April 29th, 2009
As it became clear over the weekend that the swine flu was becoming a major national and international story, Statesman VP for Internet Tim Lott went hunting for domain names. The Statesman has been wanting to try to build a nimble niche aggregation site for a while as an experiment, and the swine flu seemed like a good topic for a test.
On Monday, Lott instructed one of our developers to build a niche site using an CMS outside of the main newspaper’s site. By lunchtime Tuesday, our swine flu information site was live.
It’s a full aggregation site, with a national and international focus. Everything links off the site except for the “About” page and a page for a Google mashup.
Aggregation is hand-picked by an editor (me), who is scouring the Web for interesting flu-related stories from trusted sources. Our hook is that you can trust what I’m choosing to be reliable.
We also added several resource links and a Twitter stream from Juitter.
We built this in a separate CMS for a few reasons:
1. We wanted to build this quickly. Obviously, if we waited too long, we’d miss the opportunity.
2. The CMS we used for the niche site (WordPress) is nimble and flexible. Our newspaper’s site is not as flexible.
3. We wanted it to be divorced from our site as much as possible. It’s from the Statesman, but we don’t want it to be the Statesman.
This is an experiment, but it’s fun, challenging and, hopefully, useful for readers.
What do you think?
Entry Filed under: New Tricks