The City and Guilds College Union Student News Website, Live!, which was originally launched on 31st January 2000, reaches the ripe old age of nine years old today. Renowned as one of the most vibrant and interactive online news websites in the country Live! has a habit of uncovering College and Union misdemeanors, exposing well-kept secrets, keeping Union Officers to account, reporting up-to-the minute and breaking news and encouraging explosive discussion.
Since this time last year Live! has attracted over 250,000 visits, a year-on-year increase of more than 40%, with 144,000 Absolute Unique Visitors. Of these visitors, over 10% have visited the site more than 200 times and nearly 20% more than 100 times. It is a commonly held belief in Beit Towers however that Live! is only read by seven "hacks", all of whom already knew what we were going to write anyway. But Live! doesn't really mind this as it allows us to take the more intimate (or hard-hitting) approach to the news.
Live! is celebrating it's Birthday with a front page article in Felix this week having broken, acording to the Felix Editor-in-Chief Jovan Nedic, the 'only interesting story in the last seven days'. Looking back at previous years though, this is nothing new. What is new is Live!'s ventures into the realms of live broadcast, taking the name of the site very seriously and covering prestigious events such as the NUS Debate, the London Mayoral Hustings and most recently the RCSU Science Challenge Launch which saw over 150 people attempting to watch online.
Live! should also take an opportunity to thank the NUS for providing the editors with ample opportunities for controversial news stories, debates, opinion pieces and referenda coverage over the past two years. Reporting straight from Conference floor at the 2007 and 2008 Annual Conferences, Live! has brought coverage of NUS Decision and Policy Making straight back to the students the decisions are made on behalf of. With two major NUS Referenda Live! also set up an NUS mini-site running a balanced debate on the pros and cons of NUS affiliation. The NUS also allowed Live! to widen it's participation and extend it's readership throughout the country with fans from Southampton to Edinburgh including NUS President, Wes Streeting. Upon crashing Streeting's Birthday Party with motorised mascots Boanerges and Jezebel Live! was informed that ICU is still his favourite Union, despite the fact we disaffiliated from the NUS. Again. (Although this is more likely to be due to the beer, the fire engine and the large number of Imperial College Students that came with us.)
Looking to the future, Live! hopes to delve further into audio and visual media with more collaborations planned with our friends over at stoictv and ICRadio. As always Live! is looking for exciting new content and people to help behind the scenes with designing and building the site, managing and editing sections, taking photos and of course writing articles. Contact the Live! Editor to find out how you can get involved and to share your ideas. Of course, Live! couldn't be what it is without you, the readers, commenters and contributers so please keep coming back, add your tuppence-worth and help us wish Live! many more Happy Birthdays to come.