Editor’s blog – Welcome to the new website
By Laura King
Nov. 6, 2014, Toronto – We know you don’t like change. (Neither do we – don’t tell our bosses!) But technology and a demand for more original content from our writers and columnists that you can more easily access on your smartphones and tablets led us to redesign our website. It’s change for the better!
We know many of you like to see the day’s fire-service news first thing; you can still do that by clicking on News/Headlines and bookmarking that as your home page.
In addition, we’re bringing you more industry news about fire-service manufacturers and dealers, department news from coast to coast to coast – which means we want to hear from you about your community events and incidents – and we’re more prominently featuring and promoting our bloggers and magazine stories and columns.
Key to the redesign are the new categories at the top of the page – News, Blogs, Hot Topics, Leadership, Prevention, Training, Jobs, and Volunteers – and the more detailed drop-down menus for easier navigation. For example, all of Randy Schmitz’s Extrication Columns are under Training/Extrication; and all our Volunteer Vision columns by Tom DeSorcy and Vince MacKenzie are under . . . Volunteers.
With so much diverse information at our fingertips, we created the Hot Topics category as a catch all; click on Hot Topics and you’ll see a drop-down menu of 14 items ranging from Codes and Standards (where you’ll find all the NFPA Impact columns) to Labour Relations – something we know from an informal survey that chief officers want to learn more about.
You’ll find most of our magazine cover stories – about significant incidents and the responses to them – under Hot Topics/Incident Reports. Makes sense, right?
Blogs are under . . . Blogs, and now they’re listed alphabetically by name – Dispatches by Jennifer Mabee; my Editor’s blog; From the Floor by Jay Shaw; Size-up by Rob Evans; Under Control by Les Karpluk; and, if you’re feeling nostalgic, you can read entries by former bloggers Tim Beebe and Peter Sells.
The site will be updated every day with new features in the “carousel” at the top of the page – the large, rectangular photos through which you can scroll by clicking on the numbers in the top left corner. The carousel is our showcase – a place to show off our best work. The carousel will feature columns, cover stories and how-to pieces that used to be in the Current Issue section of our website, as well as breaking news. And we’ll continue to tweet about these types of stories to direct you to them – follow us on Twitter at @fireincanada and @maria_firecan
All the tools you need to help you stay on top of fire-service goings on are on our new web page – there are subscription centres for our magazines and e-newsletters, an events list, and links to our the digital versions of our magazines, our Firehall Bookstore, Firehall Mall and our Becoming a Firefighter websites. And, under About Us, you’ll find links to our firefighter training days and career expos.
We’d love to hear what you think; we know you’ll like the fact that on the News/Headlines page we’ve eliminated that pesky double click to get to the actual news story – you’re welcome! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts – or frustrations; we have thick skins!
Meantime, poke around, and keep reading!