Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Gathering archives website - and the ONYAs

The ONYAs finalist. WOOHOO!

The Gathering archives website is a finalist in the Best content (personal) category of the ONYAs!


I'm completely thrilled. It took me a year of working on the site to get it to a state where I was ready to put it online, and it's grown quite a lot since then.

The ONYA judge's comment about the site cracked me up. It's so funny, and also so true...

A multi-media mashup of memoir, fractured histories and anecdotes from a series of events that erased the memories of many that were there. Alison's site is a public service...

The Gathering archives website. New Year 2006/07 marked the 10th anniversary of the first Gathering dance party on top of Takaka Hill near Nelson. The last Gathering was held over New Year 2001/02, and as I had been involved in the organisation of four out of the six Gatherings, and had created the original Gathering website, I felt sad that there was virtually nothing remaining online about these iconic events.

In October 2006 I set about creating, designing, building and writing the Gathering archives website, with the aim of becoming the authoritative source of information on the history and background of The Gathering. The site is divided into different sections for each of the six Gatherings, and includes facts & figures, media coverage, Gathering artwork, photos, video and film footage, Gatherer stories and maps of the venue for each party.

It will always be a work in progress, because each party was so vast and complex that it would be impossible for one person to have a complete overview of what went on at even a single event, let alone six. Although I had a whole lot of "official" archival material (including media coverage, Gathering artwork etc), I wanted the site to be much more than that. I wanted it to reflect the memories and stories of the many thousands of Gatherers who took part each year, as well as the hundreds of crew members and organisations who supported us in putting on New Zealand's best-loved dance parties.

I haven't had much time this year to add new stuff to the site, but I've already spent time improving the usability of the homepage as a result of my ONYAs nomination (see what a bit of good news does to kick-start me into action once more!), and I plan to do quite a bit more on the site before February when the winners in each category are announced.

The other two finalists in this category are Jared Gulian for Moon over Martinborough and my dear friend Zef Fugaz for zef[a]media. Those of you who know your Gathering history might remember Zef - he was our very awesome assistant producer/BetaSP-Cam/graphics guru for The Gathering documentary 97/98.

The ONYAs celebrate those who design, develop and create New Zealand's best websites and applications. They’re awards by the industry, for the industry.

It's a real honour to be nominated for the award, and to be a finalist in such esteemed company. Good luck guys, and may the best website win!

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