April 9, 2007

Behind the Code: Some Introductions

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Hey everyone. My name is Chris Barnes; those of you have that have been following The Sun for the last year or two might recognize my name from a few bylines in the news section, but for those of you that don’t, let me properly introduce myself. I am a sophomore majoring in Information Science in the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell. I’ve been working at The Sun since arriving at Cornell in August 2005, first as a staff writer then as a senior writer in the news department, and also as a developer in the web department. But, what probably matters most to you is that in March of this year, I was elected as Web Editor on the 125th Editorial Board of the Sun.

My predecessor Homan Lee ’07 and I worked very hard with other Sun staffers to bring into existence the CornellSun.com that sits before you today. When I came on board in 2005, the decision had been made to bring The Sun’s website in-house, and as many of you surely know, it’s been a bumpy road. Still, when I think back to this time last year, when our website was still being completely run by a third party, I’m proud of the immense progress that we have made.

That is not to say that there’s not a lot of improvement left to be made. In February, we brought you a newly-redesigned site based on your criticisms and critiques of our first attempts. Also, towards the end of the same month, we launched Sun Podcasts, bringing you audio recordings of your favorite columnists and daily briefs of the news. And just last week, we started our new “Video-cast” program with a recording of the Thursday SA meeting at which this year’s Slope Day performers, T.I. and TV On The Radio were announced.

As far as design, we are continuing to work on redefining the look of CornellSun.com to make things easiest to use for you. By the time the Class of 2011 joins us on the Hill next semester, we will be unveiling a new homepage design, a general plan for which many of you have already seen and critiqued on our forums. We’re also working on improving our search functionality in order to best make as much of our rich, 127 year-long archives available to you as possible.

As we go on, I hope to use this blog to keep you up-to-date on what’s going on “behind the code” at CornellSun.com. Ultimately, we do all of this for you, our readers, so if you’re not happy then our job is not done. Please keep posting on our forums with things you think could work better. I also try very hard to respond to each and every email that is sent to my box, web-editor@cornellsun.com, so please do keep them coming.

Anyway, watch this space for further updates over the summer and into next semester. I look forward to providing you the best darn college daily website on the whole Internet, and I hope you’ll keep coming back.

-Christopher Barnes
Web Editor
The Cornell Daily Sun

PS: For those of you newly-accepted members of the Class of 2011: welcome! I hope you’ll decide to come to Cornell and to work for The Sun once you’re here. We in the web department will be looking to hire new developers, designers, bloggers, podcasters and videographers in the fall, and if you think you might be interested in any of that, shoot me an email.