February 1, 2009

LMO 3.0: Welcome to the New LaxMagazine.com

by Matt DaSilva | Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff

LMO's new three-tabbed right column brings more headlines above the fold, including links to LMO headlines, external reports in "The Wire" and easy-to-navigate photo galleries.

It’s not too often you get to surface from the fray, thump your chest to the masses and acknowledge just how cool your job is. Today is one of those days.

Welcome to the new Lacrosse Magazine Online (laxmagazine.com).

Exactly two years ago, upon LMO’s last major overhaul, I reminded myself just why we see the most laxmagazine.com traffic on weekdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. “You, like me,” I wrote, “are looking for injections of variety into the cube-induced comas of daily life at school or at the office.”

Thanks largely to the customization afforded by PrestoSports and the hustle of its dedicated staff, we’ve unrolled a new, user-friendly format that will allow the compulsive clickers to bounce around our site like Paul Rabil after a shot of Red Bull.

With improved scoreboard components and navigation, you can dish on your favorite college or pro team almost as easily as Hannah Nielsen keeps tabs on Hilary Bowen.

With RSS feeds up the wazoo, you’ll get the latest scores and information delivered to you faster than Zack Greer’s latest finish on the crease.

We’ve added breadth to the existing depth, expanding our content base to include 21 sections grouped into nine categories, including exclusive destinations for player tips from the pros, separate homes for the 2009 U.S. World Cup Women's and 2010 U.S. Men’s Teams (both pursuing paths to international redemption) and college lacrosse spanning both genders and all divisions.

There’s more media in lacrosse than ever before. In fact, if you check out our new “Features” section, you’ll see that ESPN has extended its mammoth media arms to televise 45 college men’s and women’s lacrosse games. CBS College Sports (formerly CSTV), which previously hosted this site through its first four years as part of a partnership with US Lacrosse, is expected to announce soon a similarly robust slate.

Yet even as lacrosse invades TV sets, blogs and social media realms, it’s worth noting that before it was even a blip on George Bodenheimer’s radar, Lacrosse Magazine had your back. Now in its 32nd year of production, LM predates its owner and publisher, US Lacrosse.

A few highlights as you get to know our new online digs:

The PrestoSports scoreboard encompasses all teams in NCAA Division I, II and III men's and women's lacrosse, as well as both pro leagues. 

Scoreboard, Kid

You’re starved for scores and we’re gluttons for punishment.

For the first time since its 2005 inception, LMO now boasts a comprehensive scoreboard platform, accounting for every team in NCAA Division I, II and III men’s and women’s lacrosse, the National Lacrosse League and Major League Lacrosse.

The 2009 NLL season, as you see, is full throttle. The 2009 Division I women’s season has one game under its belt, Northwestern’s 24-6 thrashing of Denver on Jan. 23. Currently in our system await results for 4,050 games scheduled, not including those that we’ll add as the college season hits full swing this month.

PrestoSports’ system-wide integration allows you to: keep up on the latest scores and upcoming games; visit links to related recaps, videos and photo galleries; view updated team pages for both genders across all divisions; and automatically generate the latest conference standings.

So while we’re busy developing carpal tunnel syndrome, go ahead and bookmark your favorite teams. We’ll have them covered.

User-Friendly Features

Rotating headlines oversee the home page and all sections, assuring that no matter what your interest is in lacrosse, you can find it on LMO.

Our new wide layout means you don’t have to scroll below the fold to find the stories you want. There are more headlines in more places, specified to lacrosse fans’ wide array of interests within the sport.

The three-tabbed right column carries throughout the site, including bulleted links to not only the latest LMO headlines, but also “The Wire” – a popular section feeding links to press releases and external media coverage – and an easy-to-navigate landing for our expansive photo galleries.

Check out our RSS feeds for custom syndication of your most coveted headlines.

And for those of you looking for more depth or another reason to procrastinate, you’ll find features, blogs and commentary underscoring the entire site.

More Interactivity

View photos as galleries or slideshows using LMO's dual platform, courtesy of PrestoSports.

One-way communication has gone the way of VHS, we know. Part of lacrosse’s appeal is its community elements. Some of our most popular series on LMO – like “Straight Shooters,” an advice column featuring Matt Zash and Lindsey Biles, and “Picture This,” a running gallery of reader-submitted photos – rely on you.

Look for more opportunities to interact with the magazine in the coming weeks.

Whether entering raffles to win gear, answering LM’s question of the month in “Sideline Chatter,” participating in fan polls, asking questions for our “Give and Go” subjects or nominating your area for LM’s new “Zip It” feature, there will be plenty of chances upcoming to get in your two cents.

Let’s keep up the interactivity – join the Lacrosse Magazine Facebook group.

Enhanced Multimedia Capabilities

PrestoSports’ dual-function photo gallery platform allows you to view the best in lacrosse photography up close in a click-and-enlarge gallery or leaning back and letting us do the work in a slideshow.

Also, in addition to the plethora of embedded video available virally (who doesn’t swipe video from YouTube, these days?), we now have the platform to host original video content. Check out the “Multimedia” section to know see what that means.

Stay Tuned

The new digs don’t end here. Check back to LMO in the coming weeks as we unveil new elements – including a dedicated blog site, mobile scoreboard options and much more.

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