Perhaps you’ve noticed something a bit different about the website this week? Like how we’re missing a front cover page on the website, or the plethora of pretty pictures providing peeks at the prose within? Or maybe you noticed the little share buttons at the top which will easily let you spread the good bits of this week’s issue far and wide.
Maybe what caught your eye is the picture of yours truly on the side, and how if you click into that, you can see me wax eloquently about, well, me. But it’s not just me, that works the same for every other writer for the Voice that you might find, giving these people who devote so many hours of their time and creative thinking to helping you feel connected to the rest of your AU community some of the recognition they absolutely deserve.
Plus there’s the addition of the commenting system, right down at the bottom of the article, we’re using Disqus at the moment, because it has some reasonable built in spam and troll moderation capabilities. Of course, to get to the comments, you had to scroll by our related features, so that if a topic interests you, you can see what else AU students have said about it in the Voice in the years previous. This makes all of our archives easier to get to and with almost 25 years of history, that’s a lot of writing by a lot of AU students.
As you can guess, we’ve been working on this update for quite a while. Our previous site was one of the very first content-management systems designed for the web, and with many student newspapers now making the plunge to an online delivery format, it’s well past time that The Voice Magazine did some work to keep up with the times. What’s been done here has been informed by a joint committee of AU students, AUSU councillors, and Voice writers all doing what they could to design a Voice Magazine that will meet the needs of more modern, internet savvy students, and then interpreted by our web designers at Kobot Web Design, who I really want to give a shout out to for all their hard work, including transferring over some 12,000 articles so that they’re all accessible from this one website. They’re also the ones responsible for doing something you probably haven’t noticed yet, making this site able to shift seamlessly for whatever device you prefer to read on. The future, as they say, is built for you.
So welcome to the new and improved Voice Magazine website! We hope you enjoy the more modern look and more modern features, but one of the new features that you haven’t seen yet is our new schedule. Instead of all the stories coming out on Friday, we’re going to try putting out a story or two each week-day, whether one of our regular columns, a particularly interesting article, or even just a piece of timely news. Then on Friday, we’ll put out our feature story and all the other goodies we’ve saved up over the week. The idea is that we want to keep you coming back to The Voice Magazine every day as just one of the stops you make on your normal internet travels each day. I’ll be honest, we’re hoping that having you here more often will make it more likely that you, and other students, start forming a community of students, readers, and anybody else interested in good writing and Athabasca University, here at The Voice Magazine.
But don’t worry, we’ll still be doing a downloadable PDF version, because I know there are a number of students out there who prefer to just grab and go, but we’re currently debating whether the PDF should come out every week, or, with new articles being released every weekday, we should hold off and only put out a PDF every second week. As AU students we all know that information overload can be a very real thing. Now, however, you have your chance to add to this debate by commenting down below.
Once you’re done that, have a look around, kick the virtual tires, as it were, and if you find anything that seems wrong or broken, be sure to let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can take a look at it too.
Enjoy the read!