It's five years since we started out on our mission to make the world a culturally flatter place. Half a decade! So what have we been up to? Apart from the regular reviews and the over and done Oscar fever, we've most recently been in conversation with some of our favorite writers, including Mark Haddon and Mohsin Hamid, about their past and upcoming works. It's incredibly rewarding when the writers/artists that we write about stop by to read our views/reviews on their works. That's what Twitter has made possible. Over the next few months, we plan to cover the Festival of Asian Literature being held in London together with the London Literature Festival. We hope that will fetch us some great author interviews! The aim, as always, is to keep the website teeming with rich, unique, and engaging content. Culturazzi is currently looking for contributors for its theater and music sections. If you nurture a passion for theater/music and wish to be a part of our arts-devoted initiative, do get in touch!
This birthday, as a small, refreshing exercise we thought it would be a good idea to revive some of our past through pictures of our website – as it spread its wings and grew over the years.
What you see above, was Culturazzi's very first website design, created entirely by our Founder Ankur Sharma when Culturazzi was conceived in 2008. He single-handedly and single-mindedly did the coding, design, and all that goes into the tremendous task of setting up a website with his miraculous all-round, self-taught skills. And he didn't stop there. He wrote weekly reviews for the website too. He did all this while fulfilling and heading a full-time job in marketing. All for his passion. Only he could have done this.
This red and rusty spectacle was Culturazzi's next avatar. This too was fully designed by our founder, with some help from me. It was a beautiful looking website and we loved every second of building on this space. The sections here were more clearly organized compared to the first version of the site and our vision grew more crystallized during this time. We received considerable media attention and had leading newspapers like Indian Express approach us for interviews on our website and initiative. This gave us some great mileage!
Sometime after that, we had our first and much successful film screening event in Bangalore, India:
Our attention soon went back to the website structure and design. It was important that we accommodated and presented our increasing number of reviews, artist features and photographer showcases in the best way possible. While we had a great home/index page we felt the need to make all other sections of the website as special and interactive as the index page. With this in mind, we started to plan and create templates for a restructuring that would work perfectly. This time, we wanted the website to look contemporary, fresh and truly trend-setting. In October 2010, we got around to making this happen. What you see below is the first draft of our pretty drastic makeover.
Classy, right? Thanks to our top-notch designer (Prasad Bhat) and ace programmer (Amrit Bera) who would often grow grumpy from the extravagant expectations we had of them. But they were lovely, uber-talented people who tolerated a number of obssessive-compulsive requests and continued to work hard for us. After carefully considering various options, we decided to go with a clean white background with lush splashes of color. Below is one the first design drafts for the art section. Do take note of the Mona Lisa on the top left. It's a work of art by itself!
The rest is history:
So that sums up how we got to looking as smashing as we do! Culturazzi is always getting compliments for its grand design, but our concern, has primarily been, and will always be, the quality of content for our viewers. The contributions of our excellent writers Daniel Montgomery and Stephanie Lundahl are indeed invaluable, and we would be a content-famished space without them. A big thank you going out to both of them from Culturazzi. And thank you to all you visitors who support us, appreciate our work, and spread the word. Please continue to do so. This year we promise to be better than the last. Lastly, we are now alive on twitter. Follow us for a culturactive life.