Outdoors page lift

April 18, 2012 A few LakeVoice pages are going through a revamping of sorts. Additions of new sections, branch offs and links are making a new public image for these pages that give life back into the section. During the next few weeks, the Bike Duluth and Music pages are going through a new type of face lift; we'll call it a "page lift."

"The current outdoors page is actually Bike Duluth," Claire Farmer-Lies, LakeVoice Web designer said. "What we didn't want to do is step on the toes of the people that came before us. We didn't want to scrap everything there because there was still good content. At the same time we wanted to put our own spin on it."

The outdoors page has faced some challenges. This includes the decisions we make about the content we use  from the old pages and what we incorporate into the new site. The group designated to work on the new outdoors page decided to break it into three pages.

"We have to organize a lot of information because what we want to do besides sharing stories we have already created and creating space for outdoors stories we are going to create in the future; we want to also provide information about trails and places to go and who to talk to about the outdoors," Farmer-Lies said.

The page that was once one page is expanding and growing with the accumulation of all this new information. It is no longer focused on one outdoors activity. Photos and information of places, stores and activities will be provided on the pages. This will give it depth and more of a purpose than the Bike Duluth page did.

"There is going to be a main outdoors page. Then we are splitting off to the Bike Duluth page and then finally a page just archiving the outdoors stories that have already been written," Farmer-Lies said.

Organizing all of these three pages takes effort, time and a lot of sorting the piles of information of past, present and future. The front outdoors page will have all the information about the outdoors in Duluth; stores, places to go and trails to take. The Bike Duluth page will take the current content and add biking stories that are already written to the page, and information about biking activists and biking bloggers in the area. Also, the archives will be separated into stories and activities based on seasons.

"We wanted to add new content but it's been hard because we are working hard on gathering all the other information and figuring out how to organize it," Farmer-Lies said.  "It's been a challenge because we want to add new stories but we don't have time. So, we are trying to figure out new pictures and angles to make it more newsworthy and relevant instead of just saying here are some articles we've written, re-read them."

Viewers can offer suggestions, read blogs and learn of new places to go. It's no longer just for bikers but instead for anyone who has an interest in outdoors.

"What's there now is just in need of a lot of work. We are definitely due for a relaunch."

This relaunch is a great step at broadening LakeVoice's reach in the community as well as offering another way to organize the site.

The team working on the new outdoors page is hard at work designing and creating the new page lift.

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