BASC WEBSITE EDITOR MALCOLM EGNER ON AN IMPORTANT TOOL FOR THE CLUB
"Are you still looking for someone to take on the supporters’ club website?” It was one of those occasions when the words were out of my mouth before I knew what I was saying! I did have some experience of developing content and the user interface for websites related to my work, but what was I letting myself in for?
I love athletics – it is my favourite sport, particularly since my first live spectator experience at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh. Nothing can beat the thrill of watching, say, Jessica Ennis (as she then was) winning her first world title in Berlin in 2009, not to mention Usain Bolt smashing the 100m world record. So it’s only natural to have joined the British Athletics Supporters Club.
Yet my involvement had been minimal, receiving their Backtrack magazine and taking advantage of the premium tickets available through the club, particularly for London 2012.
On the other hand, though, the BASC website was in real need of an overhaul.
That was the first decision made. I would redesign the site and make it more user-friendly. For one thing, it needed to be mobile-friendly – most people now access the web on their phone or via a tablet. We also needed to stay on top of the content so that it didn’t get out of date.
And then there was the question of content provided by members. On the old site we had a selection of members’ photos, but the quality varied dramatically and the variation in size did peculiar things to webpages. It was time for a tidy-up, and for a more ruthless editorial approach.
The new website – basclub.org.uk – was launched in time for British Athletics’ summer series last year. It enables people to join the club online. It highlights the club’s contribution to the sport through our annual awards and our bursary scheme. It keeps members up to date with club news, and even has a secure area for members only.
Most importantly, it is a website for supporters by supporters – and this can be seen in three key aspects of the site’s “Supporters Zone”
First, there is the supporters blog, with articles provided by members. Usually these are reports of their experiences at athletics meets and championships, posted within a day or two of the event, but we have also featured the IAAF’s “Fantasy Diamond Race”, for example.
Secondly, there are photo albums – attractively arranged in slide shows – from various events.
Lastly, we have a spectators’ guide aimed particularly at those new to the sport.
Why not check these out for yourself at basclub.org.uk?
If you feel you would like to help with content or if you have experience of Joomla! and want to help with the site itself, get in touch through webmaster @ basclub.org.uk. And don’t forget the BASC Twitter and Facebook page (www.twitter.com/BASCSupporters and www.facebook.com/britathleticsclub), which link with the site.