New year, new look for BBC 2012 online
For the latest in our occasional series of guest blogs, here's the man without whom the BBC 2012 site wouldn't be what it is. Mark Coyle, who runs our 2012 online operation, explains what's changing about it as we get closer to the year's big events.
Out with the old and in with the new - welcome to the new-look BBC 2012 site.
Our site launched in July 2010 with the purpose of showcasing the BBC's online, television and radio content arising from the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.
We've tweaked a few things since then but now, with the arrival of 2012 and the pace increasing by the day, we're going for the line with a bold new design.
The main section is made up of three rotating panels in which we'll highlight a wide range of items drawn from right across the BBC.
That means news, sport, drama, arts, culture, comedy, will all find its way onto the site. You might come looking for a story about the Olympic torch relay and be hooked by one of the plays being produced as part of the BBC's Shakespeare season.
It doesn't stop there. Our colleagues in Children's, in the World Service, on the Proms, on Radio 1's big Hackney weekend and a whole lot more, are all working on content and programmes that will be highlighted on BBC 2012.
We had a lively discussion about how to summarise 2012 in just a few words. After a while, we settled on "One extraordinary year" because that's what it is, regardless of whether or not you think it's "extraordinary" for positive or negative reasons.
Those words will appear on the site as our strapline in a couple of weeks' time, along with one or two other small changes. We think they catch the spirit of 2012 - if you agree or see it differently, feel free to comment below.
The main content area uses three rotating panels and has different layouts
Sticking with the rotating area of the site, this is where the big moments will be played out. We have the option to change the layout of the first panel you see when you arrive on the site, in order to give greater prominence to a significant news story or another major piece of content.
Our special feature about the Olympic Route Network and the human stories behind it is a good example of what we mean by the Olympics being about a whole lot more than sport and we've presented it in a layout which is one rung above the standard one.
We have one more layout on top of that which we'll keep for the really big occasions such as the ceremonies, the blue riband sporting finals, a major music festival or a really important news item.
Below this area you'll find a variety of content. It's worth flagging up the area to the bottom right in which we'll put links to other websites' 2012-related coverage.
We want our site to be a place where we can tell as much of the 2012 story as possible. The BBC has a growing breadth of output but it can't - and shouldn't - be doing everything.
Other broadcasters and newspapers are producing some really great material and this area allows us to select solid and significant items with each of the links clearly attributed to the source.
We have some more changes in store as we head towards the Games themselves.
Between now and then, we'll have a section dedicated to the BBC's London 2012 Festival offering. It'll draw together the swathe of activity across our television, radio and online output in the form of live coverage, video and audio clips, background stories, some great still pictures and cast interviews.
We're working with our colleagues on the BBC's Things to Do website to help assemble activities related to our broadcasts that are local to you and in which you can participate.
And that word, "participate" is very much something we think millions will want to do when the Olympic Torch Relay gets under way at Land's End on 19 May.
Our site will show you the way to our innovative live and on demand coverage right across the 70 days of the relay as it winds its way around the UK, to Ireland and the Channel Islands, before ending in the Olympic Stadium on 27 July.
Alongside our London 2012 Festival and torch relay coverage, we'll be providing you with tailored information from the BBC Weather Centre and our travel experts.
"Do I need sun screen or an umbrella today?" We hope our site will help you to answer that question, as well as giving you a snapshot of travel conditions around the Olympic venues.
And of course, you'll want information about the torch relay while you're on the move so we're working on mobile optimised versions of those pages.
A version of BBC 2012 for mobiles will be also available.
It really is "One extraordinary year". As always, let us know what you think.