Remember the worm of an idea that I mentioned earlier regarding the BP website? Well, it finally squirmed its way out onto the discussion table sometime in the middle of April. Everyone who sat around that table was faced with one question: who will we survive? It became increasingly apparent that there was no other way to go digital. Ergo, the website. The resolution was followed by Maymay’s decisive and singular decision to assess the website’s capability and do whatever was necessary to get it going.
I was tasked to find someone capable and professional enough to see the concept through. Maymay brought in an IT expert from her husband’s company. His assessment determined that the existing website would require major improvements in order for it to carry out the functions we want it to do. These included website loading speed, optimization of embedded videos and images for perfect viewing, social media feeds integration, subscription services (if desired), live-streaming set-up (a.k.a. video on demand), just to name a few.
We also learned that we needed to link with a website hosting provider and a website maintenance company. All these came with a cost which may have induced nightmares to the powers of BP, given its limited financial capacity. In the meantime, Maymay sent me a sample of work from web-designer Amaya Garcia. Her point of view, speed, and artistic accuracy struck Maymay as the perfect fit for the task ahead.
I was equally impressed and so we welcomed her on board. We were soon to learn, however, that no matter how beautiful and well thought of the web design might be, it needed to marry with the cold, and indifferent technical environment of the digital world. We were faced with another dilemma: How do we create this digital space without sacrificing the grace and flow of the art? It was imperative that we find an IT man who would be able to bridge the great divide between both worlds.
It soon became apparent that the IT expert couldn’t do it. After his invaluable assistance in the migration of the website to another web hosting provider, the hunt for another IT expert to replace him began. We soon found one, thanks to BP’s supportive Chairman who ‘lent’ us his own. All these major changes took place in the first week of May, barely three weeks to the scheduled launching of the website. I, more than anyone else in the group, was still trying to educate myself with technical terms alien to me. Simultaneously, I was occupied with planning with the PR team the pages that would be included in the website. Together, we had to come up with titles, blurbs, and images that appeal to our now digital audience. .