Refreshing the TechBirmingham Web Presence

Nearly 3 years ago TechBirmingham announced the launch of its first comprehensive website. Last fall, we decided that it was time to give our website a fresh look and feel to match the new CHANGE commercials announced at the end of 2005. So, if you haven’t already checked out the new site, then do so soon (once you’re done reading this monthly e-newsletter, of course!).

The updated website features some of the same core features from the past few years – specifically the online calendar of tech events and the archive of area tech companies’ press releases. In fact, we have in excess of 625 press releases! We undoubtedly have missed a few, so don’t be bashful about telling us which ones are missing. Just email us at info@techbirmingham.com with the title and text of the release. Same goes with tech events. If your tech organization has an upcoming event and it’s not listed on our calendar, be sure to drop us a line by email with all of the details. If your group meets monthly and has published its calendar for 2006, give us the data and we’ll pre-populate the calendar and you can give us speaker details as they become available.

The website refresh includes a new navigation structure. The main choices serve dual purposes. On one hand they address the needs of those who already know that Birmingham has become a hotbed for tech companies, much as our prior site did. On the other hand, though, we tried to address the needs of those outside of our region who may just now be learning about Birmingham and might have been driven to the website through the CHANGE campaign. Two sections were added to help in this regard. One is the “Why Birmingham” section written mostly by CHANGE Agent Mary Jane Curry, focusing on the qualities that make Birmingham a great place to live, work, and grow a tech company. The other is “Our Startup Ecosystem” which attempts to delineate the support network in place that helped Birmingham attain a #3 ranking in the nation (!!) for entrepreneurial growth in mid-sized cities. In fact, Entrepreneur magazine said that we were #1 for the actual number of start-ups last year. If you’re used to seeing Alabama at the bottom of national rankings, this may come as a nice surprise.

Another major improvement to our website is its “printability.” The technical explanation is that we implemented cascading style sheets (CSS) and the appearance in print is different than when viewing a page via a web browser. For instance, since the navigational menus aren’t necessary on a printed page, they don’t print. We’ve also adjusted the printed font size to be more legible.
We could go “on and on” with the new features, but then you wouldn’t have an excuse to visit the site. Be sure to explore the new content to find out what else we have prepared for your benefit. Of course, we have other enhancements “in the development queue.” We’ll announce them in upcoming issues of this newsletter, so stay tuned.

Nothing is ever perfect, so if you’ve got constructive suggestions for improvement please let us know. If you think of a new feature that would make a great addition to the website, then be sure to also drop us a line.

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