WRAL.com at the State Fair

North Carolina State Fair getting seriously online

Posted July 20, 2008

Hey folks! It's a little less than 90 days to the North Carolina State Fair. I know that because of the timer on the new Fair Web site, available at http://www.ncstatefair.org/2008/. The site is counting down to the Fair with a 2008 theme of "Take Time for a Great Time".

Last year's Web site wasn't bad, but I'm really impressed with this year's. The design is clean but colorful, the menu items easily accessible, and there's enough multimedia to keep it interesting but not enough to make the site hard to use.

Actually, it looks like the Fair folks are SERIOUSLY going Internet this year. I think 2008 will be remembered as The Year The Fair Went Online.

The Fair has had online ticket sales for a few years (this year the online sales start August 1), but now? Now the Premium Book is online, AND you can register for certain competitions online! Online competitions include Forage, Arts & Photography, Home Furnishings, Clothing, and Poultry and Rabbits. Note that registration ends Wednesday September 24, you'll have to create an account to register, and of course if there are entry fees you will have to pay those online.

The Fair is also getting social and it wants friends. The YouTube channel is at http://www.youtube.com/2008NCStateFair. (And it's really, really orange. WOW, is it orange.)It has a MySpace page at http://www.myspace.com/ncstatefair . (Apparently the Fair is a 99-year old male. I had no idea. It also has, at this moment, 29 friends including many music performers!)

And of course, with all that the Fair has to have a blog, right? Yup, you can read Deep Fried @ the N.C. State Fair at http://2008ncstatefair.blogspot.com/. There's not much there yet, but this quote means it's worth keeping an eye on: "Production of the State Fair's TV commercials has begun. MSA, the advertising agency for the fair, proposed an interesting concept marrying still photography with animation. I would characterize the approach as the State Fair meets "South Park" (but without the profanity)."

The months leading up to the Fair it'll be easy to keep those social channels updated. What I'm really looking forward to is seeing how they're handled and updated during the Fair itself. In fact, I think on my blog I'll start a section called "Online Highlights" that links to great blog posts or YouTube videos from the official Fair social sites. How about some first-person ride videos, Fair Folks? Oh, and how about a Twitter channel too?


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