September 02, 2011

The Online Monkey Business

ELMO on how the online MB is going and changes we've made


Many thanks to you readers for the approving comments we've received since the first online MB went live.

The online MB was being planned long before the last printed edition went to the printers. In fact a decision had been made to fold it completely until John (Poolie in Nottingham) Cooper came up with the idea of continuing to publish it, but online only.

The intention had been to allow all the regular posters to post their own articles whenever they felt like it, so there would be something new every few days, and no editor.

However, we ended up with something much more like an online version of the printed magazine, with an editorial team rather than an editor, and regular publication dates rather than continuous updating." One new feature ...allows readers to comment on articles, thus providing more to read, and an opportunity for those who might lack the confidence to write a whole article to metaphorically dip their toe in the water"

From the beginning, we had decided to incorporate the match reports we had been circulating among ourselves for years, but this was another aspect which fell by the wayside in the change to monthly publication. It was only after the first online edition of MB went live, and the first match report arrived, that we came up with the idea of the MB Football Special, a second website linked to and accessed from the MB site. There you can find reports from matches that some of the MB team have attended.

At the moment, we don't get to all the matches (most of the MB team live miles from Hartlepool), so we haven't covered every match. We'd be interested in hearing from regular attendees of away matches who'd be able to write match reports. They don't have to be too full of on-the-pitch stuff - the Mail and Echo do that, but stuff about pubs and stewards can be just as interesting. Eventually other types of articles will appear in the Football Special.

One new feature included in the Football Special that we've now added to Monkey Business is the comments feature, which allows readers to comment on articles, thus providing more to read, and an opportunity for those who might lack the confidence to write a whole article to metaphorically dip their toe in the water. To access the feature, click on the headline of the appropriate article. That takes you to a copy of the article, with a comments box at the bottom. Initially we're restricting it to users with a Google account (easy to set up and free, if you don't have one). Also, to prevent any abuse, comments will be vetted by the MB team before they appear online.

Eventually we hope to bring in other features that are available, when we can find a fourteen-year-old who can explain them to us!