Lingo is the new web presence I have designed for the Languages Action Alliance, a loose coalition of parents, academics, teachers and community members who want to see improvement in the way Australia provides languages education, especially for young children.
It’s been an interesting project for several reasons. One of the main ones for me is that the protagonists know enough about the web to know that way too many websites end up stuffed with info that no-one ever sees.
I figured what was needed here was some way to collect, store and make available a whole range of information ‘bites’ relating to languages education, from personal anecdotes and observations, consumer recommendations of products and services, wish lists, comparisons, theories and expert opinions, all the way to doctoral theses and commercially published books.
Imposing a structure on this babel of information would require something both simple and strong.
In the end, I followed my recent path of exploring what WordPress can do. I found a very nicely set up theme which I adapted for the purpose and introduced a system of categorising posts according to age group, geographical area, information type and user type.
I added a widget for displaying past and future events, and linked each event to a post for further information and source links.
At this stage, I’m using the in-house search facility, but I’ll quite likely use my preferred out-of-house search indexing providers at Freefind, as both their indexing capbilities and their search results display are superlative.
I guess the interesting thing for me has been to effectively set up a blog not for one voice but for many – but on a more-or-less single topic – and thus build a website that deliberately aims to aggregate content and make it available to others.