Launch! Quick Guide to the New Website
By Astiles on August 30, 2011
As you may have noticed, we’ve made a few changes around here! The redesign of the Google Lunar X PRIZE website has been a long time coming, and we’re pretty excited about our new virtual home. We’d like to take you on a quick tour of the site to point out some of the new features and help you get your bearings. So let's get started (don’t forget your towel!)...
To begin, you’ll notice that you’ve arrived at the new location of the official Google Lunar X PRIZE blog (or as some of you know it: “The Launch Pad”). All future posts from GLXP staffers will appear here, and all past posts from The Launch Pad will reside here as well. You can use the handy Google search tool in the upper right corner if you are looking for a specific post.
Before we continue on our journey, you may want to visit the right side of the main navigation bar, just below the social media icons, with links to “Login or Create Account”. This will be the key to unlocking some of the more interactive features of the site later in the tour. If you don’t have an account yet, then no problem -- just click, “Create Account” and fill in a few fields, and you’ll have a profile set up in no time. If you're ahead of the game and already created an account, use your email address and password to login and we'll show you a few places on the site where your account comes in handy.
Our next stop is The Teams page. You’ll see all of the current and former competitors listed on this page; and notice as your mouse rolls over each team badge, a preview of the team’s lunar vehicle and basic info are revealed. Also check out the Teams Feed in the right column. This is showing real-time updates from ALL of the teams’ Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts, in reverse chronological order as they are posted. You can filter the Teams Feed by platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube), and can “like” and comment on posts if you are logged in (for a larger view of the social feeds, you can also visit the social feeds webpage). This awesome feature is courtesy of our friends at Arktan and Echo -- the real-time web geniuses who also power the Lady Gaga website and several major news sites (such as ABC.com, among many other impressive clients). We’ve been extremely fortunate to have their support on this website.
Let’s switch to the teams again. From this page, you have the option to click on any individual team badge to further explore their webpage. Once you’ve landed on a team’s page, you’ll notice in the right column that you can “Become a Fan of the Team” -- if you are logged in. If you fan a team, your profile picture will appear above the Team Blog Posts area, and the team’s badge will appear on your profile page. You can always un-fan a team if you’re feeling fickle.
A team’s most recent blog posts are available right below the fan feature. Click on post titles to read and comment -- if you are logged in, of course -- have we convinced you yet? :). Our new commenting feature is being powered by RealTidbits, (another vendor running on the Echo platform).
One more neat thing to point out on the team pages before we go: notice the team member profile photos that are located directly below the large lunar vehicle graphic. These are the people building robots, raising funds, planning missions, and generally making it happen! Now you can check out their profiles.
One final stop on the tour: the Education area. This is a section of the website that has undergone A LOT of changes. We’ve added a calendar of upcoming events, a section for featured education programs (MoonBots at the moment), and tons of great resources for students and educators alike. Be sure to check it out!
There’s a lot of great content to be found on the site, so please continue to explore on your own. We hope you enjoy the new site, and if you have any feedback for us, please feel free to use the contact form, drop us a note in the comments below, or find us on Facebook or Twitter.
Until next time, lunar fans!