Young & Free update: New websites are here and multiple launches are just around the corner!

New website design

We originally designed the first Young & Free microsite in 2006. Needless to say the social web has progressed in the last three years and we have learned a tremendous amount from running three Young & Free programs. This experience has influenced a total redesign of the Young & Free sites. Here are some highlights:

  • The new header prominently displays the regional hex logos, colors, textures and Young & Free Spokesters and better illustrates what the program is all about.
  • During the Y&F Spokester's term, the blog is now the home page instead of a secondary page. This will ensure that visitors are greeted with daily fresh content. Visit the new Texas and Alberta home pages to see what I am talking about.
  • We are using the new Disqus (pronounced Discuss) blog comment platform. Disqus enables visitors to login through their Twitter, Facebook, Seesmic or Open ID accounts. Participants can automatically tweet their comment, update their Facebook status with their comment and subscribe to further comments by e-mail. Disqus has the ability to accept video comments through Seesmic and will automatically add any tweets that link to a post.
  • During the annual Y&F Spokester search or during a special promotion like the Young & Free SC Last Band Standing competition, the new site design features a promotional homepage. During these periods, the blog moves to the first secondary page.
  • We have a new and improved right sidebar with:
    • A permanent spot for our new Living Young & Free Show
    • Greater visibility of our monthly prizes
    • A real-time search widget to highlight activity on Twitter
    • A latest blog comments widget to highlight active commenters, recent activity and popular posts
  • The base of the site has a much larger product ad, more Flickr photos and readily accessible links to corporate pages and all of the other Young & Free sites.
  • The top navigation bar has been reorganized to better highlight videos, financial information, events and a new forum.

Young & Free in the near future

Since going public in June 2008 with our plan to offer one courageous credit union in each state and province an exclusive license to run a Young & Free program, we have had tremendous interest. In fact, more than 150 credit unions and leagues have filled out our form requesting further information.

Although interest is extremely high from US credit unions, the economy and especially the NCUA Corporate Stabilization Program have had a tremendous impact on most credit unions' ability to move forward with an aggressive 52-week program like Young & Free. Having said that, we are extremely excited to announce that our fourth Y&F region will be live in one month and number five and six are launching at the end of January 2010 and June 2010 respectively.

Thanks for everyone's continued interest and support in Young & Free. Please let me know what you think of the new websites!

Tim