Former Head of Media Ben Croucher (2010-11) returns to write especially for Label's Fifteenth Anniversary, guiding us through the formation of our publicaiton's greatest technological achievement – Label Online! Check out the gallery to see the changes made to our website over the years.

I guess the biggest development Label saw during my time as Editor-in-Chief is the very website you’re reading this on right now.

Label Online was never part of my plans when I took over the reigns but Francis Kelly (Editor 2010-11) was insistent on its development, and along with Ed White (Online Editor 2010-11), they came up with the framework and the plans for it. Initially it was to be called ‘LOOP’ (Loughborough’s Official Online Publication) but we settled for Label Online to create a greater cohesion with the magazine.

The simple premise was to create more writing opportunities for our student journalists, generate quicker, more accessible content and the introduction of live blogging. The concept and rough design of the website is still largely unchanged to this day.

Having spent hours trailing through more established student websites like Southampton’s Wessex Scene and York’s Nouse, we settled on topics and a design that would look as professional as possible whilst reflecting the content within the magazine itself. After one failed attempted at getting it designed, we enlisted Alex Olivier (LSUTV Online Editor 2010-11) to knock something together for us and promptly had about a month to start filling the site with content before its official launch on the November 8th 2010 to coincide with the tuition fee protest march in London. 

From there, the website just grew and grew in popularity, achieving what is by today’s standards quite paltry figures, but back then was unprecedented.

The tireless work of the editorial team kept the website fresh, engaging and topical and we excelled throughout the year in providing live updates for some of the year’s biggest sporting events. Whereas the magazine could have been two weeks out of date, now Label had planted itself into the 21st century with an ever-increasing knowledge of what we were doing.

During the year, Label Online was first at breaking news for students, exposing constitutional problems within the Executive Elections and match reports from the BUCS Finals. Label Online became the go-to website for the latest Loughborough news and the tireless work of the editorial team is something I’m immensely proud and grateful for. The most pleasing aspect was the potential that it had to grow. 

We took our time in getting it right at the start and delayed launching the site until two months into the term, when students were already familiar with the magazine itself. It gave us greater publicity and a second chance to hit students and remind them about the work of the Media Centre.

To see Label Online still thriving to this day and having an offshoot rival online publication is a brilliant reflection of the ‘Loughborough Experience’.

The design developments and comments sections have been superb additions and I hope to continue to see it grow in years to come, with each subsequent Online Content Editor and Webmaster putting their own spin on Label Online.

In celebrating fifteen years of Label, you’ve got to celebrate the single most important technological advancement made during that time – Label Online!


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