Babson Athletics Introduces "Beaver Tales"
Welcome to our newest feature on the revamped BabsonAthletics.com website. Throughout the year, Beaver Tales will bring you deeper into the world of Babson Athletics by covering stories that wouldn’t otherwise be featured on our site. More in-depth than game recaps and more personalized and colorful than press releases, these stories will shed new light on our student-athletes, coaches, alumni, and fans.
In addition to our feature stories, Beaver Tales will also provide an outlet for quick personal updates on past athletes, interesting accomplishments of our current players, and notes about key upcoming events for both our teams and the department.
Finally, we hope that Beaver Tales will include your voice as well. Whether comments on past features or ideas for future ones, we invite all of our readers to share their thoughts and opinions by submitting emails, Tweets, or Facebook messages. Selected comments may be added to stories for others to read and share in the discussion. Our contact information will be included at the end of every edition, so please let us know what you think!
For our first edition, we’d like to share some information about our redesigned website, including several new features that will hopefully better serve our fans.
Let’s start with some background. Babson Athletics first went online with a very limited 5-10 page website back in the late 1990’s. As we entered the new millennium, the site exploded into a collection of several thousand pages, as we began posting game stories and statistics for all of our athletic events. Within a few short years, the athletics website became the second most visited portion of Babson’s online presence behind only Horn Library.
Around 2005, it became apparent that the amount and nature of the data stored on our site would be better housed in content management system (CTM). To make this leap, the department signed with CSTV (now CBSSports.com’s College Network), a third-party CTM provider. A couple years later, we moved to our current web provider, PrestoSports, but retained our CSTV design until this summer.
On August 8, 2011, we launched the fully redesigned athletics website which you see today. In doing so, we’ve integrated several new features (including Beaver Tales) which we hope will further connect our student-athletes, alumni, fans and friends to Babson and each other. Here is the breakdown of a few of our upgrades:
- Social Media – Without question, social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter have revolutionized how people communicate over the last few years. For better or worse, information is shared faster, easier, and more widely than ever before. Babson has of course been at the forefront of this trend, being among the first colleges to utilize these outlets for the purpose of sharing our campus experience with the world. As part of our new website, you’ll notice our Twitter feed (@BabsonAthletics) is now featured in the “accordion-style” area below the rotating story section of our home page. By incorporating our Twitter account into our website, we can now offer a way for our fans to follow in-game updates and commentary when streaming video or live stats may not be available. In addition, you’ll notice small links at the very top of our homepage that will connect you with our Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as sport-by-sport or general RSS feed options.
- Standings – Another feature of our new homepage “accordion” is a section for conference standings. In the past, fans had to visit several different sites to get updates on where our teams stood (the NEWMAC site for most sports, the ECAC East site for ice hockey, and the Pilgrim League site for men’s lacrosse). Now, you can get instant standings for 13 of our sports with one simple click from our drop-down menu, and because these standings are generated using the PrestoSports scoreboard, they will automatically update as soon as each team’s scores are entered into the system.
- Better Organization – You’ll notice that all of our major links are now located at the top of the screen just below the Babson Athletics banner. Gone is the long list of links down the left side of the page. Now all of our pages are better organized to make navigation of the site much faster and easier. Plus, access to our facility pages, “B” Club applications, locker sign-up forms, and Skating School information is now just one quick click away.
- Calendar – Perhaps the biggest improvement over the old site is our new calendar feature. Extremely popular among today's college athletics sites, the calendar enables fans to not only see game times and other information on any given date, but it also provides links to previews, recaps, box scores, live stats, and streaming video if and when they are available. As in the past, these links will also be available on each team’s schedule page, but the calendar will allow you to find these features without ever having to leave the homepage.
- Updated Archives – Although not tied directly to the redesign of the website, you may notice that some of our archive pages have been revamped over the summer. As part of our recent Athletics History Wall project in the Webster Center, we uncovered an incredible amount of information about our past. There is still a great deal to go through, but what we’ve uncovered so far has enabled us to literally rewrite our team histories. As a result, fans of our alpine skiing and swimming and diving teams will notice that their archive pages have been vastly expanded over the summer to include more highlights from the past, as well as year-by-year results, postseason information, and individual honors in each sport’s “Record Books” section. More sports will be updated throughout the year, so keep an eye out for those as well.
That’s it for this inaugural edition of Beaver Tales… We’ll be back with more later this month. Some of the topics that we’ll be exploring over the course of the year will be a look back at a particularly amazing senior season turned in by one of our athletes this past spring and how it relates to a 2011 Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, as well as the first-ever feature story on the origins of our beloved Beaver mascot.
UPDATE: We've discovered a small problem regarding the links on our top banner. For some users, the drop-down menus are "hiding" behind the content below them, so that not all of our links are visible. PrestoSports has been alerted and is working to resolve this issue as we speak. If you notice any other bugs in our new site, shoot us an email at the address below!