The Feather Online has grown as a product of the former staff members that supported it and built it from the ground up. Because of this history, the current staff seeks to preserve the legacy of their predecessors by bringing the content of the old Feather into the new Feather.
However, due to its age and lack of an upgrade for the past seven years, the new Feather will suffer some design and technical issues in its early stages. This publication started in Oct. 1, 2001, and has undergone significant website overhauls in 2004 and 2008. Though a few digital Band-Aids were applied to the deteriorating online paper, nothing more could be done by the spring of 2015; The Feather fell.
Currently major problems still exist, including: broken links, photos, videos, and podcasts. Speed and website optimization are also concerns. Many of the links will not be accessible until staff members relink them to the new Feather. The current staff is charged with relinking these multimedia platforms from previous years as well updating the new website.
“The new Feather has been recreated to be visually appealing, interactive for the reader and forward thinking in functionality, presentation and layout. The goal was to do something different from other websites. Most journalistic websites format are the same; the Feather has taken a lot risks in terms of design.” — Kori Friesen, Feather Designer
While Stobbe has overseen website rewrites a number of times, each one has its separate challenges and headaches.
“Each time The Feather faces a challenge that may alter it, I share my vision with those that can help change it into a cutting edge product,” Stobbe said. “This time Mrs. Friesen has stepped up her role and lead the design aspect of this new website and has received a lot help from Mr. Hyatt (Robert) of alumnus Justin Pierce. This new project far outpaces what we have tried to do in the past and has been six months in the making. I am excited to provide a new sandbox for Feather students to grow and play in.”
Stepping into her role as an adviser, Friesen uses her expertise in photography, design and layout to move The Feather Online into the future.
Editor-in-Chief, Chloe Mueller, remains aware of the task ahead but expects The Feather to broaden its multimedia presentation.
“This is a big update for The Feather,” Mueller said. “Once the website starts running smoothly, we’ll be more accessible than ever and be able to reach audiences we haven’t been able to reach before. Maneuvering around a new website can be difficult, but the journalism team is taking it in strides.”
“I was a part of the 2012-2013 staff that won The Best of Show, Gold Crown (CSPA), and Pacemaker,” Carter said. “After that it was like The Feather had reached its maximum capacity. We were no longer relevant as a multimedia paper. But now with this new website we can go back to the old times. Even though we may have encountered a couple of technical issues with this new website, I am sure that we can overcome them and grow as a result.”
With the beginning of the new Feather, new staff members have joined the team excited to begin their work as journalists. Alexander Rurik, ‘19, believes the website will start slow but will take off once the ball begins to roll.
“The Feather staff members are very fast paced and very intense from what I’ve seen so far. There is a lot energy in the lab,” Rurik said. “I think the website is starting slow but it will pick up very quickly. The Feather looks like it’s going to be a successful publication this year and I’m very excited to have joined it.”
Feather editors and staff will continue to add new features and website design as the year continues. The editors would also appreciate viewers to leave comments on Thoughts on the new Feather, including elements readers would like to see in future updates and what parts of the website they already appreciate.
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