Tuesday 1 March 2011

Brand New

Landfall has got with the times and gotten itself online.

The online arm of the journal is being edited by David Eggleston. A new batch of reviews is going to be posted on the first day of every month for the coming year (except January).

The site is a one-year pilot in reviewing New Zealand books online, funded by Creative New Zealand. I'm assuming that the funding is going towards paying reviewers, as the site is using the free Blogger platform and doesn't appear to have been heavily customised.

The site joins an active network of New Zealand book and author blogs, headed by Beattie's Book Blog and featuring others such as Mary McCallum, Rachel King, Paula Morris, Quote Unquote, Chad Taylor, Tim Jones, Helen Heath, Sarah Laing, and buckets more (it would be nice to see the Landfall site throw a little link love the way of these sites, that being part of the point of blogs.

I was having a chat with some people in the publishing industry just a week or two ago about "the state of online book reviewing in New Zealand" and thinking about whether this (an aggregator of reviews of NZ books) was a gap that needs to be met. The Landfall site must have been reasonably under wraps in this otherwise chatty sector, or I'm sure it would have been mentioned. It'll be interesting to see what the outcome of the pilot is, and how, in the words of multitudinous strategy documents, success will be measured.

Irony alert. What I'm about to write is deeply hypocritical, but hey. I'm very surprised that the people behind the site picked Blogger. I know, I know, this is a Blogger blog. It's a legacy thing, folks. If I had more energy, I'd switch to WordPress. It'll happen one day, I swear. I even, thanks to a rather odd backstory, have an - interesting - domain name to call my own, when I get round to using it.

Blogger is good for blogging: updates posted in reverse chronological order. With the introduction of pages, it's become a bit more flexible. But WordPress is eminently more suited to being used in more of a magazine format, and far easier to style up beautifully. It should have been an obvious choice for a low-cost and flexible content management system to be used by people who are (presumably) inexperienced with such things. So if you know the thinking behind this decision - and if I'm horribly wrong - let me know in the comments.

1 comment:

Helen said...

Yes, I agree with the points you've made. No offense intended but I really don't like the blogger platform. Aslo, yes! Where's the kinky lurve? :)