At my paper, we’ve begun our preparation for a possible war with Iraq.
We’ve talked with the publisher and and production folks about changes in size and organization of the paper.
I’ve been preparing new page templates, and at the copy desk we’ve assembled a war design team. City side has a war team of reporters writing stories already, and our goal is to get three pages drawn and edited before the bombs drop.
I imagine papers everywhere are putting thought, and work, into any pending conflict with Iraq, but what about Web sites.
While the big wigs like CNN and the New York Times created low-bandwith versions of their sites after the traffic associated with Sept. 11, I think every news site should be preparing something similar.
Perhaps now is the time to prepare a low-bandwith, CSS-only (or CSS-mostly), page design and get it ready to go in the event of hostilities.
For those online managers looking to make the big switch in the future, a pending war (and spike in traffic) might be the perfect “excuse” to sell to non-tech bosses. They might not care if the site will be usable in the future, but when the words “site going down” are uttered, it might get their attention.
In addittion to design templates, now is the time to start planning online-only content that might need some lead time, like interactive graphics of the region, or the weapons involved.
So what is everyone up to?
P.S. At the the Missourian, we’ve got a non-monetary pool going on the start date — my pick is March 9, what’s yours?