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The Texas Tribune is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit media organization that promotes civic engagement on public policy, politics, government and other matters concerning Texas.

The site is one component of a larger technology media strategy operating under the concept that people should be able to get to the news they want in any way they want and original journalism—in all media/technology formats—is a key component. The content is in-depth enough to be of interest to every Texan from hardcore political insiders to casual political junkies and citizens looking for a single reliable source of Texas-based policy reporting.

With an interface that takes cues from both newspaper sites and blogs, and a visual design that’s spare and sophisticated, the site is appealingly simple to browse and read. The navigation structure is flat and utilizes a series of Super Nav dropdowns on specific main navigation categories, allowing current or important topics to be switched out and promoted.

• From start to finish the site took roughly eleven weeks to complete. The first seven were dedicated to planning: personas, requirements, technology specification/strategy, wireframing/prototyping, content management setup and UI design. Because so much time was spent drawing the plans, it made building the site in the final four weeks possible.

• Especially interesting are Tribwire, a curated aggregation of non-Tribune Texas political news from other sources and Tweetwire, an aggregation of the tweets of Texas politicos.

* The developers kept the need to download to a minimum and, since they wanted it to work well on mobile phones, and the iPhone in particular, Flash was kept to a minimum—at launch there was zero.

• More robust community tools are on the way (Phase 1 was just to get the site launched) including RSS feeds, a directoy of Texas politicians (a wiki-like ever-expanding database featuring profiles of all state- and federal-level politicians), a red-light-camera locator and a state employee salary database.
www.texastribune.org

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