advertising (shameless plug!). But, despite the example set by so many of our brethren in town, we will not be cramming those silly Google and Yahoo classified-style ads on the blog.