For the longest time, the Megaphone website was simply a list of all the editors, their emails, and advertising information. It simply was lacking, especially for a newspaper’s website.
It wasn’t until 2007 that we decided to put up news stories on the website using a WordPress that was installed for us by ITS, but that we never used. Originally, we ran off of the original theme (which is shown in the picture), with different gradients in the header per week. There were only a couple of articles published per week, and each “issue” had a little welcome message that I wrote myself.
That was Megaphone Online 1.0, and boy, was it definitely a 1.0. 2.0 was only a small increment – we stuck with the same theme, but removed the static front page and stuck with a traditional “blog” format (where one can simply scroll down to see each articles).
In March of 2009, the Megaphone editors went to San Diego and our lives changed forever…at least in how we designed the paper and incorporated the website to the paper. More articles were published to the website, and we found a spiffy theme to go with the online. This new theme allowed us to use pictures in a way to represent the articles, instead of relying on text alone.
There was a bit of a problem of this. The theme we were using (The Morning After) was optimized for a more recent version of WordPress than what were using. As a result, I had to frankenstein a solution which created a very buggy interface. Entire links didn’t work, and no one can figure out why. Allan Smith, the sports editor, helped me tried to figure it out, but we ended up nowhere.
The fix for this was to simply update the WordPress, which happened in December 2009. While we are not at the newest version, we are close to the future, and can support a wide array of plugins and new features.
Today, we are launching Megaphone 4.0. Our branding has change – we are no longer “The Megaphone Online”. Everything on the paper will be on here, so we are unifying our branding. There are other changes to the website as well – we have a new team of bloggers to write articles on a single interest, we will be Web 2.0 in the way that we will be incorporating Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and other technologies. We will have embedded videos from our “videes” and new videographer Sam Allen. We will use maps from Google Maps to show locations and spread awareness. Furthermore, it’s easier to find what people are posting on what articles, and why.
So, please, check us out, and hope you stay a while!