Coney Island.com was first launched around 1994-5 when Mosaic first came out. The site most would recognize went live in 1997-8, and lived on (and on and on and on… way past when it should have!). Stacy Horn at www.Echonyc.com donated hosting to us when Coney Island USA had a staff of 1. My Friend (Mermaid Parade Chief Justice) Mark Alhadeff and I started planning a new database driven site as early as 1999, but for various reasons it never happened.
In the meantime the old site grew organically with many different disparate systems- We had an ecommerce portal, an active forum (Yabb), an email blast (Mojo Mail – now Dada Mail, but also Constant Contact for Members), various cgi based calendars before we standardized on Google Calendar, plus assorted random cgi-polls, etc that had been implemented over the years. Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo and Twitter all grew to be a part of our outreach efforts over the years. For the last 5 years I have been trying to roll all these systems into one package that would allow us to build upon. I identified Drupal as the package that we could build on, and when Drupal 7 reached maturity, I knew the time had come.
Finally, last summer I vowed that we cannot go another season under the old site. I drafted Mark and his company Ocean7.com to help me make the new Coney Island.com a reality. I began designing these pages about 18 months ago over Christmas break. The focus of the new site was to:
- Provide a clearer focus on the Coney Island USA organization: Who we are, what we do and why we do it
- Better calls to action to support the organization’s fundraising efforts
- A central calendaring system for managing display of events and linking to
- Database driven so that non technical staff can manage and update events/pages with a minimum of training.
- Merging several of these previous disparate systems, and providing a roadmap to integrate the others.