I’m not sure whether I’ve already spoken about this on the blog, so this is likely the first time. However, this particular subject is something I’ve actually been cranking on for the past nine months.
A website. Platform needs a website. Not a minisite, not a singular blog, not a PDF archive of print magazines, a true website – with links to individual categories, tags and attractive layout and design.
Well, at long last it seems things might actually be beginning to come together. I’ve been in discussion with NTSU’s designer, Stephanie Combs, about constructing the Platform website on the newly launched student union site. Unfortunately the content management system the site is built on is way too basic to host a proper media site. I’d even tried implementing some of my design ideas myself, but was met with usability errors and all manner of wordy, unfathomable internet nonsense.
After some conversation, today Steph got back to me and said that my proposal for our own Platform website may not be so farfetched after all. Using free publishing tools, such as WordPress, and her own web design skills, Steph plans to build a new Platform website within the next month. Naturally, it will have its own domain name (e.g. www.platform-online.com) and should have the functionality to provide, at the very least, a basic level of media content. The ‘surfacing’ (how content is arrange so that it can be found and accessed by users) of this content is still under discuss, but I’ve got lots of plans in store once things are up and running.
Some sites that have been key inspirations for me so far are Edge Online and the Guardian.co.uk. Platform’s friendly rivals, Impact Magazine (run by students at the University of Nottingham), have also been an interesting source of what’s good, but also what’s best to avoid, when building a student media website. Created by, Philip Morton (who also maintains a video games website of his own, Thunderbolt), the site is a bit plain for my tastes, but it exhibits some of the functionality and accessibility I hope to see on our own website.
Even though I’m not one for social networking, we are planning to make use of these types of services on the new site. And we’ll likely be pimping out, Fly FM, our radio affiliates’ website and Twitter feed.
It still (very) early days, but I’m confident that in a few weeks time the site will be up and running, with all of our existing content ported over to it. I’m also sitting on a bunch of articles and interviews from my trip to Develop that I honestly hope get read once the site launches. Admittedly they are old news already, but if the site had been live already it would have a real coup for Platform. Fingers crossed they still will be.
I should have more news from the Trent Army for you in a couple weeks.
Platform is finally heading online!