Tuesday, July 31, 2007

BrickJournal.com is LIVE!

After some frantic work this weekend, the webpage to the magazine is finally online!

Why did it take so long? After all, it's been two years...

Well, it took one year to get BrickJournal to a stride that I like, but I wanted to be able to do some other things too that only a website could do. Like be able to post information within hours of getting it for scoops - wouldn't it be cool to have a Toy Fair report the same day as it happening? Or an event report just as soon?

The magazine simply cannot be that responsive. And magazines as a media form aren't meant to be that way - they are usually one of the last words on a news item, as they have the longest time to get facts and information. They also tend to be the most features-oriented - so there are many stories that are not news but about people and  and newsmakers. BrickJournal follows that model, and I'm pretty proud of it.

With the website, BrickJournal is expanding to become an archive for the community, both in issues, and in information. The event calendar on the site is the most complete calendar around, with events worldwide being listed. Also, the magazine now has a true presence beyond the PDFs.

The site is also easy to manage (just a lot of pages) - so it will be easy for others on staff to add content as needed. Because I am using a webservice, if something goes down - I can call and get it fixed!

The webservice is Near-time, and I have been working with them for about two years - they were a startup that came into being about the time that I was starting to work on BrickFest 2006, and I used them to coordinate much of the event. They started on collaborative sites (essentially Yahoogroups, but much more organized) and have grown. I have grown to like them because much of their stuff is easy to work with. They like me because I was one of the first to work with their site, and I have become a beta tester of sorts. So both the Journal and Near-Time are growing and learning.

The plan for the site is to be able to post news as soon as possible and provide content that the magazine can't use - video is the first example to come to mind. BrickJournal.com is going to be a type of newsservice for the community, and I am excited with the possibilities!

Andyes, the magazine is still in the works - I need to get in touch with the publisher to establish timelines and deadlines. And there's another trip I gotta go on....

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