The new improved VJ Union web site
I’ve been promising a new version of the web site for quite some time. I decided to spend a couple of days making the finishing touches. Please contact us through the contact page if you find anything that seems wrong or broken.
Same look and feel but a much cleaner three column design with a smaller header. The main column is much wider and allows for larger images and video players.
Better search functionality
The search results are now handled by a plugin that presents better search results ordered by relevance.
Enhanced member pages
The member pages already got a little makeover a while ago. That update included editable profile pages, permalinks for members that covers both artist name and real name for search engine optimization (SEO). This makeover was brought in to the new design and I added links to VJ Union blog posts written by the member.
In the old design I made an ugly hack to display banners. Now they are incorporated in the design and handled by a plugin.
Social media links
Just easy links to our RSS, Vimeo page and Facebook group
A video and a profile link from a random member is displayed at the top of the second column. Only members with a video in their profile are selected. Due to some technical difficulties, if a member with no video is selected no profile is shown at all.
This is also an incent for members to use video in their profiles. After all, video is the main topic here and I think it’s a bit embarrassing that some people don’t even have a video displaying their work. So now members get one more disadvantage if they don’t.
Tweets from members
We’re now displaying tweets from members who uses the #VJU hash tag. These tweets are displayed in the second column. If you’re a member and would like to share VJ news with us, let me know and I’ll add you.
All links that has video inside gets a special icon on the blog’s index page. It’s too slow to load all the videos on the index page and for SEO purposes we want people to go to each post so that we can learn what the visitors like to read.
Promotion, reward and partner banners
Members who blog and tweet for the Swedish VJ Union gets reward banners. We will also have free banners for clubs and festivals that hires Swedish VJ Union members. We also have banners linking to our partner organizations, AV/in Audiovisual Academy and Audiovisual City (best a/v festival listing on the net).
It makes it easier to follow comments on blog posts and pages when they are threaded in a tree style manner.
We have realized how important Facebook has become for us. The forum has been dead for quite a while but there has been many discussions between members in our Facebook group. I recently enhanced the FB connection a bit by installing a plugin. Whenever someone posts on our blog, it will show up in the Facebook group and it will use the blog post’s featured image if it’s selected. Comments are also shared between FB and the blog. I’m still experimenting with some of the settings, I hope to get it right soon.
The forum is pretty much in limbo right now. Nobody seems to be using it so I didn’t really bother to update the template for it. Due to spam, the forum is only visible for logged in members. Most discussions happens in our Facebook group. You really just have to adjust to how the members uses the Internet.
The archives will be back soon. I needed to publish the new site theme to figure some stuff out.
I will probably try to polish some functions when I have time but now I really just want to spend some time on making new content. I have tons of article ideas just waiting to be written and I plan to start interviewing our members. A slow, probably never ending, process.