Live! is seven years old today, having launched on 31st January 2000 as part of City & Guilds College Union's portal project. Having long since separated from the CGCU site, Live! has had a good deal of success over the last seven years, despite some wobbly periods.
When first launched Live! rapidly gathered a large following, particularly amongst "union hacks", which remains to this day. It was also often used by Felix for their own news stories, something else which remains true.
The busiest time for Live! came in 2002, with top-up fees and the UCL merger providing frequently updating news and driving traffic to the site. Controversy is what Live! is best at, seeing large increases in visitors when College introduced the dress code, wanted to build on the Queen's Lawn and finally during both the NUS referenda it has seen.
The 2006-2007 year has seen a Live! resurgence, with page views increasing from 75,000 in February 2006 to over 175,000 in January 2007. The number of visits per day has increased by around 30%, with the large increase in pages down to increased news reporting and active discussion.
News-Thief-in-Chief Felix Editor Andy Sykes had the following to say when approached for a comment on Live!'s birthday:
"Happy birthday to Live! While not quite as venerable as my mighty organ, you are nonetheless the best source for Union gossip on campus, and you provide disgruntled hacks, sabbs, and general Union hangers-on a place to scrap over recent events. However, you will become completely redundant next week when the new Felix website goes up. Just kidding; Felix loves you."
Sources indicate that the new Felix site will just import news straight from Live!, to save it going through the trained-monkey filter it seems to at the moment.