Platform2

Screenshot image of Platfomr2 programme website

Platform2 was a project funded by The UK Department for international Development (DfID) and project managed for them by the development charity Christian Aid. The purpose was to create a means for young people to spend apporximately 3 months in one of several less developed countries on a project site helping there as a means of gaining experience and contributing to bettring the area where they worked.

As a project it was a great idea and a great success. initially though, the website was built by an agency, underperformed and was vastly overpriced. Unsurprisingly. A new projedct manager was assigned to promote the digital aspect of the programme and asked us to look at improvements to the site as the agency had become unresponsive. We moved the static HTML pages and a separate blog into a content management system (CMS), integrated this with Google, Bing and Yahoo, automatically submitting updates, priorities, etc hourly as content was added, and cleaned up the code to provide maximum SEO performance.

The CMS allowed young people in the field to post updates on low-bandwidth networs and mobile phones building the content base and people on other sites, or back in the UK to comment on these posts.

Withn six weeks the search engine results pages had quintupled and first page results were 12 times higher. Applications to participate rose quickly on the back of SEO results long past the close of acceptance, so successful was the transition prioject. In all the new-model site cost 1/10th as much as the original static site and yielded results esitmated to be 5 times greater.

Platform2 ended in 2011 and the website was kept live as an archive until 2013.