There are two giant positives to online publication: what you ‘print’ isn’t thrown away the next day; and you’re not restricted by a static format. Today marks an important day for TheIndependent.ca, in that it could take advantage of both of these positives in a big way.
Our print archives are online
First, as you probably have noticed by now, we have finally made a tangible connection to The Independent’s past by publishing our print archives online. I take a lot of pride in being part of the team that was able to preserve this important piece of Newfoundland and Labrador’s history; although it was a paper that was only in print for 5 years, it was a publication that meant an awful lot to an awful lot of people. Frankly, it was a refreshing independent alternative to the other news media in the province, and quite obviously the primary inspiration for what we are trying to accomplish with TheIndependent.ca. What before today only existed in the memories of its readers and in the basements of fervent supporters, is now available for all to see for all time. I love the medium we were able to bring the paper “back to life” with; using a technology called ISSUU we are presenting the papers (as they originally looked!) in an online format that literally allows you to flip from page to page like an actual paper. So what was once printed and either tossed or recycled, has now been preserved for many many years to come.
The first of a series of improvements
Another change we have been able to make this week is one that greatly improves on how we organize and archive our own online content. That’s the beauty of a website – you’re never stuck with one design or one layout, and wrapped in a constant quest of improvement a site continuously evolves. A subtle change to our top menu – but one that significantly impacts how you can navigate our site – now separates all of our content into separate categories: News, Arts, and Life (rather than lumping them all into one page). But most importantly, with our new ‘Features‘ page we have created a proper archival system for our running posts; this means that it has become much easier to view our presentations that have more than one installment. The new menu also includes a dramatically improved ‘Multimedia‘ page too… be sure to take a look. These changes are just the first wave of improvements we are making to TheIndependent.ca to make it the site that we want it to be; the wheels are already in motion to make changes and improvements to other elements of our site as well. In the meantime, if you have any suggestions or ideas on how we can improve the online experience, don’t hesitate to write your recommendations in the comments section below.
And so with the help of the liquid (yet permanent) nature of online publishing, this week we were able to bring a new wave of improved preservation and presentation. Stay tuned to this space to keep abreast of what is yet to come.