AFTERBURN REPORT 2010
The Burning Man website continues to be hugely popular, with an average of 400,000 page views per day. 2010 was a busy year for the valiant members of the Burning Man Web Team. Not only was some of the existing functionality entirely redesigned and re-implemented, but many infrastructural changes were also made that will lay a framework moving forward to make updating, maintaining and changing the Burning Man site easier and more efficient.
This movement towards ease of use will allow everyone who updates or adds images or other data to the site to more rapidly complete projects and will extend the number of people who can enter data and create pages.
The most striking example of this idea came in the release of the new Media Gallery , built by the Engineering team with design input and QA assistance from the Web Team. Not only is the process of submitting photos now easier than ever before, but also the ability for moderators to upload videos was added. The overall usability of the Gallery was re-imagined so that it is easier for people to browse and find what they are looking for and for our moderators to review the submissions. For more on the image gallery, read the Engineering AB report.
For yet another year the Burning Blog hosted some of our most talented writers and artists and continued Burning Man’s ongoing conversation with the community. The Blog averaged about 40 thousand views per month, with a peak of a quarter million hits in the month of August. Some of the featured series on the Blog in 2010 included Metropol in which our regular writers as well as guest bloggers explored the life of cities and Black Rock City, and our ever talented and prolific John Curley explored the building of Black Rock City all the way through the event itself.
Another major project involved completely revamping the Reno Preparation pages infrastructure by importing the existing Reno pages into an instance of WordPress. With input and edits from the Reno Burners, these pages are now using WordPress as a CMS which allows our Reno Burners to easily update their lists of travel, businesses and preparation related data. As a result, minimal HTML knowledge is necessary and now a group of content providers have an easier ability to add their information as it become available.
The Web Team also prettified more of the section landing pages and initiated a reworking of the Art Installations section of the site to update existing information, remove outdated information, and to build out new pages in support of the new PDF Art Grant application process. Other updated section landing pages include The Environment page, and some of the Preparation pages.
The Web Team continued supporting our non-profit and affiliate group websites and progress was also made on other domains including:
- Burners Without Borders was migrated to a new machine.
- Black Rock Solar's site was spruced up.
- The Black Rock Arts Foundation began the process of moving their blog from their old Blogger and Plone framework and migrating their website to WordPress for easier and more efficient updating.
Looking forward, the process of moving more content to WordPress is being used for the first time this year to build the 2010 AfterBurn pages and will be available for all the users who produce reports to use for the 2011 reports and the Jack Rabbit Speaks pages. There are other exciting developments regarding blog and image feeds in the works in addition to further section landing page updates and other site upgrades.
And as always the Web Team continued to work hard while having fun. We kept up our tradition of bi-weekly “Dinner Parties” aka meetings, where there is much geeking out as we make merry and brainstorm new features for the site. Our annual on playa Geek and Greet aka the Burning Man Tech Mafia Party, dj'd by our very own dj dwell was a resounding success. This year we had a 1920s theme and were hosted by Eggchair Steve’s Eggchtropolis Bar. Many guest bartenders attended, treats were distributed, and volunteers from all over the planet met in meat time to share stories and kudos.
2011 is going to be a great year for the Web team and if you would like take part in the rewarding work, camaraderie and good times, please consider joining the web team.