Back in 2009, Facebook overtook MySpace in web traffic for the first time. Google Chrome and Gmail were in their infancy. The crowdfunding site KickStarter debuted, BitCoin internet currency came to be, the news of Michael Jackson's death literally broke the internet, and @realDonaldTrump sent his first tweet. It was a big year for the World Wide Web.
2009 was also the year the Indy last redesigned our website — opting for, if I'm being nice, an "Earth-tone" background color scheme (read: brown) with content and link paths spread all over God-knows-where. Since then, we've witnessed the death (and brief resurgence) of MySpace and the ever-growing domination of Facebook and Google, four new iPhone models and exploding Samsung Galaxy Notes, the rise of hashtag activism, mobile browsing and selfies and memes galore. And that Twitter handle is now the official soapbox of the Oval Office... I'll stop.
Digital spaces are always changing, and the Indy's now playing some much-needed catch-up.
With that, I'm happy to introduce the new csindy.com.
You may be reading this online already, in which case I encourage you to spare a moment to take it all in (I'll wait), but I'm determined to entice some of you print readers to make a visit as well — if only to better our traffic numbers (kidding).
I feel it's necessary to limit the number of times I use the word "new" in the rest of this space — though it applies to just about everything. In the weeks prior to this launch, we've introduced digital-only columns, including Hiking Bob, with the veteran Indy contributor Bob Falcone, and Technicalities, a column written by our token techies Thomas Russell and Brian Koch. We've partnered with the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region (COPPeR) and restructured our local concert pages and entire listings database to highlight even more local events on a weekly and monthly basis. In lieu of what was once the IndyBlog are now section-specific blog streams: The Wire, Side Dish, Riffs, and Abstractions, for focused coverage of local news, food and drink, music, and arts and culture, respectively. We've revamped our section and special-issues landing pages, and tweaked our online publishing strategy to bring you more of our journalistic offerings every day of the week. And I'd be remiss not to mention our locally themed Spotify playlists and new social media practices — plenty of room here for a shameless plug, so be sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter while you're at it.
Mobile users can expect more changes as well — csindy.com mobile is the newest and most recently updated digital platform we have, but minor continuity and aesthetic tweaks are scheduled for the near future.
It's an interesting/exciting/scary time to be in digital media — and I'm not sure that any of us Millennials really know exactly what we're doing — but it's become a necessity for outlets such as ours to ensure a fruitful future.
What hasn't changed is our dedication to you, the reader.
The Indy has always had our own kind of form and function, valuing our editorial content, sponsors and advertisers no more than we do our readers, and that's something I believe is embodied in our renewed digital spaces (no clickbait, pop-up ads, silly survey questions or paywalls around here). The new csindy.com is meant to be just as much of a community resource as it was before, open for free local music and event listing submissions, news tips and Letters to the Editor, restaurant and local business locations, and advertising information all at the bottom of the page.
We've come a long way since the Yellow Pages and dial-up connections.
Expect more changes in upcoming weeks and months as we look for new ways to serve our online readers and expand our digital reach. It's hard to tell where we'll be in another decade, but for now, the Indy's back in the [digital] space race and all systems are go.
Thank you for reading.