CultureMap Refreshed: Site v2.0 Sets New Standard for Daily Digital Magazine
HOUSTON, Nov. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — Nearly a year after its official launch in December 2009, Houston-based CultureMap, LLC’s flagship CultureMap.com website has been renovated from stem to stern to stylishly deliver expanded content while creating a more ergonomic and user-friendly experience for the daily digital magazine’s growing fan base. The expanding digital publication drew more than 10,000 readers per day in October and continues to eclipse viewership benchmarks each month.
The new homepage marks the first, and most significant, step in the site’s ambitious redesign. In addition to a complete aesthetic overhaul, two new permanent sections – Sports and Home/Design – have been added. “CultureLists” – the editorial team’s top picks in multiple categories – rotates content and is more prominently featured, as is the popular “Style File” photo feature. Other major components include an “Editor’s Picks” section, a “Most Popular” section, and “The Thread” – a curated collection of stories on a single event, person, product, theme or happening.
The new CultureMap design also places greater emphasis on columnists. “The CultureMap product is about people and is driven by personalities,” says CultureMap president Nic Phillips. “We’ve assembled a collection of unique voices unlike anything else in Houston. Photos of our columnists that link to redesigned author pages are now a prominent feature of the homepage.” Readers are also invited to participate by submitting story ideas and provide feedback by utilizing a “Contact Us” module located at the heart of the page, rather than buried at the bottom, as is typical.
Incorporating an innovative method to display related content used by both the New York Times and USA Today on their digital outlets, CultureMap will enhance this functionality soon by implementing a “topics” function designed to direct users to content featured within a variety of categories that are related to one another. Topics combine the specificity of traditional tags across the broadness of categories creating great content connectivity.
The new homepage also gives CultureMap’s editorial team – the largest lifestyle editorial team in the city – additional control over the presentation and location of content. “The design reflects the sophistication of our editorial approach and our strong sense of style,” Phillips says. “The front page is no longer a blog role organized by time, but rather a fully curated page that allows our editors to use their discretion to program story placement across more than 20 slots. The redesign is a culmination of over a year’s worth of research and development. When we first launched, our editorial team wasn’t yet in place. The new CultureMap is designed around them. It represents a real leap forward in the online magazine format, and begins our rollout of a series of new features and functionalities over the next several quarters – so stay tuned.”
CultureMap (www.culturemap.com) is a revolutionary daily digital magazine that delivers real-time coverage, breaking news, analysis and opinion on the arts, fashion, dining, music, events, politics, sports and society. It combines a highly regarded editorial team with a cutting-edge web and mobile publishing platform to offer unique intelligence and insight. CultureMap does not simply report on the communities it covers, it fosters real-time conversation. CultureMap’s newsroom of experienced editors, photographers and writers is complemented by a team of passionate contributors — all of whom bring insider expertise in each market CultureMap serves.