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Foundation™ was designed from the ground up to create beautiful, functional, feature-rich sites for alt-weeklies. The platform includes hundreds of features for readers, editors, and publishers, all focused on leveraging an alt-weekly's strengths, providing useful and fun tools for readers, and making your website profitable.

  • Fully responsive sites on all devices
  • All-in-one print and online solution
  • Flexible, extendible templating system
  • Hundreds of included components - create custom components or layouts anytime
  • Robust multi-server database cluster, web server cluster, and caching server

General Information

  • FOUNDATION EASE-OF-USE SUMMARY
    • Website structure comes fully loaded with all admin tools and user-features ready to use.
    • Intuitive administrative and data-entry interface, specifically evolved for publications needs over 10 years and hundreds of publication staff.
    • Multiple staff can be in the system simultaneously, working on different data.
    • Web-based access to your database from any computer, anywhere (home, work, on the road).
    • Living website structure enables you to add components, or change configurations at any time.
    • Ability to add 3rd-party widgets, or basic HTML components wherever/whenever you want.
    • Choose from any of the system-standard data-driven components seen among any Foundation sites, or have us custom program new data-based components for your specific goals.
    • General FAQ for system basics reference.
    • Custom FAQ for managing your homepage.
    • Development Blog/newsletter for keeping updated on the latest enhancements and new feature rollouts.
    • Support-email for reaching staff with questions anytime.
  • SETUP INCLUDES
    • Analysis of your homepage-mock.
    • Consulting for best-practices in your data organization, to attain your presentation goals.
    • Data-archive import where applicable (story archives, blogs, and Locations), with mapping appropriate to your new goals.
    • Guidance for coordinating materials and questions through the setup process.
    • Development of:
      • Custom-homepage structure, components, and design to your mock.
      • Custom navigation and footer links established in a way you can manage post-launch.
      • Style implementation site-wide to match your desired homepage design.
      • Standard section-landing pages chosen appropriate to your content needs. Choices as seen among other clients. Further customizing available.
      • Placeholder pages for your static-page needs (advertising info, staff info, etc.).
      • Basic forms for user email submissions of events, letters to editor, news-tips, contact-staff inquiries.
      • Import-rules customized to your InDesign story exports.
      • Print-export format refinements for your events, dining listings, location directories.
      • Filespace access for any pdf, flash, plain-html, or other non-data-oriented files you may need to link to.
      • Training for standard system usage of all the above mentioned.
    • Standard Foundation site (data structure, website structure, and all features).

Foundation System Features

  • ARTICLES AND BLOG CONTENT
    • Browsable categorizing:
      • Bi-level assignment for articles (you define). ex: Music/Reviews, Music/Interviews, etc.
      • Topic-driven categorizing for blog posts (you define). ex: Environment, Local Politics, Transportation, etc.
      • Multiple searchability options (see "Search, Archives, Browsability").
    • Cross-link automation to your related Polls, Locations, Events, Stories, Films
    • Tagging for all content (loose-entry, or choose-from-existing).
    • Popularity rankings
    • Images, slideshows, video, audio — Place in-line within story wherever desired.
    • Teaser-image customizable. Macro and other inline or default placement options as well.
    • Multi-page option per story, or universal setting to break by word-count.
    • User-options include:
      • Print friendly
      • Share via (facebook, twitter, etc.) social bookmarking
      • Email friend
      • Add to custom list (best restaurants, Funny columns, etc.)
    • Article admin tools include:
      • Batch-importing convenience from post-production InDesign or Quark exported files (tagged text). Automates image and category assignment, data-field-population, custom style conversions, and more.
      • Schedule release per issue, and/or per article
      • Review scheduled or offline content
      • Reviewing your category sequencing and import-mapping names
    • Standard components per story page include:
      • More by this author, in this category or Topic, etc.
      • People who like this also like...
      • Most popular/most read/most emailed in this section/category
    • Standard components per Section landing page include:
      • Latest stories by category, or overall
      • Featured story (optional choice)
      • Related blogs (optional)
      • Recent comments in this section
      • Top commenters in this section
      • Top viewed stories in this section
      • Most emailed stories in this section
      • Upcoming Events per category associated to that section.
      • Recommended staff pick Events appropriate for that section.
      • Popular Events appropriate for that section.
      • Favorite/Top-rated venues categorically associated to this section
      • Archive search box by author, category.
    • Blogging admin features include:
      • Schedule release per post
      • Flag posts as Pending Review
      • Offer comments as 'pop-up' or standard in-page/full page.
      • Enable non-staff to blog through separate (non-admin) interface.
      • Blogs can be fully custom 'skinned' if needed, to create the appearance of their own 'site'.
  • IMAGES AND SLIDESHOWS
    • All images can be uploaded w/large dimension (500px wide or bigger).
    • In-line placement within story offers flexibility, sizing/usage options
    • Resizing to various usage per page is automated by the system
    • In-screen cropping option for Admin ease.
    • ‘Click to enlarge’ option for each.
    • Images can be linked to another URL, instead of ‘enlarging’
    • Image ‘alt’ tag can be customized if needed.
    • Unique custom teaser image option.
    • Create ‘Slideshows’ for inline or stand-alone placement as well.
    • Browsable image archives, with full related data linking.
  • VIDEO AND AUDIO
    • Supports any standard embedded video from your 3rd party of choice (YouTube, Vimeo, BrightCove, etc.)†
    • Supports standard MP3 file upload
    • Inline-placement of video and audio.
    • Browsable archives of content with audio or video
    • Video-specific additional format for better user experience.
  • LOCATIONS
    • Robust browsing via your custom categorizing:
      • Bi-level assignment of categories for locations (you define). ex: Restaurants/Italian, Arts & Culture/Museums, etc.
      • Neighborhoods — Customize your bi- or single-level neighborhoods, sequence them, and narrow the ez-browse choices.
      • Features per location for browsing (you define). ex: Patio, Handicapped accessible, Green business, family friendly, etc.
      • Multiple searchability options (see “Search, Archives, Browsability”).
    • Dining guide offers additional values/options (price, menu, dining-specific features)
    • Cross-linking via a single ‘master location’ for chains or compound/related locations.
    • User-options include:
      • Commenting/review/rating
      • Sort others comments by date, or rating
      • Same User-option tools as with story content (saving as favorite to profile, custom list, email friend, etc).
    • Admin tools include:
      • Upsell options for paid-description, images, coupons, etc.
      • Icons — Customize your icons for various location features
      • Twitter-feed include option per location
      • Magnum-size image placement, slideshows, etc.
      • Export Dining capsules, or other location directories for print (see “Print Export” section)
    • Standard side-components include:
      • Upcoming events at this location, Past events, Related stories, other related locations.
      • ‘Nearby’ component shows locations ‘near’ whatever location you’re viewing.
      • Automated Maps, small and large view, and “Directions” tool
      • Map default to your city center if address is unmappable (admin option)
      • Friends of this location
      • Popular locations, most-viewed locations, top-rated locations, staff-pick/recommended locations.
  • EVENT & CALENDAR LISTING
    • Robust browsing via your custom categorizing:
      • Bi-level assignment of event categories (you define). ex: Arts & Culture/Museums, Music/Rock, etc.
      • Neighborhoods (browsed by location event is held)
      • Features per event for browsing (you define). ex: Staff Pick, Free, Family-friendly.
      • By-date (today/tomorrow/weekend/week, or per date)
      • Multiple searchability options (see “Search, Archives, Browsability”).
    • User-options include:
      • User commenting
      • Same User-option tools as with story content (saving as favorite to profile, custom list, email friend, etc), plus:
      • “Remind me” text or email per event
      • Add to iCal option per event
      • Bookmarkable page for each current event and past event.
    • Admin tools include:
      • Enter events easily, at any time.
      • Fields for all needed data (phone, url, price, description, etc)
      • Date/time/frequency settings flexible and easy to enter any time.
      • Relationship between events and stories, locations, other events, easy to set.
      • Featured-description for longer story-like web display option, including author-field and special ‘featured date’ for homepage assignment.
      • Export for print (see “Print Export” section)
    • Standard side-components include:
      • People who liked...
      • Popular events, staff-pick/recommended events.
      • Map of location with automated geocoding and inline driving directions.
      • Nearby locations
  • FILMS AND MOVIE TIMES
    • Import movie times, poster-art, MPAA rating, runtime, and other data via your Cinemasource or Tribune/TMS account (3rd party arrangement)†
    • Manual entry option available.
    • Movie ticketing links integration (opt-in, varies by city depending on Cinemasource or Tribune/Fandango data)
    • Connect your full reviews to capsules/filmtimes and vice-versa.
    • Export your capsules for print (see “Print Export” section)
  • LOGGED-IN MEMBER ADDED FEATURES
    • Commenting on everything (non-member option available)
    • Enhanced review-comment w/rating for locations
    • Saving favorites (stories, locations, events)
    • List-making (best punk venues, cheap eats, etc)
    • Text-message or email reminders for events
    • Newsletter preferences (option per publication)
    • Profile page
      • Username
      • Bio
      • Interests
      • Image/avater (shows alongside comments site-wide)
      • Recent comments, saved favorites, etc.
      • Privacy settings
  • MOBILE
    • Mobile-optimized version of the site for browsing all data (included/standard).
      • Easily “discoverable” to notify mobile users of the option when landing on your regular site.
      • Default interface browse options for Locations/Restaurants, Events, Best Ofs, Blogs and Articles.
      • Custom landing pages arrangable for development addition.
    • Apps-development ready. (Apps are specific niche-concepts for specific devices. They can be develop by 3rd parties, in addition to the add-on ones offered by our partnered developers. See our ‘add ons’ page.)
  • NEWSLETTERS
    • Standard “off the shelf” newsletters to offer are “weekly content” and “upcoming events”.
    • Custom newsletter concepts and development also can be arranged.
    • Automated sending to site members
    • Scheduling flexibility
    • Members manage their newsletter options through their profile.
  • BEST OF
    • For voting, we have a Survey module:
      • Create multiple choice or fill-in blank questions.
      • Categorize questions
      • Choose multi-page (one per category), or all-in-one-page format.
      • Options to collect “reasons” for users answers, and/or have them choose from your location database.
      • Schedule survey start and stop dates
    • For awards/results, we have a “Best Of” module:
      • Enter each winner as a story, grouped by desired ‘categories’ in a “Best Of” section. Enter an introduction as its own category/story.
      • Link stories to related locations
      • Customizeable landing page.
      • Users will be able to browse all categories and winners per year.
  • STAND-ALONE, STATIC & FORM PAGE NEEDS
    • Create any non archived one-off pages using the ‘page’ class at any time.
    • Embed anything you like (Google docs, I-frames from 3rd parties, etc)
    • Have custom forms created as needed for users to fill out to be emailed to your chosen address.
    • Opt for users to have to ‘login’ prior to viewing particular pages.
  • ADS AND STATS
    • Supports your “Google Ad Manager,” hosted “OpenX,” or similar ad code (3rd party arrangement)†
    • Integration, section targeting approach, etc. coordinated with you as part of site setup
    • Site structured to optimize standard IAB ad size placements. (Total width = 980)
    • EZ addition of standard java-script statistics tracking code (Google Analytics, Quantcast, etc., 3rd party arrangement)†
  • PRINT EXPORTS
    • Export your Events/Calendar, Dining Listings, Film Capsules, and Location Directories for print use.
    • InDesign (or Quark) export is ‘placement ready’ for direct use in InDesign (or QuarkXPress). Will flow in fully styled, to your InDesign or Quark stylesheet definitions.
    • Pre-poof the export onscreen with edit links per item, using our proofing/editing tools.
    • Standard organizing options are combined with customized per-listing formatting to build these proofing and export tools to meet your needs during setup.
  • SEARCH, ARCHIVES, & BROWSEABILITY
    • Google Search embedded in your site, Google’s weighted results for any keyword from your entire site’s pages. Aided by your Google tools (3rd party arrangement)†
    • Article archives
    • Issue/cover archive
    • Author archives
    • Comment archives
    • Image and slideshow archives
    • Video archives
    • Location directories
    • Events browse/search
    • Dining guide
  • MEMBER, COMMENT & SOCIAL TOOLS MANAGEMENT
    • Commenting management tools include:
      • Review recent comments anytime
      • User-policing enables users to ‘report’ concerning comments to you for review.
      • Comment review can email-notify you when a comment is ‘reported’ as a violation
      • Review user-reported comment violations, pull offending comments, ‘block a member’ from posting again.
      • Filter (auto-hide, or email-notify you about) comment postings by IP, or text-phrase. Silent-mode default, or error-notify member option. Able to exempt members, or per-member.
      • Arrange unique styles for staff comments.
      • Captcha spam-bot prevention on login, forms, email-friend, etc.
    • Member management tools include:
      • Review membership count, and newsletter sign-ups.
      • Export list of Member emails, for use with 3rd-party ‘email blasting’, like Constant Contact.
    • Social dynamic features include:
      • Share-via-Social-Site icon links (facebook, twitter, etc) configurable/expandable.
      • Facebook activity components (friends activity, commenting activity, etc.)
      • Polling (single-question/multiple choice) with graphing of results, and user commenting.
      • Recent comments
      • Top-commenting members
      • Top viewed (stories, events, locations, blog posts)
      • Most emailed
      • Most commented on
      • Readers who liked this story/event/location also liked...
      • RSS feeds — All categories of your content are easily accessible to users via an RSS Syndication page, and via their browser’s address bar for the related pages.
  • SEO
    • Automated rich meta-data on all pages as appropriate.
    • Customizable meta-data enhancement fields for various ‘levels’ of page types: general site, stand-alone-pages, sections and categories.
    • Microdata support for aggregate sites’ easy ‘data-slurping’ of reviews (like Google maps does)
    • Google ‘site maps’ and ‘news maps’ available (you must enable them in your Google Webmaster Tools).
    • Reader-friendly URL permalinks.
    • Automated story-relationships display your links with same-tagged categories in the papers’/cities’ sites via AltWeeklies.org.
    • AltWeeklies auto-posting tools, to expedite link-back mojo.
    • ‘Visitor’s guide’ to provide crosslink mo-jo with other Foundation publications.
  • OTHER SYSTEM CONVENIENCES
    • Edit any data directly from the admin-view of the website (one click edit, so to speak).
    • Crop images from site admin-view.
    • From Data entry interface, ez-link to each story, location, event, section landing, or stand-alone page from atop any updated item, for preview or reference.
    • Override content teaser link destination if necessary to go elsewhere besides the story (rare).
    • Link each author to their archives/author info, or to email them or your general “editor” email.
    • Special concept-link handling include:
      • Latest issue archives
      • Latest story flagged with any particular ‘Feature’ or ‘SpecialPlacement’
    • Short URLs by ID # auto-supported (https://yoursite.com/cityname/ID#)
    • Short URLs by reader-friendly phrase of your choice easily created/managed in your database through the ‘Redirect’ class.
    • Weave ads, or other components, within other multi-item pages (like blog posts), with Interstitial placement and insert points.
    • Standard section-landing pages targeted to your content size/nature.
    • Customizable landing layouts for Event search, Location search, best of, and Movie times
    • Exports of your data to XML format usable by 3rd party developers to create ‘mobile apps’ for iPad, iPhone, Android, etc.
    • Digital edition compatible — Add links per issue to any 3rd-party hosted digital version, or PDF you may create in your filespace, etc.
    • Flexibility of many site features built-in for EZ-customizing, such as:
      • Email-a-Friend pop up window size customizable via variables in the relevant components: Article Tools, Events Tools, Location Tools, Film Tools.
      • Content pages can have a ‘previous/next’ linking option (as blog posts often do). Choice of linking via headline, or date, controlled through variable in the component.
      • Member’s profile default ‘status statements’ are customizable through the “Message” class.
      • Special layouts available for unique categories (like: cartoons, video-only, slideshow-only, etc.)
      • If necessary, RSS feeds from 3rd parties may be imported into your site as well, using the RSSFeed and RSSAggregate classes. For use with custom components/arrangements.

Technical Server/System Info

  • INFRASTRUCTURE
    • Gyrobase advanced queueing infrastructure
    • Robust multi-server database cluster, web server cluster, and caching
    • Time-based caching and on-demand page cache busting
    • Fully managed hosting and system administration
    • MySQL, Apache, FreeBSD (Unix)
  • HARD SERVICES
    • 24x7 monitoring and incident response
    • Redundant web servers
    • Redundant caching servers
    • Redundant database cluster
    • Gigabit connectivity
    • Off-site database and filesystem backup
    • Site-wide UPS and generator with fuel supply arrangement
    • 2N+1 cooling
    • Dedicated, enclosed, secured cabinets
    • Site security with biometric access control, alarms, police response, and DVR
    • Urgent-email address in case of need to notify team 24/7 of a system crisis.

† Indicates a feature that’s designed as an integration, dependent on your additional arrangements with a 3rd party.