I don’t want to give away the name of the magazine, but its a magazine that is sent to 300,000 alumni of a large public university. Â They have a web presence within the alumni association’s site, but it’s pretty boring.

They have been involve din a long process to re-think the site and have come up with a laundry list of ideas, many of which are fantastic. However, they seem to think that implementing these ideas will cost upwards of $50,000. Embedded audio and video, a unique design, comments, social media integration, flexible publishing schedule, tracking with Google Analytics, big photos, and the ability to augment the site with content from other sites.

I’m not sure who told them that this would be an expensive project. Â they already have a production staff and have been looking to sure a flash-based slide-show program to build slideshows to enhance the articles, so there isn’t much cost in that. Also, the server/bandwidth issues are already built in as they already have a website budgeted.

The solution I would bring in is WordPress.Â

Pick a template and modify it. Multiple users can publish directly. RSS feeds either in the sidebars or creating new articles. Â Room for embedded video or audio. Tracking, AddThis and other widgets to add in. Not to mention moderated comments.

This is about knowing what’s out there and having the imagination to move beyond the “this is how we were told to do it” model of putting a magazine online. Interactivity shouldn’t just be a buzzword, but something built into the soul of the project. Can you think of a more interactive way to build a site that WordPress?

So I’m mocking up a test on WP’s hosted service (so slow) so they can see it.