It’s Official: inthehills.ca Launches!

After months of tinkering, inthehills.ca emerges from “beta” testing and is now “live.” Thanks are due to many! By Tony Maxwell

March 21, 2010 | | Blogs

It’s Official: inthehills.ca Launches

By Tony Maxwell

After months of tinkering, inthehills.ca emerges from “beta” testing and is now “live.”

The Genesis
In the beginning there was the word…well, a few words…okay, several long discussions where we plotted and planned what a new In The Hills web site might look like.

We started with the luxury of having the In The Hills “brand” to work with: a solid publication with a reputation for quality, an informed and engaged readership and a solid core of loyal advertisers.

The magazine served a community and our challenge was to create an online space for that community to come together and preserve the characteristics that make In The Hills distinctive: the writing, the visual beauty, the spirit of civic involvement.

The Testing
So it was with some trepidation that we quietly launched a re-designed web site in September 2009.  This at the same time as the print team was going through that quarterly insanity which is “going to print” with the Autumn issue.

Our start was modest: a new look, a new technical platform, some ads and of course a selection of our most recent feature articles.  We introduced the ability for readers to comment, though – no one wants flame wars – we retain the right to edit or NOT publish if necessary.

There were technical glitches, embarrassing typos and unexpected mini-traumas. And the comments flooded in: most positive but a few, too, of the “are you sure you want to do that” variety.

We tweaked, adapted and re-designed over the winter. In January we took a deep breath and issued our first rate card to advertisers and, lo and behold, they responded warmly!  A spring in our step.

The Launch
Now, here we are in March, ready to remove the “beta” from our site.  In so doing, we’d like to extend big thanks to a few people, including

The Print Team
Signe Ball, our glorious leader, Kirsten Ball, who keeps the machinery oiled, our super-energetic sales team: Roberta Fracassi, Julie Lockyer and and Jennifer Payne.
Our amazing stable of writers, designers, photographers, artists, illustrators and various other contributors.

Focus on Media
The dynamic duo of Derrick Ypenburg for design and technical support and Bethany Lee, who is not only a sharp strategic thinker and web publishing entrepreneur, but is also a great writer (thanks for being our original blogger). Make sure to check out Bethany’s latest project: our sister site: www.kidsinthehills.ca.

Advertisers
Thanks to our loyal advertisers, some of whom eagerly jumped on board ‘site unseen,’ and the growing corps who are featured on our site.  We appreciate your support.

Readers
And finally, thanks to you, our readers, for your feedback and comments.  Our goal is to provide an home online for you, the community that In The Hills has been serving for some 17 years now.

The Future
We have exciting plans, including new bloggers, a newsletter, more interactive features.

We boast a growing fanbase on Facebook and a following on Twitter.

We are looking for new ways to exploit what the web offers to provide more in-depth coverage of the In The Hills community.

Please feel free to tell us what you’d like to see on the site.

Yours sincerely,
Tony Maxwell
Publisher, inthehills.ca

About the Author More by Bethany Lee

Bethany Lee is a freelance writer who lives in Mono.

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