Tag Archives: website

Birmingham’s newest municipal website makes its debut

City of Birmingham website 2014 650Visitors to the city of Birmingham’s website (birminghamal.gov) since close of business last night have been pleasantly surprised. The newest iteration of the city’s digital facing first impression has launched quietly, though it is our understanding a more formal announcement should be forthcoming. It replaces the one used (with only minor tweaks) since January 2008This latest version was created by locally based web design firm Kinetic Communications. They have also been working on a new Birmingham City Council website that launched last month, replacing one in use since May 2012. The sites are so similar visually most visitors will not notice they are not one in the same when navigating.

This redesign is the latest effort to tackle an issue faced by many cities — how to build a useful website for its citizens and business owners. A look back at earlier iterations should give a pretty good idea of just how far the city’s come from 2001.

A website launches for 2013 commemoration

birmingham13.com screenshotSomething that hasn’t been talked about very much – at least publicly – are the plans to commemorate 50 years passing since the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing in September 1963. A visit to the city of Birmingham’s official website now provides you with a link to one major source of information about those plans.

Birmingham13.com is the official website for the commemoration, reminding those who visit that it was part of “the movement that changed the world.” According to the site’s city plans page, there will be a traveling exhibition (called “The Civil Rights/Sister Cities Traveling Exhibition”) visiting five sister cities highlighting their contributions: Selma, AL; Washington, D.C.; Jackson, MS; Columbia, South Carolina; and Memphis, TN. (Montgomery, AL is listed on the site as well though the original National Press Club announcement from January did not include the city.) The site also suggests that the Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail will be expanded (it would be the second time that the trail was expanded and the first instance since late 2010) in addition to plans for a humanities conference and a three-day festival in September. You can also watch the video of Mayor Bell’s remarks at the National Press Club on the site’s “Sharing” page.

It contains a calendar section as well that will most likely be updates with events being organized by other organizations and institutions as details are finalized.

Screenshot: birmingham13.com home page.

Alabamians seem to like their USA Today

forbes-interactive-media-mapThe first edition of Forbes Magazine‘s interactive media map shows that Alabama – and the rest of the southeastern United States – seems to be most influenced online by news reports from USA Today. That finding might surprise some of you out there. It won’t after a quick explanation of the methodology.

The map, scheduled to be updated monthly, takes a look at those links shared using website URL shortener bit.ly at a higher average rate than the rest of the country. While it doesn’t seem to take into consideration that some news organizations use their own shorteners – or even a different service – it does help folks get a better idea at exactly what’s influencing where while backing up some long held beliefs.

We’ll see how the map changes in the coming months (provided it’s a habit that wants to be changed by area residents).

Get to know the “Red Rock” trail system plan

Red Rock Ridge & Valley logoThe name of the new greenway master plan – The Red Rock Ridge & Valley Trail System – was revealed last night to a standing room audience at the Birmingham Museum of Art’s 340-seat Steiner Auditorium.  Its new website, designed and developed by FitzMartin, was also unveiled, enabling people from throughout the region and the country to study it in depth. The site is seen as an implementation tool as well, providing supporters of the plan with necessary information to help see it get constructed.

The plan details a 750-mile combined network of greenways, blueways, paths, and trails along existing roads. Freshwater Land Trust executive director Wendy Jackson said could cost as much as $200 million if fully constructed – and the cost would be spread out over several decades and the 29 cities the trails would go through. The plan is focused on six major trails; Cahaba River, Five Mile Creek, Jones Valley, Shades Creek, Village Creek, and Turkey Creek with additional feeder trails.The plan also provides suggestions for a greenway alongside the proposed Northern Beltline if built while not endorsing that particular project.

The Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham has agreed to incorporate the plan into its long range transportation improvement program, making all trails eligible for federal funds from the Surface Transportation Program and the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program. If you’re wanting to dive into the entire plan on paper – there’s a link to a PDF download on the site that promises it will be available on March 9.

Ruben’s marathon is set for November

When city leaders gathered back in January to celebrate the official groundbreaking of The Marketplace adjacent to the BJCC complex, Ruben Studdard was on hand to announce plans for a new marathon and fitness event to be held in Birmingham. Those in attendance were told that details would be revealed later on this year – and they finally got some yesterday with the launch of the event’s official website.

The Ruben Studdard Celebration Weekend is scheduled for Sunday, November 20 and it will benefit the Ruben Studdard Foundation. The marathon will begin and end at Linn Park, taking participants along a single-loop route that keeps participants within the city limits the entire time. The original press release had suggested that the start and end points for the race would be Railroad Park.

The weekend is also scheduled to include a half-marathon, 5K and a gala event. Registration for all of the events are currently open.

This increases the number of marathons held in metro Birmingham to two a year, with the 2012 Mercedes Marathon scheduled for February 10-12. If the organizers of the Weekend are successful, the city will also have two local opportunities to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

the35212’s founder plans to expand citywide

the35212 logoCharlotte Donlon started the35212 two years ago as a way to help focus on the people, places and events in the neighborhoods contained within, including Crestwood and Woodlawn. She was the focus of one of my first Digital City columns for B-Metro Magazine. Now, she’s announced two different initiatives that should raise the profile of the site across the city.

There’s currently an effort underway to raise funds to produce an “old school community newsletter” for the site via Kickstarter. As of this post (with nine days to go), they’ve received pledges for approximately 55% of the funds necessary to start the project.

Donlon’s also announced plans to do similar sites for each of the city’s 28 zip codes. Each zip code’s web domain would be similar to the35212 with a central site, initially planning to be headquartered at findingbhm.wordpress.com, connecting them all. She’s posted additional information about the expansion of her project here. She’s also laid out initial plans for sponsorship of the current site.

What is We Make Birmingham?

We Make Birmingham logoA quick scan of the Internet today (with an assist from former Terminal contributor Travis Bryant) led to the discovery of We Make Birmingham.

The site currently consists of several photos that when moused over say (coming soon). Clicking on any of the photos will redirect you to Caleb Chancey’s website. Fans of Jon Black (the focus of a post over on Timetable yesterday) will recognize Chancey’s name as he’s taken several photos of the musician, including the one featured on his Dualtone Records bio page.

Travis’ tweet about the website also included a link to a video with Jim Miller, a local carpenter and apparently one of the first subjects for the site. That’s still an assumption, but one that makes it look like it will be worth keeping an eye on it in the coming weeks and months.