We are off to a great start on our fundraising drive. After a week and a half we have raised nearly a third ($6,200) of the target of $20,000. Thank you everyone that has pledged. Remember, in crowdfunding we must meet the target of $20,000 in order to make any money.

We want to give you more of a taste of what our fundraising is going to. Over the next couple of weeks we will give you an early look at three exciting developments.

The first is a look at website redesign. Besides an overall refresh, we have been redesigning the website to be attractive to both regular and new readers, as well as working well on mobiles.

The biggest change is the introduction of featured posts. Not all blog posts are equal and at times important ones get lost as they slip down the page. So whilst posts will still be organised chronologically, we want to make sure those important or topical posts get the attention they deserve. In addition, it will be used to feature campaigns – and we have one in development – and possibly to use this to re-introduce some of our “classic” posts that are still just as relevant today as they were when written – a useful to introduce newer readers to some of our core content as well as to provide some perspective on the city’s progress.

We are also considering adding new features such as an events page.

Below is a screen capture of the front page. What do you think? Are there any additional features that we should consider?

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  1. I agree with the above comment above regarding the name. Transportblog is a well-known, identifiable name. Greater Auckland lacks uniqueness and makes you guys sound like another cash guzzling Council Department.

    The new design looks good, though I hope Sunday reading is not given main event status on the front page.

    Am looking forward to seeing “The Real Matthew” on the right hand side of the new website.

  2. It looks very good.

    I reckon take a look at Urban.Melbourne for some inspiration. They arrange their front page into sections, which can be very useful for those looking for one kind of information. Eg. Transport, Planning, Development, etc.

  3. Have you considered a strapline below the Greater Auckland header, perhaps as a way to elaborate on what the site is about?
    One thought I had is the often used quote: “a good transport policy is a good land use policy”, although I don’t know where it originates from.

  4. Could add a train and a bus to the line passing through “Greater Auckland” to reflect that Transport is the primary purpose. As it stands it doesn’t look like it has anything at all to do with transport

  5. Blog Posts should be linked like a thread, so that people can follow what has been done since, or what had happened before.

    For example post : 1. New train timetable -> Dwell time improvements -> Fix the Dwell -> [older posts]…..

  6. I actually quite like the title ‘Greater Auckland’, nice double meaning there. But ya, a subtitle underneath that to emphasise the focus on public transportation would be good.

  7. I don’t really care either way. The name is irrelevant if the content remains relevant. Greater Auckland is the better brand in general.

  8. I would like a Like button for comments. Sometimes I want to let people know I agree or like comment without having to reply.

    Also, I only want notifications when someone replies to my comment not when anyone adds a comment to the blog post.

  9. I like the list of recent posts in the sidebar, so if there’s a way to keep a similar list of posts (just titles), that would be good. A sidebar on the ‘Posts’ page?

  10. The recent comments section seems too prominent and could be kept to just a couple of lines, or a ticker. This would allow space for other content such as a links section to good articles round the web (i.e. the ones often featured in Sunday reading).

    Brand New http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/ has just updated their blog and has a couple of good sections such as ‘linked’, ‘spotted’, ‘announced’ which seems to work well.

  11. my 2c worth: Perhaps have a stream for housing issues, as that seems to be a strong focus of the Greater Auckland blog. And then you could have a stream for transport related issues – you could call this Transport Blog!

  12. as a Christchurch resident, I’m kind of sad to see it limited to just auckland in the name. I don’t mind the auckland focus at all, but I did always enjoy the guest articles from other centres and places and with the name change it feels like those will have less of a home.

    I’d vote for Greater Transport 😉

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