The Griffin’s Crier Re-launched

The redesigned version of the Griffin’s Crier, my gaming group’s web site, is now up and running — you can check it out at The GriffCrier has been around for more than a decade; our Blackrazor Guild gaming group first launched the site in 1998 as an archive for our World of Greyhawk campaign. Over time, our gaming group’s evolved and added new web apps — we now have a dedicated forum for in and out of game conversations, the archival D&D content has been moved to a Greyhawk wiki, and we’ve spawned several additional blogs and wikis in support of the other RPGs we play

Over time, the role of the Griffin’s Crier diminished, and it was time to bring it back. Four of us are blogging now, and even more are using Twitter. We’ve got two campaign blogs and two corresponding wikis, all of which are producing RSS. In recent years, the home page of the Crier had been static as content was updated elsewhere; I wanted to change that by pulling in headlines from across the Blackrazor blogosphere.

The new site has a featured news section with group-specific headlines (and eventually updates from campaign blogs). Below this are four columns pulling headlines from member blogs. There are also links to all of our RPG campaign web sites and a photo archive with pictures from across our group’s long history. There’s a campaign calendar highlighting upcoming game days, and I’m working on putting together a Game Library to keep track of our various board games, card games and video games (we often have trouble remembering who has what, especially with multiplayer video games). I haven’t integrated Twitter yet, but I’m going to talk to the guys about that — if nothing else I may create a dedicated Twitter account for the site to post headlines and such.

For the technically minded, the new GriffCrier was built using WordPress MU — that’s the multi-site version of WordPress. I did this for several reasons:

    1. I’m using MU at work, and I need a test bed
    2. I want to combine all of our campaign blogs under a single, easily-maintained, easily-managed code base.
    3. I wanted to learn more about developing WordPress themes and plugins

So far I’m pleased with how things turned out, and the guys are too. I think the thing that surprised me most is how much fun I’m having unearthing old photos and loading them to the site. My group’s been around for 13 years, and there’s a lot of history associated with it. Having an archive of the real-world component of that is going to be very, very cool.

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