Oxplore has officially launched for all to see, use and share. Phew.
At one level, this launch marks the end of technical development which has pulled together a robust site which meets our vision for the Home of Big Questions and responds to user feedback. It also marks a point where we have delivered a substantial enough amount of content that we are sure our users can get lost on the site and dig deep into resources.
However, any good website is an organic thing. We’re already working on more content and our communications going forwards. Now that users can register we can’t wait to engage more with them.
A hard date, though, is a good time to reflect on a few facts and figures from our past 18-months!
Over the coming weeks the team are taking some down-time as well as reflecting on the success of the launch activities. (More on those another time).
Oxplore is getting ready to hit the roads of the North East as part of a pilot of the portal. From late February to late March we’ll be promoting Oxplore to schools and young people from Hartlepool to Hexham.
Our plan is to run workshops with schools which encourage them to think about our big questions in a broad and curious way. We’ll also be attending one of the massive Oxford and Cambridge Student Conference at St James’ Park in Newcastle, running a competition, distributing posters for classroom display and running a social media campaign targeting interested young people in the region. Probably the most exciting aspect of all of this activity is unveiling the Oxplore portal for the first time to our potential users – and meeting some of them.
We have only one more technical development sprint before we’re ready for that stage – so our front and back end coders will be whipping through the ‘tickets’ for our features and hopefully crushing any last minute bugs. Our content writers, reviewers and uploaders will have a similarly busy month to have articles, videos, podcasts and quizzes lined up and ready. While everyone else is doing this, I’ll be preparing all the marketing and learning materials we’ll need to distribute throughout the pilot both digitally and face-to-face.
So, while we have been progressing many different things concurrently but largely independently for a few months, we are now at the stage to bring them all together for our pilot. The clock is ticking down.