The Web edition
The Web edition.
Paul, you mentioned when we were talking on the phone that you thought you had asked me to do the Internet edition. I think I headed your request off at the pass, but only because I think it will turn out to be more complex and more possibly expensive than you suppose. Hereís why.
If the thing is done properly, it will be good enough eventually to make a profit. This profit will come from selling advertising, since the CT would be the one stop shop for episcopalian priest wanted jobs anywhere in the world. To do this, it needs to be attractive and slick enough to attract casual readers as well.
This involves design, editing, and programming to transform the paper copy into a new medium.
- The design is mostly a once-for-all job. It would set up a series of templates to produce clear attractive pages, into which the print could be simply and automatically poured at the same time as it is goes to the paper printer. Each page would have a coherent set of buttons at the bottom for navigating around the site. However, the front / contents page should be distinctive and graphical. My idea would be to use St Gargoyles as the opening splash, with a couple of headlines underneath and a set of links to the various departments of the paper alongside. That would involve a little design
- Most pages would also require some editorial attention: the addition of hyperlinks specific to that story. The model for this would be the Electronic Telegraph, which has a very good-looking way of adding value to the stories it reprints with hyperlinked sidebars.
- The programming job would be once and for all: it would involve three tasks. First, setting up a searchable database of classified ads ó or, since the database must already exist, making searchable the one you already have. Second, setting up a search engine for the whole site, including back issues. Such things can be bought off the peg so to speak. But a web site that canít be searched is as much use as a paper with the pages glued together. Thirdly, someone should write something to automate as far as possible the process of collecting the copy that has been subbed for the print edition, and passing it over to the web desk, for the addition of hyperlinks, as in the second stage above.
I reckon that once the system is running properly, it would take one person one day a week to produce the web edition: laying it all out; adding the hyperlinks; possibly running an extended letter section. Iím not sure that you want to pay my day rate for stuff like that.
The preceding work, programming and design, would take a week, assuming competence all round. That is a very rough estimate, because I donít know anything about the technical side of the present production system. I donít know where your web space is, nor what you are allowed to do with it.
This stuff written and copyright Andrew Brown. If the page looks bad, that's my fault, unless you're using Netscape 4.x. Then it's yours. Upgrade, and do yourself a favour.