And so, the end is finally here. At midnight tonight, after over two years running Live!, I hand over the baton to my successor. Two years is a long time and has seen over 600 articles published, including our various special editions. As Live! Editor you develop a pretty thick skin, particularly when people threaten to sue you, and call you lots of nasty names. I hope under my period as editor we've given you an entertaining read, but also one which has benefited students by applying pressure on the College where it has been due, held the Union to account and promoted elections with some of the highest turnouts in recent years.
We've expanded from a text-only news website to one which makes full use of the resources available to us. Pictures, audio and video features have all brought a new dynamic to the site. We've worked with stoic tv on video features such as 'Ask the Rector', and two live webcasts from the London Mayoral Elections and Live! NUS Debate.
We've increased the number of visits per day from around 500 to around 2,500, with Live! generating both local and national news coverage on a number of occasions, including being the first media outlet to report on the cornwall affair. Of course, we also broke the story about the National Student Survey Scandal at Kingston, which appeared in practically every newspaper going and resulted in the department in question being removed from the league tables.
Live! has always had a unique place within Imperial College Union, initially being the
news gossip source for hacks. Over the past two years we've built a strong community of readers, including those who should probably be considered hacks as well as a surprising number of 'normal' students, who read our news stories for other reasons. I hope we've made the Union more accessible to those of you outside the Hackosphere, while keeping the organisation on its toes.
You should be in no doubt about one thing though - Live!'s readers make it what it is, from the insightful or downright abusive discussion to tip-offs about College incompetence or scandal, it has always been you, the readers, who provide the interesting stories. Even if you don't realise at the time, the smallest thing can become a focus of national news and get discussed in parliament.
Sadly, my time as Live! Editor is ending, as much as I enjoy it I really must do some proper work. Kirsty Patterson takes over tomorrow, with an opportunity to build on good foundations and create something even better. Dan Wan and James Lewis have an important place in stoic tv next year, and I hope they will build on the strong relationship we have to strengthen even further our ability to bring the College to account, and maybe get some more glassware. The talent within Live!, stoic tv and Felix is certainly there to rack up awards if the dedication is there to achieve it.
I've still got more words to say, but you can take a brief intermission with some of the funny things we've recorded over the past couple of years:
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All the stories on Live! are based (mostly) on fact, so I must thank those who have provided the stories first and foremost. Whether it has been a detailed account of some questionable tactic or an off-hand comment about something which should be investigated, there are a wide variety of ways people get in touch.
Thanks must also go to the sabbatical teams who have served while I've been completely or partially in control of Live!, most of whom I've locked horns with at various points. They often have a tricky job balancing the commercial and legal realities of running the Union against the standards of transparency and openness the student media have demanded. They also generate a good number of the news stories, particularly John Collins who generated some of the best ones.
Those in College Communications must also be thanked for their patient co-operation, even in the face of some fairly embarrassing articles for the College. Ultimately, we're all here because we want Imperial to be the best it can be, even if we often differ in our opinions of what that means and how it should happen. We take on the College on a regular basis, and don't always see to eye-to-eye, but for the most part College and Union staff have taken it all with good humour, accepting Live! as something they have to put up with.
Remember, as part of our entries to various awards in the past couple of years, including the Guardian Awards, we've put together a variety of our best bits. If you feel like re-living some of them, you can find a selection of articles from 2006-2007 and 2007-2008.
Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics
Well done for getting this far, just time left to blind you with numbers. Keeping track of what's going on is an important part of procrastination, for which statistics play a vital role.
John Collins been mentioned in more articles than any other sabbatical since mid-2006, coming in at 72. Stephen Brown is a close second on 55, with Jon Matthews taking the bronze with 48. Next year's editor Kirsty Patterson comes in at 33, with colleague Ally Cott at 26. Last year's DPEW Ben Harris comes towards the back of the pack with 23. Shama Rahman (despite her problems) managed just 14, the same as Eric Lai and Chris Larvin, leaving them at the bottom of the table.
Andy Sykes was the Felix Editor with the most mentions, coming in at 11 to Tomo Roberts' measly 6. Felix as a whole got more mentions, appearing in 82 articles.
Running Live! can be a dangerous business, usually involving arguing over email or phone about a number of things. With this in mind, the following are the number of times someone has said:
- "I'm/we're/she's going to sue you": 3
- "Can you take article x down please": 6
- "Can you delete discussion post x": 27
- "You're a bastard": lots
The top 10 Google searches leading to Live! have a couple of gems:
- student oyster card
- live cgcu
- live imperial
- imperial live (why don't you bookmark the site?)
- student oyster
- bbc internship
- ann summers
- cgcu live
- amazon student discount
- anne summers
The phrase "live sex" is also a popular one, particularly since the Ann Summers article increased our 'SexRank(TM)'.
However, contrary to popular belief, we don't think all elections are farces. In just over two years we've mentioned 'farce' in 24 articles but 'election' in 122.
That's it. See you in the bar!