Well, the Birmingham Budget Cuts is almost ready to go live and what a hectic few days it has been to get everything up and running.
As well as finalizing the concept, implementing our vision meant undergoing a very steep learning curve but ultimately this has been a very satisfying project.
Working with fellow student Hedy Korbee, we decided on a clear and simple name for the site, to maximize search engine placement and clearly define what the site content would be.
We then had to choose which blogging system to use. Initially we were going to use Wordpress but opted instead for Blogger as it offered more flexibility in coding and customization options for free with no financial outlay. Using Wordpress would have required us to register a domain name and pay for hosting the blog ourselves.
I managed to find and customize a newspaper style template for the blog and after deciding what categories our news items would come under, we began submitting sample stories to check that the system worked and looked clear and easy to navigate.
An ongoing feature of the site is an interactive Google Map showing where the cuts in Birmingham are located and also a live blogging and video feature, which we will be using this coming Tuesday and Wednesday to cover the London demonstration and George Osborne's speech respectively. For this we are using the Cover It Live and qik services.
To encourage interactivity and also make the general public aware of our website, we set up Twitter and Facebook accounts and will be using the hashtag #brumcuts on Wednesday to make it easy for people to find and comment on Tweets related to our news content.
We really hope that we get your support in this venture and would be grateful if you would become part of the community we are trying to build up to discuss, scrutinize and examine these cuts to ensure the truth and implications of the forthcoming cuts are clear to everyone.
So why not take a few minutes to look at the site, follow us on Twitter and join the Facebook site. We look forward to welcoming you on board what could be journey over rough seas for those affected by the cuts.