The purpose of a development roadmap is to show where we’ve come from and where we want to go. While there are plenty of additional features to add to Ancient World Magazine, I am hesitant to reveal most of these too far ahead of time.
The reason for keepings things a bit close to the chest is simply because plans change or are modified, and I don’t want to promise too much and thereby possibly create disappointment when plans change. Furthermore, I think some surprises, hopefully all pleasant, are a good idea.
Where we came from
Ancient World Magazine came about by way of a happy coincidence. I – that is, Josho Brouwers – used to work for a publishing company that mainly produced paper magazines. I was the editor of first one, then another popular bimonthly magazine on the ancient world until last summer. I had the idea of redoing my personal website and blog about the ancient world there.
At the same time, Josh Hall had the idea of starting a website for ancient historians to blog about the ancient world. He had created a WordPress website and I said that I could probably develop something better using ProcessWire, a content management framework that I have used in the past few years to build a variety of different websites for clients.
One thing led to another and on November 7th 2017 I launched Ancient World Magazine, filling it with content taken from my old personal website, two of the articles Josh had written on his WordPress site, and a bunch of new articles created over the course of the two months leading up to launch. I am happy that since then other writers have also contributed material.
The intent of Ancient World Magazine is to offer accessible articles on the ancient world, written by people who’ve actually studied ancient history or archaeology at university. We plan to add different types of content in the not-too-distant future (see below), but I am happy that within the first month we managed to include a list of links to external resources, a partial list of relevant museums, a newsletter, and a podcast.
Where we are going
I’ve got loads of plans for Ancient World Magazine moving forward. Some of the changes that I’m planning will be virtually invisible to general visitor. For example, I have split the cascading style sheets of this website (which govern the look and feel of the site as a whole; think fonts, colours, etc.) across a number of different files. I need to consolidate parts of these, especially as far as font definitions are concerned, to make maintenance easier.
But there are also lots of new features that we plan to introduce over the next few months. The largest of these is a timeline, with data that can be filtered. This is done as far as programming and layout is concerned: the biggest hurdle is actually adding the data. In order to make it manageable, I will focus on the period between 800 BC and AD 200 first. Once that’s more or less complete, the timeline will probably be released to the public, with further data added as time goes on.
Furthermore, there are additional types of content I want to add. In order to increase engagement and hopefully also visitor numbers, I plan on creating infographics and videos. More visual sources of information will help balance out the largely text-based nature of the articles, which form the bulk of the website.
It’s too early to talk about other plans, but there are a few ideas floating around. If you have any suggestions as far as additions to the website, feel free to get in touch!