New web site for Sydenham Town Centre

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Chris Best
Posts: 423
Joined: 6 May 2005 11:37
Location: Sydenham

New web site for Sydenham Town Centre

Post by Chris Best »

For those of you who missed the last Sydenham Assembly you can now see the progress that has been made with the new web site to promote our high street.

The Sydenham Town Centre Steering Group have agreed match funding with the Sydenham Traders Association for the wonderful new web site http://www.sydenhamtowncentre.com

The bus is now running along the street view - and the next stage is to get more businesses to sign up.

Please spread the word - this is very much work in progress and shows that we want to improve the footfall in our high street - as well as making it a destination!

Chris Best
http://www.chrisbest.org
Rachael
Posts: 2450
Joined: 23 Jan 2010 13:42
Location: Sydenham / Forest Hill Intersection

Re: New web site for Sydenham Town Centre

Post by Rachael »

Very nice - although the photo of Well Being with the shutters down is unfortunate.

Will the pdf showing the High Street regeneration plans be revised when the tarpaulin comes off the Greyhound to reveal nothing but scaffolding and broken promises?

Seriously, while you are here, please have a look at this thread and tell us our fears are unfounded.
http://forum.sydenham.org.uk/viewtopic. ... f=1&t=7547
sydenhamboy
Posts: 264
Joined: 8 Oct 2006 10:33
Location: sydenham

Re: New web site for Sydenham Town Centre

Post by sydenhamboy »

Brilliant. Really impressive. Can this forum not go up on there as well so it's all under one roof, so to speak?

Also I suggest a better picture of the Dolphin.

Also why not send the link to Antic who appear to be about to announce a new pub venture in Sydenham .. could help promote their new project .. ?

Well done designers of website - it looks great!
Annie
Posts: 1187
Joined: 13 May 2006 11:08
Location: Sydenham

Re: New web site for Sydenham Town Centre

Post by Annie »

The design and layout is really good-love the sliding bus! :D
caseyref
Posts: 23
Joined: 21 Nov 2007 00:47
Location: Kirkdale

Re: New web site for Sydenham Town Centre

Post by caseyref »

For a start I love the site, its really great but one thing niggled me a little.

I am at a lost at why Kirkdale is not on the site as the graphic at the top says Sydenham Smiles all the way from Cobbs Corner all the way down to Bell Green.. don't we smile up here in Kirkdale?

I do think that regardless of the Kirkdale Village initiative being separate it should be included on this site.

On my address its Kirkdale, Sydenham so I do hope us folk in Upper Sydenham can get our shops featured.
Robin Orton
Posts: 3355
Joined: 9 Sep 2008 07:30
Location: London SE26

Re: New web site for Sydenham Town Centre

Post by Robin Orton »

Perhaps the reason why Kirkdale does not feature is that this project seems to be based on Sydenham ward and that 'Kirkdale Village' (the shopping area of the old Sydenham High Street) is, I think, in Forest Hill ward. The powers that be seem to have decided that Kirkdale/Upper Sydenham is a third 'town centre', separate from both (Lower) Sydenham and Forest Hill - as in the Mary Portas bid (see http://forum.sydenham.org.uk/viewtopic. ... 059#p59059)
JRobinson
Posts: 1104
Joined: 5 Jan 2010 12:40
Location: De Frene Rd

Re: New web site for Sydenham Town Centre

Post by JRobinson »

I like the sliding bus, but it would be good to organise the spacing so that shops that are opposite each other, are opposite each other - I noticed when I got to Lidl!

good idea though - lets hope it has the desired affect.
ALIB
Posts: 1548
Joined: 12 Oct 2006 21:34
Location: East Sussex

Re: New web site for Sydenham Town Centre

Post by ALIB »

it is inded an excellent website.

It is also bemusing why Upper Kirkdale is ommitted

Perhaps someone can clarrify ?
Chris Best
Posts: 423
Joined: 6 May 2005 11:37
Location: Sydenham

Re: New web site for Sydenham Town Centre

Post by Chris Best »

You are quite right Robin. Sydenham ward ends on the junction of Wells Park Road and Sydenham Park so the hub of Kirkdale is in Forest Hill ward. When we discussed this the view was that Kirkdale were branding their own village web site and would build on the pop-up site - http://kirkdalepopup.here-there.net/ as well as having their own twitter account - https://twitter.com/#!/kirkdalevillage.

The concept for Sydenham was to have four areas - Coobs Corner including the lower part of Kirdkale, high street, library quarter and Bell Green. Bell Green itself is in Bellingham ward but people felt that as a retail park is going to be developed it was better to have them inside rather than outside the web site.

The links for other centres will of course be included - and the web site is for local businesses not just high street traders.
ALIB
Posts: 1548
Joined: 12 Oct 2006 21:34
Location: East Sussex

Re: New web site for Sydenham Town Centre

Post by ALIB »

Thanks for Clarrrifying Cllr Best. That makes a lot of sense.
michael
Posts: 1273
Joined: 26 Sep 2006 12:56
Location: Forest Hill

Re: New web site for Sydenham Town Centre

Post by michael »

The Kirkdale Village Pop-up website is about a specific event that took place in December 2011, it does not seem to aim to be the same as sydenhamtowncentre. It doesn't seem fair that this website should be the reason for them to be excluded while Bell Green is included.

My view is that all businesses in SE26 should be represented on the website, but I guess that is up to the people of Sydenham, and I am only an occasional visitor.

Interesting that one of the two adverts is for a cafe in Forest Hill which prefers to advertise on the Sydenham website than the Forest Hill website. It just goes to show that all of the retail areas of SE23 and SE26 are more connected than a lot of people think, one of the reasons for a joint Portas bid. But if this site was really only about the four areas of Sydenham, they should not be accepting adverts from cafes in SE23 (nothing wrong with this, but it highlights an inconsistency that should be addressed).
caseyref
Posts: 23
Joined: 21 Nov 2007 00:47
Location: Kirkdale

Re: New web site for Sydenham Town Centre

Post by caseyref »

I very much agree with you Michael.

All I thought when I read why Bell Green was included I thought, oh because its a major develop its best to include rather than compete with it.

I think that if you will exclude Kirkdale then Bell Green should be excluded as previously said Bell Green is in Downham Ward not Sydenham.

Kirkdale Village is a small initative for the local area, the website was for the pop up event nothing more and twitter/facebook accounts can be done by the high street if someone wanted to set one up.

Don't get me wrong at the moment I'm still not 100% about the Kirkdale Village thing as it still doesn't sit right with me as a resident viewing the 'progress' that is being made, but thats for another time to discuss.

But as a resident of UPPER SYDENHAM I would like to have the area recognised and for all to work together on things like the joint Portas Bid.
Micromel
Posts: 33
Joined: 19 Sep 2011 19:05

Re: New web site for Sydenham Town Centre

Post by Micromel »

The website looks great and will be brilliant when more businesses sign up - there are only 2 places to eat out on there at the moment!
The sliding bus is good but it really shows how awful some of the shop fronts are (like Palace Wines and Laundrette) and how the Portas fund could give us more shop fronts like Billings, which would make such a difference.
Shame Kirkdale isn't included - people really do think of it as part of Sydenham.

[ Post made via Mobile Device ] Image
penelopeelse
Posts: 50
Joined: 8 Nov 2011 18:32
Location: Sydenham, London

Re: New web site for Sydenham Town Centre

Post by penelopeelse »

Hi All

Sydenhamtowncentre.com webmaster here! Thank you for all the comments - feel free to tear the site apart to help me improve it - I'm not sensitive about it, and I need you for my User Testing!

As Chris said, it's a work in progress, and still early days - especially in terms of persuading businesses to sign up. I'm slightly behind where I should be, because we were doing the Portas Pilots bid, but I'll catch up soon. It's got to become the most amazing town centre website in London, but I can't do it all by myself - I need content, paying members, ideas for functionality from local people. If anyone wants to contribute, let me know. Once it's looking like a contender I'll be tapping local big business for sponsorship for local promotions.

I've noted your points and will add to the list anything not already on it - but the main issue I'm hearing is about Kirkdale. It absolutely WILL be on there, once I've gained some (any!) interest from the shops there, and I'll do a separate Street View for it (which I'm still only halfway through developing - it'll get much better). We may have to tweak the Smile logo, but that's fine - I came up with the concept before we decided to broaden the remit to all SE26 shops & businesses. I know - Kirkdale shops can be the dimple in the smile! How about that?

In the meantime, there's a Facebook group and a Twitter profile, please go and friend/follow us!
http://www.facebook.com/sydenhamtowncentre
http://twitter.com/#!/sydenhamtownctr
leenewham
Posts: 5886
Joined: 2 Sep 2007 11:58
Location: SYDENHAM
Contact:

Re: New web site for Sydenham Town Centre

Post by leenewham »

HI Pen,

I know we have spoken about this before, but you did ask!

I'm not a fan of virtual high streets. Shopping malls don't have them, brands don't have them, it's not how people use the internet to find information. Our high street, visually, isn't an asset. It frightened Waitrose away (so I'm informed) so I'd be more inclined to use pictures of the shop owners or things they sell instead of pictures of the shop fronts and signage. It will also stop it becoming out of date quickly and advertising it's shabbyness. Leave that to Google streetview!

The http://thecrouchendproject.co.uk/ is a really good town centre website. They have a loyalty card, although they call it a membership card. When it was a loyalty card it didn't do very well. The plan is to make it work in other areas too so the Muswell Hill card will work in crouch end and vice versa. So it's more like the Nectar card than a Tesco Club card. Their card has more holders than members of the Sydenham Soceity in a smaller area. I don't know how Sydenham Smiles works as yet. It's worth speaking to Clare Richmond from http://www.speakto.co.uk/ about what they have learned from their site and doing loyalty cards.

On the home page, I think it's worth copying what the likes of Westfield, John Lewis etc do. We did that with the sires for Harrow Town Centre and North Harrow so all the recent events are big on the front page and you don't have to click through menus to find anything. As soon as people have to start clicking through menus traffic dramatically falls away.

http://uk.westfield.com/london/
This is the one we designed with Town Talk for North Harrow (along with the branding):
http://www.northharrow.towntalk.co.uk/
Here is the one we designed with Town Talk for Harrow Town Centre (we also designed the logo):
http://www.harrow.towntalk.co.uk/

The way the Crouch End Project design their ads in the directory is good too. They limit what people can say, they lead with an image of their logo or an offer or something they sell rather than an image of their shop which feels more modern and bespoke. Businesses get a free small listing then can upgrade to a bigger more comprehensive listing (a lesson learned from how supermarkets get people to 'upgrade' from standard to Finest).

On the front page they have Twitter listings which helps with SEO and all events are accessed by the colour coded 'whats on' section which is brilliantly designed, easy to use and looks great.

It's a little confusing, especially in a Google search that it's called Sydenham Town Centre when the main site visited for Sydenham is Sydenham Town and there is also a Sydenham Town Talk site. I'm not sure how we get around that one.

I think the Sydenham Town Centre website is a great start but there is much we can do to improve things.
sisterofwookie
Posts: 30
Joined: 16 Dec 2011 15:32
Location: Kirkdale Village

Re: New web site for Sydenham Town Centre

Post by sisterofwookie »

Well done Pen you have worked your magic again. The Kirkdale Village crew would very much like to be added to the Sydenham Smile - perhaps the nose! :lol:

Kirkdale Village do have a Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/kirkdalevillage and are hoping to have Pen work her magic on the current Kirkdale Village Pop Up page to convert it into our official site which will hopefully link with the Sydenham Site. The problem we are facing is lack of funding and volunteers help maintain and run a site, so once again we are keen to talk to anyone who would be happy to help who has a passion for the area and specifically Kirkdale.
Labanised
Posts: 68
Joined: 4 Jan 2011 12:17
Location: Sydenham

Re: New web site for Sydenham Town Centre

Post by Labanised »

Hi there,
I've had a quick gander at the STC site. I like the look of it and find it is easy to navigate.
I think bounce rates could initially be quite high if users are searching for STF via SERP's (Google, Bing etc for those not familiar with SEO and Analytics).
Perhaps given the strong liklihood for users to be searching for STF, perhaps the Link to STF (currently tucked away in the town centre links) could be made a tad more prominent?

Maybe STF could do the same as this would serve both sites well in terms of In & Outbound links for SEO and as a portal/ hub for SE26 whether you live or work here (or just want to find out as much about the area as possible). I think the two sites can compliment each other very well as STC is primarily business orientated (CTR's will be more important here) and STF is driven by the people that make SE26 what it is.

Is it possible to use the smile as anchor links to each segment of Sydenham?
biscuitman1978
Posts: 1588
Joined: 16 May 2006 20:14
Location: Chislehurst; previously Sydenham

New web site for Sydenham Town Centre

Post by biscuitman1978 »

Well done to all involved with the website. It looks good, and much better than the beta version.

I particularly like the silhouetted images of Sydenham across the top of each page. I also find it easy to navigate.

I do, however, agree with leenewham's points and suggestions:
- The virtual high street isn't particularly helpful, and if we must have it it should show images of products rather than shopfronts (which show Sydenham in a pretty poor light)
- Showing key events/promotions on the front page would be helpful
- Offering free basic listings for each shop with the opportunity to upgrade (for a small fee) is sensible
- A Twitter feed would be helpful

In terms of Search Engine Optimisation, I'm mindful that many people refer to Sydenham Road as 'Sydenham High Street'. I'm no expert on SEO (I confess I have no idea what Labanised means by 'SERPs'!), but I guess that including 'Sydenham High Street', as well of course as 'Kirkdale', 'Bell Green' and so forth will help drive traffic.

Turning to populating the site, existing sites will provide plenty of information on events taking place in the town centre. The Sydenham Society's events page and the Sydenham Town events diary will be a good place to start.
Labanised
Posts: 68
Joined: 4 Jan 2011 12:17
Location: Sydenham

Re: New web site for Sydenham Town Centre

Post by Labanised »

Hi,
sorry about that.
SERP's are Search Engine Results Pages. Can be Google, Bing, Alexa or whichever search tool you use. Not everyone uses Google so, I didnt' want to make that assumption. Whilst sat here and typing 'Sydenham' into Google, STF understandably ranks highest. Both sites can benefit from that I think.

At the risk of being boring, here's a few other search engines:
Alexa Web Search
Ask.com
Bing
Blekko
ChaCha
DuckDuckGo
Exalead
Factbites
FindFiles.net
Google (Also check out EcoSmartSearch.com, a Google-powered search engine with a black background display that saves energy)
Hakia
iSEEK Education
Lycos
Quintura
SearchEdu.com
SimilarPages.com
SnappyFingers
Wolfram|Alpha
Yahoo!
Zanran
sisterofwookie
Posts: 30
Joined: 16 Dec 2011 15:32
Location: Kirkdale Village

Re: New web site for Sydenham Town Centre

Post by sisterofwookie »

Please come to the following Meeting

Proposed Agenda

Weds 11 April, 6.30pm-8.30pm,

At House Hall, Grove Centre, 2 Jews Walk, Sydenham, London, SE26 6PL

HOPEFULLY THE FOLLOWING GUEST SPEAKERS

1. Intro - Jenny Holland (Wooster Stock) 5 mins CONFIRMED


2. Portas Pilot –Ed Holloway 10 mins CONFIRMED (Councillor Chris Best)


3. Kirkdale Village Street Beautification – Becca Leathlean (Alhambra) 10 mins CONFIRMED


4. Pop Up Vision – Louise Brooks (Bake Marketing) 10 minutes


5. Shop Fronts – Lee Newham (Good People) 10 minutes


6. Kirkdale Village Street Art Competition and Arts Festival – Annabel Maclaren (Syd Soc) 10mins


7. Social Media & Sydenham Website – 15 minutes Pen Else (frock cycle) CONFRIMED (Sean ?)


8. Membership & Vacancies – Rashmi Patel (Perfucare) – 10 minutes


9. Brainstorming Session – Jenny Holland -20mins CONFIRMED


10. Signing up - 10mins


11. Closing – Alex Feakes 5mins
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