Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I’m very excited about something I’ve been working on for a few months now. Very diligently working, and it’s all for you.

That something is the redesign of the Illinois Corn website! When I was hired on as the Communications Assistant one of my main tasks was to get a new, updated website. For any of you that remember what the old one looked like, let’s just be honest, we were in dire need of change.

When we first launched the new look of the website two summers ago (August 13, to be exact) I was very pleased with how it turned out. But I also knew there were still some tweaks and adjustments that needed to be made to fit with the vision I (as well as others in the office) had.

I think this time we may have gotten it right! Of course, I’m sure along the way we will find more things that we want to modify, that’s just the way it goes. Technology is always changing and with that a website must keep up with it. So if there is something you see that you really don’t like and would like to see a change, or something you see that you love, please let us know!

Here a few of my favorite changes:

CSS Fader
This is a fancy term that the programmers like to use for the main picture on the homepage. It fades into new pictures. I like this feature a lot.

Auction Page
We’ve added a special new section for our members only. It’s like an eBay for Illinois Corn. Pretty cool if you ask me. Not a member? You can sign up here and not miss a thing!  (But its still under construction so be sure to check back for this feature!)

Social Media Tools
We have taken a large leap into the world of social media, this blog being one example. On the redesigned site, we make it easier for you to stay in touch with us. There is a section for our latest tweet and tabs at the top of the page for Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Corn Corps. See a story you’d like to share? You can easily tweet or facebook it from that page!

The background itself has been updated. I love the cleaner look of it as well as the colors.

I’ve had requests in the past for old Corn Scoops stories. On the old site we only had 15 stories up at a time, with this feature we will be able to archive the old ones.

Priority Issues
In this section, we have a permanent home for many of our priorities like locks and dams, exports, public education, and Farm Bill. I’m excited that new visitors will be able to read through the main things we’re working on without having to dig even further through daily news stories and news releases. We also have much more flexibility on our homepage to feature the most important stuff which hopefully makes your visit to our website that much more enjoyable.

There are more added features, some behind the scenes that will ultimately help me help you, and others that will subtlety make your viewing experience a better one, like the font size and color. All in all, I love the new look and hope you do as well.

Please remember though, creating a new website is a time consuming procedure.  Cut us a little slack as we continue to finish new pages and update old ones!  We are under construction!

I would like to thank the folks at Cybernautic for all their patience and help. And patience. I’ve been in constant contact with them about changing the color of that or the position of this. So much so, that I worry when they hear my name or see an email from me that they cringe and hide under their desks. They assure me that’s not the case, but I’m certain they are happy to have me off their backs with the launch of the updated site. So again, thank you Cybernautic team, without you this would’ve been a much more stressful time for me!

Becky Finfrock
ICGA/ICMB Communications Assistant

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