I’m just home from a fairly manic day at work – but manic in a good way. The reason for the ‘mania’ was the re-launch of the new Radar (formerly known as Under the Radar) website at radar.scotsman.com. Technically it was just a case of switching the testing site to the live server, but there are always things that slip your mind – old links that need changed, social media rebranding, responding to the steady flow of feedback emails and tweets.
First off, I want to pay my dues to the great web development guys at The Scotsman Publications. In hardly any time at all they’ve managed to put together a robust, dynamic and eye-catching mini-site. They really know their stuff, and on projects like this they get to show off a bit.
Secondly, I’d like to pay tribute to the team of writers who’ve shown great enthusiasm and talent over the past 12 months. It’s amazing to think back to this time last year when it was just my own meagre postings and it all felt a bit like a stab in the dark. The new Contributors page is a nice way of boosting the individual profiles of the Radar team.
There are still things I want to add – RSS, a jukebox-style audio player, a multimedia channel – but I’m really happy with how “phase one” has turned out. It’s a huge step forward from what we had before, which was essentially Google Blogger hosted in an iframe. The new site is built with its own CMS and now has unique pages for each artist, each podcast and each blog post. Not exactly mindblowing stuff but we’ve been craving this kind of basic functionality for months.
I’m also excited about where we can take the site. Billy and I are keen to revamp the content we’re currently publishing: we’ll add new strands where they’re needed and take an axe to anything we don’t think is working. This is a transitional period and we’re keeping a very open mind, with an eye towards ways of expanding the site and its profile, both in Scotland and further afield.
If you’re even remotely interested in new music we hope Radar will become one of your regular online haunts.
Right, time to go. I still have another 40-odd artist profiles to upload…