Review 31: An Online Literary Review

Fri 11th Oct 2013

Posted under:WebsitesDevelopment
Review 31 was started in October 2011, the brainchild of a friend who wanted to produce an online site, similar to the London Review of Books, but with shorter, snappier reviews that would be easier to digest, given people's attention spans for reading online were shorter. Initially it concentrated only on reviewing non-fiction books and had a very crisp black and white design.

Early this year the site started running Interview features and now, for he 2nd birthday, we have brought in Essays too, with both of these sections updating less frequently than the review side. Also this year the site moved to buying the Telefon font and getting a new design in around that. I built the site to match the design and then also added in RSS, Twitter and Facebook links on the title bar.

It's interesting how useful Twitter has been for Review31, growing a big fanbase, and it's led to us also getting a lot of comments on our site via Facebook. I've also recently got to grips with the FB OpenGraph settings so that when we share content on there it comes out as we would like.

The site is actually a fairly simple CMS that I designed and then rolled out, first to London Progressive Journal when I moved that site off Ruby on Rails, and then to here. Each version is bespoke, however, and I plan to bring in Responsive Web Design principles both of those sites in the near future, and also look to simple apps to interface with them.