28 July 2009


36 hours, more or less, after the launch of the new npr.org, and we're all feeling pretty chuffed. The coverage in the New York Times and elsewhere didn't hurt.

From Andy's pics of the late-morning launch meeting (we had to take over the Music end of the floor to fit in everybody—that's my elbow in front of the window, far right), to roving Callie's skewed-angle portraits, to the steady stream of tweets, our launch activity was meticulously documented. I think Daniel and crew were particularly bold to live blog the proceedings, when you consider that the process took more than twice as long as we planned. There are lots of tweets like:

  • We are moving a lot of data in our migration scripts. Taking longer than expected in the live env. @daniel_jacobson Sunday, July 26 13:44:58
  • Final stages of migration before the QA starts. Taking longer than expected... @daniel_jacobson Sunday, July 26 14:13:51

I remain astonished at how smoothly this boat got into the water, with a minimum of schedule slippages, sharp words (and some of those from me), late nights. Beyond this, standards of excellence have been maintained. And the emphasis on transparency is something I've never seen before, with my background in proprietary software products and financial applications.

The back-end application still shows its age in places, but to its credit, the project planners made this an opportunity to give it a feature boost while also building the public-facing site.

It really has been a great project. What's the opposite of a perfect storm?

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