I got some exciting news the other day: my pet project web site, the Perth International Arts Festival, has been nominated in the events category of the 11th Annual Webby Awards (the so-called “Oscars of the Internet”).
The official winners are announced at the beginning of May – but here’s the interesting part: there’s also a People’s Voice Award for each category, voted by visitors to the site. So if you’d like to see a Fusebox 4.1/ColdFusion 7 site in the winner’s circle, sign up to vote now – you have until April 27, but don’t wait that long! You’ll find the Festival site under Websites > Living > Events.
I’ve worked on the Festival web site for the last five festivals, first while working at my former employer PerthWeb and this year with a co-sponsorship deal under my own business name, Clever Starfish.
The festival has very particular requirements, so I wrote a custom content management system for them for the 2003 Festival, using ColdFusion 5 and Fusebox 3. The backend of the system has been tweaked a little each year as the events structure has changed, but the overall system is still solid and rising admirably to the job – so Fusebox 3 it still remains. The server was upgraded in the meantime to ColdFusion MX, and then ColdFusion 7. The front end of the site was originally Fusebox 3 as well, but for the 2007 Festival, it was rebuilt with Fusebox 4.1 – and the speed increase was definitely noticeable. The more complex layout possibilities were also a huge bonus.
For 2007, the Festival really decided to make the web site a central part of their marketing strategy, and so got the branding agency working on the brochure and poster, Block Branding, involved with the design. The end result looks stunning and distinctive – especially with to the custom-designed font for the navigation and headings. Even after working on it for so long I didn’t get tired of looking at it, as usually happens with sites I’m working on. And forget the stereotypes about print designers not “getting” the web and being difficult: Isabel, the designer at Block, was fantastic to work with.
We’re all pretty excited about the nomination, and the whole team are are going to be interviewed by a local newspaper on Monday about the site. Here’s hoping for some more good news in May!