The Boar Online Strategy, Scope & Structure http://theboar.ca
Mohammad Jangda | http://digitalize.ca | firstname.lastname@example.org
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Strategy The purpose of this project is to create an online presence for The Boar magazine, the unofficial student magazine for the Faculty of Arts at the University of Waterloo. As a magazine, The Boar aims to provide “a forum for discussion, a medium for expression, and a learning environment for all Arts students.” A variety of content is published in the magazine, including but not limited to prose, poetry, editorials, photography, and investigative journalism. While the magazine medium is adaptable enough to satisfy all the goals of The Boar, an online presence is a necessary evil for any organization, let alone a publication, today. Having a website however, presents The Boar with added opportunities to further satisfy its needs. The following reasons summarize the core reasons how an online presence can do so:
Providing alternative access to content Given the nature of the reader population, with a large subset being comprised of co‐op students, an alternative means of accessing The Boar’s content must be available. Online delivery easily satisfies this.
Providing an additional publishing platform Print publishing is a very limited platform. The restrictions are obvious and limit the contributions of those more adept to digital media. An online presence enables delivery of rich media such as video and audio, as well content that met the chopping block due to space restrictions.
Providing a vehicle for discussion Print magazines do not inherently allow for discussion. While it is certainly possible, lengthy publishing cycles hinder any rich immediate discussion. A website with the proper tools such as a commenting platform, can give the readership an opportunity to communicate with the editorial board,
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contributors, and each other, transforming the magazine from a solitary experience into a more collaborative one.
Competition The Boar is one of many publications on campus. While The Boar seeks to serve a niche group (students from the Faculty of Arts), other publications are still vying for this group’s readership. Having an online presence with the three points above can help The Boar compete effectively for readership.
Archiving Going digital is a cheap and easy way to archive. Rather than maintaining physical archives which can be costly (especially over time, given the cost and competition for high space on the University campus), digitized versions of the magazine’s issues can provide equally as effective and, in fact, a more efficient means of content availability for the future.
The goal is to create an online portal that provides ready access to the entire magazine’s content, current and past, in a format that is familiar and efficient. As such, a traditional web portal will be employed. However, this limits the presentation of the magazine’s content. To preserve the entirety of the magazine and provide readers with a rich experience that closely mirrors physical interaction with the magazine, by creating a digital edition of the magazine. The idea is to transcend beyond the standard HTML page and incorporate up‐and‐coming technologies such as iPaper (www.scribd.com) and Issuu (www.issuu.com), and find some middle ground that transforms the online magazine reader’s experience.
Mohammad Jangda | http://digitalize.ca University of Waterloo (DAC 400) Page 3
Scope Content 1. Website a. Main content will be derived from the magazine. This content will be updated to follow in line with the magazine publishing cycle. Online content will match magazine content, and may be supplemented with follow‐up information and updates, especially in the case of investigative pieces. b. “Fresh” online‐exclusive content that is not anchored to a specific issue will be provided on a regular basis. This content will be delivered through blogs and other digital media such as sound and video content. c. The main page will provide a snapshot of content, with main emphasis on materials from the current issue, with ready access to archived and static content. 2. Digital edition a. A digital replica of the print magazine. b. Supplementary digital media (such as video footage, interview recordings, poetry readings) will be incorporated into the edition, where applicable, appropriate, and feasible.
Functionality 1. Users can choose their preferred mode to view magazine content: website (default) or digital edition. 2. On the website: a. Users have the ability to view articles by “section” or “content type” for content from the current issue. . b. Users can browse through an archive of all issues published, and listings of all content published within. c. Users can browse through a listing of content published by each contributor. d. Users have the ability to search through all content. e. Users can view comments made by other readers. f. Users have the ability to comment on, rate, and share content (via email and social bookmarking sites). 3. On the digital edition: a. Users have the ability to browse a digital replica of the print magazine. Users can flip through pages of the magazine as if physically browsing through the magazine. b. Users can view a listing of all content within the magazine and jump to any content through the listing. c. Users can interact with inserted media, where available. d. Users can search through the digital edition by keyword. e. Users can view comments made by other readers. f. Users have the ability to comment on, rate, and share content (via email and social bookmarking sites). 4. Users can subscribe to multiple full‐content RSS feeds that will provide notifications as content is updated on The Boar website: Mohammad Jangda | http://digitalize.ca University of Waterloo (DAC 400) Page 4
a. b. c. d.
All content Issue content Online‐exclusive content Digital Edition
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Structure Content on The Boar's website will be organized with the following architecture:
Interaction 1. The website will utilize common design patterns expected of websites for news and publication websites to allow for a minimal learning curve. 2. The digital edition will utilize common interface elements found in existing digital edition technologies. 3. The website will utilize design cues wherever possible to assist navigation.
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