For nearly a decade, Emergency Management has sought to provide you with job-critical information on best practices and lessons learned about disaster preparedness, response and recovery. An all-hazards approach to covering emergency management as a beat means being a one-stop news source for you to learn about what others — not only emergency managers but also those working in public health, homeland security and public safety — are doing while reading up on trends, technologies and new initiatives.
In 2009, we launched the stand-alone Emergency Management website after being part of sister publication Government Technology’s news portal since 2006. While it provided an enhanced Web experience for our readers, we recognized that it was time for an upgrade to meet the evolving online best practices, especially for a community that is as engaged as ours. And today the newly redesigned www.emergencymgmt.com is live — and we think you’ll notice the changes, many of which were designed to further allow you to create meaningful online conversations and discuss the issues pertinent to your fields.
By implementing best practices identified by sister publications Government Technology and Governing, we’ve created a new dynamic digital canvas for storytelling, improved navigation and usability, encouraged discovery and fixed a few bugs along the way. Rather than tweaking the old site, we started over from scratch.
Here are three things we think you’ll like the most:
1. Continuing the Conversation: Sharing and Commenting
If there’s one thing we’ve learned about the emergency management community, it’s that you are extremely engaged and one of things enjoyed most by our editors is reading your comments on articles and the Facebook page. We wanted to bring a new, easier and more interactive commenting system to emergencymgmt.com. The new site integrates social media into a new commenting function through a service called Livefyre. You can comment on anything on our site using one of your social identities and, with a simple click, Livefyre will share your comment and a link to the article with your network of friends, followers, connections and circles. Click the "Follow" link in the comments to follow a conversation and be notified of new comments. (You can also enter a display name to comment anonymously, if you prefer.)
As evidenced by our nearly 50,000 Facebook likes and more than 9,300 Twitter followers, social media is an important way for you to find and share information. The portfolio of social networks to which we are paying attention is growing — we’ll meet you on the ones you use the most. In addition to following and liking, we’ve made it easier to share a story through a cluster of social media buttons. When the urge to share strikes, the icons to touch are there — to your left — where you want them.
2. Device Agnostic: Mobile Use and Responsive Design
Your time is split between working in the field and the office. Through responsive design, the site adjusts automatically to screen size from desktop to laptop to tablet to phone. We think it will help you get the information you need on the device you have in hand at the moment — a feature we think is especially important to Emergency Management’s readers from all levels of government, industry and nonprofits.
3. Way Finding: Navigation and Search
The new pages never end (for the most part). The site now offers an eternal scroll that allows you to thumb (or mouse) through a neverending selection of content of all types until you click on something that catches your eye … and then again on the next page … and then the page after that. To use an old-school reference, eternal scrolling is a little like browsing the stacks at a well stocked library or bookstore. Sometimes the joy is in the exploration.
When you don’t have time to browse, there's always search. You’ll notice that the new search feature is better, more powerful and still very familiar. Simply put, the Google search you love across the Internet is now inside emergencymgmt.com. You said you wanted it; so did we. And you can also now refine search results by date and relevance.
All of these changes were designed to shape what we do around what you do — providing job-critical news and analysis when and where you need it — and on the device of your choice. We hope you like it and, more importantly, find it useful.
The last word belongs to you. It would make the launch of the new site complete if you left a comment and shared it with your colleagues. Thank you.