The (New) Side Show

Welcome, Welcome, Welcome (back)! After a long delay, The Side Show has returned. So what happened and what’s new? Let’s get into it.

The Backstory

First of all, we should explain our two year absence. Our vision after the 2021 show was to move to a new, more inclusive format. To that end we decided to move to a gallery format to showcase a broader number of projects from creators around the industry.

When we first started The Side Show, the main site was built on Squarespace and our judging platform was built on WordPress. This created a few problems. After judging was done it meant we needed to manually move all winning entries over to Squarespace which double the work needed to be done every year.

On top of that it became apparent that Squarespace was not built to handle something like The Side Show. Editing pages became painfully slow as we waited for the platform to load changes.

In short, it wasn’t sustainable.

From there we decided we needed to migrate everything over to WordPress. The problem was that at the time, WordPress wasn’t 100% ready for what we wanted to do either. We were able to improvise something that was held together by tape and staples, but it was clear it wasn’t a long term solution.

After our second year, we decided that if we wanted this to be a long-term tool for the community we needed to rebuild from the ground up with some new capabilities WordPress had introduced.

In order to make this work we had to migrate servers again. And that’s where the delays began.

The Setback

During the migration a good chunk of data was corrupted. We lost some entries. A number of images got corrupted, we lost lists of winners, etc.

The work began in earnest to salvage what we could and build a site that could scale as we needed it to. Our dedicated team redesigned the website from the ground up and rebuilt it using modern resources that would provide the best experience to our viewers.

The Future

With the new website, we are opening the doors to all side projects. Wait, weren’t all side projects encouraged before? Yes, but now our plan is to feature as many as possible that meet our minimum criteria.

That said, we’ll still have judges coming in to award “Featured” status to projects that rise to the top and promote those accordingly through our platforms.

What this practically means is that instead of judging once a year, we’ll have rolling admissions with judges popping in on a regular basis to decide what gets featured. New projects will be added to the gallery on a weekly basis.

This also means that even if your project didn’t shortlist before, you can enter it again for inclusion in our gallery. Simply put, we want to show off what you’ve poured your heart into.

Additionally, our new format and website we will give us the resources to do even more. Because we are not pouring hours into one week of the year we can offer new resources that we believe the creative community has been missing.

More on that at a later date.

Long story short, The Side Show is back, better than ever and ready to become a long-term asset for EVERY creative. We hope you’ll join and support us along the way to making something for everyone in creative community.

Thank you,
The Side Show Team

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