Just posted this on the SND Update site and wanted to be sure you all saw it ...

Thanks to our old friend Tim Frank, the site formerly known as NewsPageDesigner now exists under the SND banner at http://npd.snd.org — and it’s ready for action. Check the new site out today.

As many of you know, SND has been working with Tim to get this new site up since we made a plea to all of you late last year to help us get server space for a new site. Thanks to your generosity, we have been able to purchase that space and start development on a new site.

But we were not able to make that switch before the folks who had been hosting the site in Maine pulled the plug. That’s why we’re up fast with this Ning site. And we’re testing the waters to see if we can do enough custom development on this site to make it a viable platform.

That’s where you come in: First, we need to know what features you want on this site as quickly as possible. And second, we will be working to program the most flexible site possible for the long run. That could be on the current platform or something else (with maybe a Drupal or Django base).

The most important part is that, whatever future form the site takes, the portfolios you create here can migrate easily. We will now have all those on servers we control.

The other significant thing we all see is that the site will need to evolve to handle more multimedia pieces, as well as online and interaction design. Please let us know the best form for displaying that work. We’re open to posting comps of the site design process for everyone to scope out as we move along. We would even be open to a new name for the site that encompasses the wider range of work out there in news design. Kick the tires and let us know.

Have a cool idea for the new site? You can drop a comment to Tim or me at http://npd.snd.org on our profile pages or shoot an email to the SND Web Desk.

Tim, who has a day job as creative director and deputy managing editor for visuals of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, has been working overtime to be sure the community that helped build the old site finds the new home. Hats off to Tim, who has and always will “run” the site as its founder/editor, for working tirelessly more than five years now to make NPD a valuable resource for the entire visual journalism community.

Tim also wants to be sure the Society’s global members take advantage of the site. “Even if you don’t post work here, signing up is a good way to stay in the loop as things develop. So please spread the word. I’d like to get word out to our friends in South America, Europe and Asia,” Tim says. “This is your site. Let me know what you think.”

You heard the man. Visit the new site now and help us develop it into something we’ll all continue to use every day.

Matt Mansfield is president of the Society for News Design and an associate professor for the Medill School of Journalism.

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