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The Jewish Journal Gets Pretty Inside and Out

The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles was founded in 1985, and has grown steadily from then. It now has a circulation of 60,000 and an estimated readership of 180,000. It is widely considered the most influential Jewish paper outside of New York, and is the only Jewish paper in Los Angeles. Before they came to Hop Studios, they had a website, but it was disjointed and out of date. It had been built from diverse pieces of software and lacked a consistent design or information structure. When the editors contacted Hop Studios they were very interested in finding a solution to the sub-divided nature of their content management system.

Boy, where didn’t we stick our thumbs into this pie? The list of ways we changed this site goes on and on, from a brand new design, including integration of a new logo, to migration and cleanup of their existing articles, to setting up OpenX ad server.

The end result is a huge improvement over the old site in quite a few ways. We’re pretty thrilled that so many of the tools they had implemented on the old site were brought into a single content management system. We’re also really happy with the way the site structure came together. The old site really had very little hierarchy—there was a home page and there were story pages, nothing in between—and the new site adds in all kinds of interior architecture and content relationships, from section pages and categorization to tagging.

About halfway through the process the folks at the Jewish Journal also became interested in pushing all their site discussion and interaction into the forums, instead of using comments on individual story pages. The idea was to really generate a community on the forums, generating more and higher-quality forum conversations, and to provide a single, logical place for conversation, reduce spam, and keep the amount of moderation necessary on the site overall manageable. We think it actually makes a lot of sense, and we’re looking forward to seeing the results.

Run over and visit the Jewish Journal website today—we’d love to know what you think!

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