We just gave the Research Triangle Park an online makeover and things are looking a bit fresher! The goal of the new RTP.org is to highlight what makes North Carolina unique – the people and places. Our new site is made to showcase stories from people across the state, and it won’t be a success without the help of all our great citizens. Keep reading to find out how easy it really is to share the all the things that make our state great.
1 – Tag us on the social networks you already use
Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Google+ sync up with dynamic social grid that make up the homepage of RTP.org. If you tag us in a post across any of these networks, we will see it. If your content is relevant to our users, we will approve it for the world to see. We want to see items that showcase all that North Carolina has to offer. From crazy cool fossil discoveries at NC State, to beautiful mountain views on weekend hikes, the goal of RTP.org is to show the world all that we have to offer. What better way to do that than through the voice of the people that actually live here?
2 – Incorporate hashtags
Are you an employer trying to find the perfect employee? This part’s for you. In addition to posting on your company job board, try the hashtag #RTPjobs the next time you put the call out on Twitter. Your job will now show up on the homepage of RTP.org, and will also be searchable through the homepage. On our old website, jobs were one of the top three things people came looking for. We took this into consideration when setting up the new site. Now, people can click on the Discover tab in the upper right hand corner and sort the homepage by #RTPjobs. This will sort the entire page by that hashtag, and allows users to see all jobs that have been recently posted.
Everybody can get in on the hashtag action, though:
Coming to RTP 180? #RTP180
RTP Food Truck Rodeo, general Triangle fun, morning commute? #RTPLife
Anything specifically RTP related? #theRTP
Area startup? #RTPstartups
The same principle applies with hashtags as with posts. When you use one, if we think it fits into the goals of the site, we’ll approve it and post it for the world to see. It will appear on the homepage, and will be sortable on the Discover tab.
3 – Use Photos
Photos are everywhere on the website. It was actually one of the major challenges for our team when outfitting it. We had great fun working with Roguemark on a multi-day photo shoot (more details about that in a future post), but the photography work will continue as long as the site is around. However you choose to connect with us, use a photo.
When working with Atlantic BT to design the tiles of the social, we actually came up with six different types to accommodate photos. Since Twitter and Google+ allow users to post with or without images, we wanted the tiles to look good either way. That being said, our team is more likely to approve posts that have images attached to them. They make the homepage visually pleasing, and help break up the monotony a bunch of colored squares (trust us on that one).
4 – Don’t be Spammy
If you’re being annoying about your Ruby On Rails Meetup Group, be warned: we have a ban stick and we’re not afraid to use it. Like any website, it’s meant to be a community forum. Our staff here understands that our personal likes and interests are not always going to line up with everyone else that visits our site. We are going to do our best to be inclusive of all kinds of events, universities, places and seitan as we can.
Think of RTP.org like you would a first date – no politics, religion or sex.
5 – Strive to Be A Trusted User
We will reward people that consistently bringing fresh and interesting content to our attention. Just as we have a ban stick, we have the ability to gold star other users. If you become a trusted user, you can tag us in a post, and your content will pop right up to the homepage – no approval process needed. Right now our list of these people is a small, carefully curated group of people. This is something we are looking to change. Should we hold try outs? Have a test? Who knows! Anything is possible!
6 – Let us know what we can do better
This website is a new foray into technology for our organization and for Atlantic BT. It’s been an amazing learning process for all involved, and we can’t wait to see where the future takes us. As with any project of this nature, there will be modifications and tweaks moving forward. Feel free to use some of the tips above to let us know if you have any great ideas for how to improve our website. We already have a list going, and have no problem adding to it.