The Gustavian Weekly named a 2011 ACP Online Pacemaker Winner

The Gustavian Weekly was named a 2011 Associated Collegiate Press Online Pacemaker Winner at ACP’s National College Media convention in Orlando, Florida this weekend.

The Associated Collegiate Press is the oldest and largest college newspaper membership organization. It critiques and judges print and web publications, holds educational conventions, provides educational resources to its members, and more. The Pacemaker is the premier award they distribute, with categories for newspapers, newspaper websites (the category we received an award in), magazines, and yearbooks.  Only a few publications are selected for the prestigious award each year.

The Weekly’s website, along with those of other entrants, was judged last February and March.  Sites were put into categories based on the enrollment at the college they serve. Categories are: 5,000 or fewer (our category), 5,001-10,000, 10,001-20,000, and more than 20,000.  The sites were then judged based on design, ease of navigation, writing and editing, graphics and interactivity.  Many months later, it’s exciting to see The Weekly on the list, and to have a list of links to other college newspaper websites who are doing big things.

It was an honor to serve as The Weekly’s web editor last year and the year before. I am deeply appreciative of the hard work of all of The Weekly’s writers, editors, and other staffers, who helped make the publication what it is.

Weekly website is refreshed

This morning The Weekly launched an updated design. A few weeks ago we decided that it was time to update the color scheme and improve the site’s feel. This is probably the biggest design change we have made since September 2009.

Utilizing the code from our most recent design, I worked with our Editor-in-Chief to develop a new color palate. I also worked to better organize the stories on the front page and remove some of the boxes.

I hope you like the new design. Feel free to let us know what you think.

Best of Midwest website award

I attended the Associated Collegiate Press Best of Midwest journalism conference in Minneapolis this past weekend along with four other members of The Weekly staff.

It was interesting. There were a lot of sessions on new media, relevant to what I do.

At the conference, publications were given the opportunity to submit their work in a convention contest. I am excited to note that The Weekly received a fifth place award for its website. See the complete contest results.

Thank you to everyone who has submitted story ideas, commented on the site, written articles, or otherwise helped in the process. We appreciate your contributions.

I should also note that Gustavus was recently recognized by collegesurfing.com as being a top social media institution.

Firebug: a designer’s dream

I use Firebug frequently to examine the design of my web pages.
I use Firebug frequently to examine the design of my web pages.

I enjoy designing websites. As anyone who has tried designing a website knows, it is sometimes hard to figure out how to make something on your web page move where you want it to. I can often invision where I want an element long before I write the CSS code to put the element in the desired location. Once the code to move something somewhere has been written, usually the element moves as desired, but not always.

I have been using the Firebug addon for Mozilla Firefox for a few months now. It has helped me be more exacting and find errors in my layout code. To use the tool, you right-click on something, and the tool will show the styling that is being applied to that item. I can then see where mistakes lie in my code, or how I could better optimize things. It is also possible to view the area an item is taking up, perfect for those ‘Why is all this white space here’ moments.

When I am working on a web project with other people, sometimes someone will propose a design change. Firebug also allows the user to view what a design change would look like – just add the code in the bottom right box. This is so much easier than opening the actual file, editing it, and then re-uploading for quick demonstrations.

I would strongly recommend the Firebug addon to anyone who does any kind website development work.  If you do not do web stuff, sorry for the uber technical post.  CSS is a programming language used to put stuff in the right place on the page, make it the right size, font, color, etc.  This tool is an amazing way to check the CSS code you have written!