I will take over the editorial role for www.winol.co.uk as my summer project. This project offers both advantages and challenges.
The benefit of taking over this project is obviously the vast material already on the site. The challenge is cleaning up the page and making the best news articles and features stand out and creating new content to reach new readers as this site is one of the Journalism programme’s faces to the world.
I will start off by doing a clean-up of the site. This will include fixing broken links. I expect this work will take about a week.
For this project, I would like to reach a bigger audience; I do however feel that it is important to stop visitors from leaving the site with one visit. I will try to prevent this by having a look at exit pages.
Due to the geographical boundaries the name of the site indicates, most of the content will have to be local, expanding to greater London if needed.
In the event of lack of material, I will make use of my connections in the music industry. Since summer is festival season for many within the 18 to 35 age range I will do my best to cover some of UK’s festival happenings and source interviews with artists if possible.
For me to be able to get more hits, I will have to update the site with new articles every so often. In executing this plan, I will create new content with at least one video package and written article every three weeks. My goal for this will be to do a music or environment related piece every three weeks to go as “main feature” in the slide show. I will also check the sources available to me to source real news as to what is happening in Winchester.
SEO: In terms of implementing what we learned from the SEO lectures with Paul Wood, I will go through the articles on the site and set the correct tags for geography and subject. I will consult with Paul Wood to learn how to do a proper keyword search, as this is important as to how articles come up in a Google search.
The articles with the best images and/or video will feature in the slide show. Wood also suggested we make a site map and 404 error page for the site; this will be one of the first things I carry out, although I would rather want to create an RSS feed rather than a site map because an RSS feed will be able to generate suitable content to a reader that follows a certain feed. I have been checking other news web sites and have found that none of them have a site map, however most have RSS feeds.
I will also embed the necessary code to make the website responsive, as so many of us today get our news updates through our mobile devices. I will also use what I have learned about web publishing from my work placement and make sure all the stories have the appropriate tags to appear in the right slot in the drop down menu. I will also attempt to create a drop down menu for features as part of the clean-up.
On the social media aspect, I will use the designated Facebook and Twitter accounts to share and promote new content to the readers (for which I obviously will need to obtain passwords). I will also try to use the sites Wood suggested (Followerwonk and Tweeps) to find followers and the people I want to target.
I will also have a look at the exit pages to see what pages are essentially leaking visits and tweak those sites to avoid the same occurrence in the future.
Furthermore, I will attempt to change the images next to the header every few weeks so visitors can see that the site is up and running.
Lastly, I will try to create a 301 redirect that sends the user to the newest edition. For this, I will have to consult with Paul Wood to find out how I can install a plugin that allows me to use 301 redirect.
Work already done on the project: As Chris Horrie and I agreed, I will try to make the site look more in the vein of the New Statesman. In order to accomplish some of this, we changed the theme to one more suitable for the new image. After doing this, we started getting into utilising the new features. The site now has a slide show/banner, which will feature the 10 “top stories”. Chris advised me on which ten articles to use in the slide show and how to find the best images using the grab tool, Creative Commons and Adobe Fireworks. Using images from Creative Commons and Flickr also meant the images had to be credited to the photographer for me to be able to use the sourced images. Some of the images still needs to be replaced by more interesting ones but I have unfortunately not yet had the time to do so due to my work placement that is still going on. This will be amended as soon as possible.
Changing the theme had a slightly odd effect on the menu bar at the top of the site so I had help changing this so it now looks better and functions with a separate drop down menu for news.
Implementing tools from semester 1 and 2:
In creating new content for the site, I will make sure all content is legally sound according to the guidelines taught to us in the media law lectures. This means making sure all quotes are correct, that all sources for content are checked and accrediting images and quotes when “lifted” from another source.
I will use what I learned in camera and sound training to get the best possible quality for what goes on the site, as well as implementing what was said in the debrief sessions in WINOL when creating new content. I will only put out content that is up to WINOL standards.
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