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URO central: http://www.mcgill.ca/uro

Published: 10 Feb 1997

McGill University Relations Office launches its new web service.

Digital communications from the University Relations Office

The digital age has arrived and nearly every institution and corporation are scrambling to fill the virtual landscape with Web sites. The amount of information on the Web is breathtaking, but combined with the difficulty of locating specific information, the experience can be overwhelming. URO Central, McGill’s comprehensive news site, makes the task of finding news and university information more manageable. We provide an in-depth look at McGill for the media, researchers, government, the general public and the McGill community.

We’ve completely renovated the look and feel of our Web site to provide an easy interface and helpful tools for users to navigate our pages. Much of the credit goes to designer Eric Smith who has incorporated sophisticated typographical features and a high degree of automation to the HTML documents. For readers, this translates into better and faster online research. Moreover, it means that all of our information will be complete and up-to-date.

"Although I enjoy the most advanced features the Web has to offer, I keep about six months behind the latest developments in my designs," says Smith. "This way I can be fairly innovative, but I’ll know which elements work and which won’t."

For the URO Central, Smith taps into a feature available to Web browsers that support Javascript. When users call up our front page, they also open a separate page that functions like a table of contents and remains on screen as a quick reference tool to other sections of our site. For users without Javascript support, a similar toolbar is available on our main page.

Here’s a look at some of URO Central’s main features:
· Dateline McGill provides up-to-the-minute news about McGill and links to more in-depth reporting wherever possible.
· Scanlines provides links to stories with McGill connections all over the World Wide Web. This section is informative and fun.
· The award-winning McGill Reporter (available online at our site for over a year) provides not only the most current edition of the news, but also past issues only a mouse click away.
· Our Press Release section provides the media and the public with instant access to all of our McGill Communiqués. This site is produced through a database and a highly automated formatting system.
· Coming Events is destined to be the reference calendar for all events taking place at McGill. Users can browse the events listed or submit information about their own events through a direct e-mail link.
· Info URO is an e-mail link that lets users ask questions about McGill, give immediate feedback, and keep in touch with our office. As well, all of the URO staff’s e-mail addresses are linked through our Web site, allowing the public to contact us electronically.

Other sections we’re working on:
· Tangents will provide users with specific links to areas of special interest. This will include sections on international relations, news links to other communications offices across McGill University, and a hotlist of the most interesting Web sites at McGill.
· Our Publications section will offer electronic versions of all the URO’s print publications.
· The Reading Room will feature essays and texts from McGill professors and students. In the tradition of academic discourse, these works are stimulating, informative and sometimes controversial. We provide a forum for readers around the world to get a taste of the high quality debate that often takes place at McGill.

During the next few months, we plan to develop more useful tools such as a searchable online Expert Guide for the media, and a campus-wide news service.

We’ll continue to update our material and to keep abreast of all the technological developments that will help us improve our Web site. URO Central is a living document that continues to evolve and, we hope, better serve the cause of communications at McGill. We look forward to your feedback.

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