6 Things: Canucks.com
The dirt on everyone's favourite website
A company not having an Internet presence is like a skateboard without wheels – useless. Actually, I guess that would make it useful as a surfboard, so ignore that comparison.
A company not having an Internet presence is foolish. Much better.
Luckily the Vancouver Canucks have been on the ball since before everything and everybody was caught in the World Wide Web; Canucks.com has gone through more facelifts than Joan Rivers, but today it’s viewed as one of, if not the, premiere team site in the NHL.
Yes, I’m paid to say that, but the numbers aren’t. Over one million people visit Canucks.com per month, so we must be doing something right.
Here are six things you should know about Canucks.com and the web team.
THEY HAVE THE INTERNET ON COMPUTERS?
The Internet’s true beginnings can be traced back to the late 1950s. Common use expanded in the late ‘80s, but this crazy interweb doohickey didn’t really take shape until the mid ‘90s. That’s when the Vancouver Canucks hopped on board. The precursor to Canucks.com was initially outsourced to a third party. Orca Bay took the site over in 2000, and in 2001 - get ready for this - Canucks.com 2.0.1 was released. It fast became the genuine source for official Canucks news. As it is today, Canucks.com was a pioneer: it was one of the first dedicated team NHL sites up and running on the web.
You know how you dig through the back of your closet to find the repugnant sweater that was once so hot to trot? And then you find it and you feel a bit sick because it’s just so bloody nasty? That’s kinda how we feel when looking back through the Canucks.com archives: we literally wince at the sight. The first version featured three flash windows on the home page. Scroll over a flash window and it flickered like that girl climbing out of the well in The Ring. It was as advanced as flash got at the time, but it fell under the ‘carriage before the horse’ category.
The next iteration of Canucks.com featured low bandwidth and high bandwidth option to help address varying connection speeds (this was the dial-up age after all). Essentially it did nothing. The 50K streams were so choppy that watching a video differed from a slide show only because it had audio…which also cut out intermittently. Though CDC V.2 did feature live-streamed press conferences, only 50 people could view it at once. Classic.
OUT WITH THE OLD
Nowadays Canucks.com is your one stop shop for all things Canucks - minus rumours, speculation or negativity. Unless you’re on the boards of course. The web department, composed of a director, coordinator, programmer, writer and reporter - alongside a rotating intern who is affectionately known as “Twitter” - is unique to the company in that they work with every department on some level. Knowledge is power and everyone wants to have a presence on Canucks.com, from ticketing to Fin. Everyone gets a piece of the pie, but obviously the team comes first, especially on game days.
GAME DAYS - DUN DUN DUN
Game days are crazy. Scratch that, berserk better describes it. In for around 9 a.m., the web team tackles the daily editorial hit list like a pack of half-starved lab monkeys in one of those post-Apocalyptic zombie movies where the zoo blows up and the animals storm through the street in packs… Sorry, carried away. But seriously, it’s kind of gross. It’s a huge list and it’s messy. We try to employ the divide and conquer strategy that sees everyone working on something different. The end result is this kind of online utopia of Canucks media, kind of organic, but always entertaining. Fact: IQs have risen since Canucks.com was launched because of the massive intake of videos, features, stats, podcasts and just general Canucks awesomeness. That being said, it isn’t the hamster spinning in its wheel getting it done (contrary to popular belief). The web team puts in 15-hours on game days; we don’t have fancy white coats or nice cars, but we feel like doctors when it’s time to hit the sheets. Doctors who get paid to watch men play a game, of course.
Working for the Canucks is a dream come true for a lot of people within the organization, web team included. The odd thing about the “job” is that it doesn’t feel like work most times. Canucks.com writer Derek Jory explains it as a position where you’re always working and never working at the same time. The always working part comes into play on off-nights, weekends and while on holidays, when the team decides to break news. The never working part is remembering that we’re the fortunate few able to spend their work hours bringing you the latest and greatest of all things Canucks.
BLOGGIN' OUTTA CONTROL
Despite Canucks.com being as vast, amazing and wondrous as its up keepers are ridiculously good-looking and modest, there’s always room for expansion. We’ve designed the site so that everything has a home, which is nice, but we were in need of a junk drawer, per say, a place for Canucks randomness to live. I’d like to introduce you to Keys to the Garage, the fandangled new Canucks.com-run blog; it’s essentially a behind-the-scenes potluck of words, pictures and videos that don’t quite make the cut on the site. It’s up and running now, but will hit full swing just in time for the playoffs.