Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Boyle McCauley News Has a Website!

I spend a lot of time in the inner city. One of the major reasons is because I edit Boyle McCauley News, the community newspaper serving the neighbourhoods of Boyle Street and McCauley. The paper is an important source of news and information about the area, presenting many of the positive aspects of life there.

For the past five or so years, BMC News (as it is known for short) has had a presence on the website for the McCauley Community League. About a year's worth of papers were archived in PDF form, so visitors could download the paper to read.

2009 marked the 30th anniversary of the paper, and myself and my staff thought a good way to commemorate this milestone was to properly archive all of the past issues of the paper in microfiche. When we researched that option, we also saw that we could have all of the papers scanned and converted into PDFs that were searchable and could be incorporated into a project such as a website.

We reached the conclusion that a website that was stand-alone and featured an electronic version of current issues as well as a searchable archive was not only desireable, but necessary as a valuable resource not only for the community itself, but for anyone interested in the history of Edmonton's inner city.

After receiving a projects-based grant from Alberta Culture and Community Spirit's Community Initiatives Program, we embarked upon the task of putting the website together. Today, March 1, 2011, the site officially launched at www.bmcnews.org. The site does an incredible job of presenting the newspaper in a format that stays true to the print edition, but has its own unique aspects like the archive. It was developed as a group effort of myself, designer Vikki Wiercinski, programmer Derek Hogue, and the BMC News Board of Directors.

Bringing Edmonton's oldest community newspaper online is something which I have been involved with for a while. I developed and maintain BMC News' presence on Twitter and Facebook. This new website brings the paper completely into the modern age. I am looking forward to the community's feedback as we expand the profile of Edmonton's inner city.

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