Make it new
The Cavalier Daily launches a redesigned website
You will see — free-floating columns, icons, a template of orange, white and blue print, and a linked edifice of pictures and Tweets, on this banner day for The Cavalier Daily. Welcome to our new website.
There is no demolition ceremony for the tearing down of a web page; we left our old place in the middle of night. Our former, bare site had been good to us, especially as a summer home, when we were not printing newspapers and it was our only resource during a crisis involving University President Teresa A. Sullivan. That situation had taught us the importance of a digital presence.
The speed with which Sullivan was asked to resign, before being reinstated, showcased at what pace the news could develop. Some skeptics may dismiss the hyperactive media as glutton. But social media and cyclic coverage are most often just instances of organizations trying to keep up with the news. And so we join others in applying this new technology for the old journalistic verities of order and relevance.
The digital redesign will be accompanied by a structural overhaul. YouTube and Twitter, having proved central to our publication’s success, are now prominent on the homepage. A more intuitive content management system will let writers post articles faster. There are photo galleries so you can see pictures on their own terms, and embedded videos to present angles outside the scope of our stories.
Nor is the website purely aesthetic; our hope is that it will enable readers to become more involved. A new log-in based account system, Disqus, allows users to make comments on our page and share them on Twitter and Facebook. Disqus also gives users the authority to moderate others’ comments by up- and down-voting.
Of course it is easy to toss around buzzwords, spend money on sites and make promises. For this website to have an impact will require an effort from readers and staffers, an effort of paying attention. The site gives us the flexibility to cover the news and be more responsive. But unless we are vigilant it will become barren.
For now, we are still getting comfortable. When the novelty fades we hope you come back and check-in with us. This is our new home and we hope also yours, so: welcome.