12 Nov 2015

Rife Guide - The Ultimate Guide to What’s Going On for Young People in Bristol

Rife Guide - The Ultimate Guide to What’s Going On for Young People in Bristol

Rife Guide is a dynamic online platform where young people can keep up to date with what’s happening in Bristol and get involved in a wide range of activities. Created with young people for young people, the Rife Guide is managed by a team of talented young journalists, content creators and editors who know what’s important to Bristol’s young people.

About Rife Guide
Rife Guide forms part of a virtual youth service that is much more than a calendar of local events and activities. Visitors to the site can get information about joining clubs and attending courses. They can also look for jobs and even access advice on important issues like housing, drugs and sexual health. What’s more, visitors can create a login that will give them access to a portal of information that is relevant just to them. Information about the events and services suited to their age and preferences are then pushed to them every time they log in, without the need to search.

A website for Providers AND Young People
As well as being a hub for young people, Rife Guide is a platform where local businesses, organisations and providers can promote their services to a relevant audience. They too can create a login, and upload the details of their organisation or event which is then moderated by the Rife team before being published to the website.

How the idea was developed
Before Rife Guide was created, the team at Focus developed Go Places Do Things - an online solution to Bristol City Council’s duty to publish positive events for young people. Featuring useful information and news articles, the site was successful for a few years, but as the web progresses the site eventually became out of touch with young people and what they engaged with online. So, in 2013, Focus began working with Watershed, in a new agreement with Bristol City Council to reinvent the virtual youth service.

Watershed had already begun working on Rife Magazine, a platform for young people, written by young people, so had initial ideas on the design style and tone that Rife Guide – it’s sister site – would take.

What made this website different?
Consultation has been king. From the beginning, we worked with Watershed on a series of workshops and engagement sessions with both the providers of the youth services, and target youth groups. This involved visiting local schools as well as children in care.
We discovered from the providers what would make their lives easier in terms of publishing their events and organisation details, and how we could technically improve the way they had previously been doing this on Go Places Do Things.

Key feedback here was:

  • A fast, easy online interface
  • Make it easy to add repeating events
  • Ability to cancel or change an event in a series
  • Better ways to categorise events
  • We also ran a number of sessions with youth groups, who had lots of feedback and ideas! The key points here were:
  • Majority of internet use was via mobile
  • Use social media to share
  • Site should be easy to search
  • Less text, more images and video

So what next for Rife Guide?
After launching in time for the Summer Holidays 2015, there’s been much activity including on-going engagement with providers, lots of Social Media activity and increasing numbers of visitors to the site.
It’s early days, but the site Analytics are already indicating a very positive improvement in visitors to Rife Guide compared to the previous website.
Moving forward, we’re already planning some improvements and enhancements based on feedback from providers and young people, including reacting to statistics relating to what our users are searching for – currently film, sport and music are all popular subjects. We’ll look forward to sharing these updates once they go live later this year.

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