Welcome to the New AltWeeklies.com

AAN has launched a new dynamic website that merges the association’s trade site (aan.org) and story-sharing site (AltWeeklies.com) into one content-heavy arena for both AAN members and the general public.

The re-conceptualization of AAN’s website began last August when its editorial committee surveyed members about their use of AltWeeklies.com, which was originally intended for members to post and share content from their papers. “The survey made clear that many members were not using the site for a variety of reasons, and that in order to transform AltWeeklies.com into a more usable site, the process for posting and sharing content needed to be streamlined,” AAN Editorial Chair Julia Goldberg said.

At the same time, an analytics review of both AltWeeklies.com and aan.org made it clear that having two sites was dividing AAN’s web traffic in a way that was counter productive. After an extensive review during the Editorial Committee’s summer meeting, followed by a review from AAN’s newly-formed Electronic Publishing Committee, the decision was made to consolidate the sites.

For the past few months, Wil Gerken and his team at DesertNet have been coding and developing the site’s new architecture. The site was given a fresh design by former Austin Chronicle production manager Karen Barry and her design studio, Highwire Creative.

The new site has numerous features for members, including:

  • Increased photos, friendlier urls and streamlined navigation.
  • Automated API posting that members can easily incorporate into their own CMS for one-step posting of stories.
  • An AAN member Twitter directory so that readers can find every publication’s twitter feed in one convenient spot. In addition, each publication and person profile will feature a live twitter feed on the upper right-hand side.
  • “Best of the City” directory and “Best of” Google Map.
  • Online AAN CAN order placement.
  • Additional ad spots and over four times more advertising inventory.
  • Linking changes that will increase member publication’s Google page ranking from links from AltWeeklies.com to the publication.
  • Stand alone pages resulting in over 100,000 dynamic pages of content for Google to index.
  • Modular site architecture designed for expandability and refinements.

  • The launch of the new site coincides with AAN’s Annual Convention in Toronto, which will begin on Thursday, July 15. DesertNet will be on hand to answer member questions about API posting. While this site, like all new sites, is still getting some tweaks, members are encouraged to check it out thoroughly and offer feedback.

    This also is a good opportunity to update individual and publication pages with new photos, as well as sign up for weekly or daily newsletters. Any questions about creating a personal account on the site to access member-only content can be directed to AAN Editor Jason Zaragoza at jason[at]aan.org.

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