Friday, July 1, 2016

A New Site To See

Where were you on Oct. 23, 1999?

TigerBlog knows where he was. He was watching his profession change on a dime - and forever.

It was back on Oct. 23, 1999, that, the official website of Princeton Athletics, was born.

It took a lot for the University to agree to let Princeton Athletics have a website that ended in ".com." There were a lot of meetings, as TB recalls, before the University's upper administration signed off on it. 

Before that day, Princeton had a small website that ran off the server. There was almost no content on it.

Then, on that one day, everything changed. The entire profession of athletic communications at Princeton changed.

For the way, way better.

Before that day, the Princeton Office of Athletic Communications was a media relations office. From that day forward, it's been its own media outlet.

Before that day, the OAC's biggest tool for getting the word about Princeton Athletics out was its fax machine. There was even something called "fax-on-demand," from which Princeton could fax something to a central number and media members could dial in and have it faxed to them.

Fax machine. TigerBlog hasn't used one in years.

With the birth of, the webpage became the direct link from Princeton Athletics to those most interested in the Tigers - alums, recruits, current athletes, parents, fans, Friends group members.

The quantity of content that the OAC was able to push out skyrocketed. TigerBlog can't imagine what he would be doing now if the webpage hadn't come along and expanded infinitely the ability to be creative, but he could not imagine he would have been okay with staying in the profession as it was before.

Today is a big day in the nearly 17-year history of, as a new-look site will be debuting.

By TigerBlog's count, this is the seventh different look that the website has had. He wished he taken screen shots of the first six, but he didn't.

More than just the look of the website has changed. The new website marks the beginning of Princeton's relationship with Sidearm Sports.

For the last three or so years of the website, Princeton was affiliated with what is now CBS. For the last 13 or so, it's been with what is now NeuLion, though at various times it was FansOnly, XOS and Jump TV. Princeton had a good run with NeuLion, and TB would like to publicly thank Ryan Pederson and Codie Sanders from NeuLion for all of their help through the years.

Now Princeton is moving to Sidearm.

The new site took several months of development. TB thanks Korena Fenton and Tina Bowman, among others from Sidearm, for all of their work in getting the site up and running.

The new site is designed with the idea of having a clean look, with large central images, easy navigation and clear delineations between the different sections. There are many ways to showcase Princeton's athletes, coaches and messages.

It's also what is called an "adaptive" site, which will sense what device the site is being viewed from and adjust the dimensions accordingly, so that it looks essentially the same on a laptop, tablet or phone. 

 TigerBlog is pretty happy with the product.

There are a few disclaimers - in the changeover from one company to the other, there will be some things that don't copy over exactly right, or not at all. The OAC staff will be working to fix all of whatever issues pop up. If you see something, let us know.

Also, it could take most of today before the new site is active for you - or it could be done already. TigerBlog included a screen shot so you'll know what it will look like.

When TigerBlog was a kid, newspapers were huge. TB always had the Star-Ledger delivered to his house, and FatherBlog brought the New York Post home every night. On Sundays, TB would go with his dad into the center of the local town and get the Asbury Park Press and New York Times.

TB's background is in the newspaper business. Some of his fondest memories are from those days, when he really go to appreciate what went into getting a newspaper to the presses, off the presses and out the door.

It's all different now. And has been for a long time.

Now, instead of breaking out the newspaper for his morning Corn Flakes, TB goes online on his phone or iPad. Same Corn Flakes. Same search for information. Different format.

Whatever your morning routine is - Corn Flakes, bagel, banana, hazelnut coffee, smoothie, whatever - you're probably doing the same thing. 

For Princeton Athletics, it all changed back in 1999. It changes again today, in a big way.

TB hopes you like it. 


Anonymous said...

What was wrong with the recently re-designed previous website?

Anonymous said...

I also liked the old website better than the new one.