Today we’re launching a new version of Inlander.com, the Pacific Northwest Inlander’s home online since 2000. We think the new site is more robust, more dynamic and will better serve our users. We also find it a good deal handsomer than that stodgy old one.
We launched the previous site in November 2008 — only a year and a half ago. But soon after launch, we realized that the framework of that site didn’t really showcase the content we produce on a daily basis.
That’s about to change.
Here’s a roundup of some of our favorite new features:
1) The Slider | That little Flash-powered doohickey on the front page will showcase three of our stories each day. It looks pretty, and — here’s the key part — you’ll be able to see it in about a second. One of the biggest complaints about our old site was the long, loooong wait for the front page to load. No more!
2) The Blog | You read that right. The Inlander has finally embraced these so-called “web-logs,” or whatever the youth today are calling them. Taking a tip from The Stranger’s Slog in Seattle, we’ve created one, multi-topic uber-blog, where you’ll find Michael Bowen’s theater musings, Leah Sottile’s weekend music previews and reviews, breaking news, news wrap-ups, and (if you’re lucky) the occasional funny cat video.
And if you only want to read Daniel Walters’ television criticism, just click the little “TV” tag above the headline. Then it’s all TV, all the time.
3) The Archives | It used to be that we had a very limited amount of real estate for showcasing our stories. What you didn’t see on the front page or one of our section pages was forever hidden behind a hard-to-use search engine.
Now we extend the front page to prolong the lives of stories that have continued relevance, and we’ve restructured our section pages to give you even more. We’ll show you the last half-dozen CD reviews, and with a click of the mouse you’ll have access to every review we’ve written since Moby was cool.
Still can’t find what you’re looking for? Try the site’s search engine, which can now comb our archives going back about 10 years.
4) The Sticky Note | Perhaps the coolest new feature we have is that yellow sticky note in the top right corner of the front page. Throughout the site, that sticky note is your portal to our new and way, way improved events system.
That’s right: The best music and entertainment listings in the Inland Northwest are now searchable, sortable, shareable and Twitter-able.
Want to catch a Space Opera 77 show this weekend? We’ll tell you when and where (and we’ll explain exactly what the hell “Space Opera 77” is). But let’s say you want to catch a drink first. We’ll show you what’s nearby. And if, after the show, you’re overcome with an urge to play shuffleboard at a north-side bar, our Places system can show you where (and how to get there).
Of course, we’re continuing to tweak things. Certain areas of the site are still under minor construction. Which is where we need your input. What could we do better? What would help you more easily find what you’re looking for? Drop us a line via the feedback form on the site.
Even after our official launch this week, we’ll be experimenting — with more multimedia and with mobile technology, especially. The Inlander is now 16 years old, and like any 16-year-old, we’re eager to push our boundaries. We hope you’ll come steam up the windows of Grandpa’s car with us.