A rare celebratory moment as we say hello to our brand new interactive site

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Our new site is packed with interactive features. Illustration by Getty Images
Our new site is packed with interactive features. Illustration by Getty Images

Lockdown has been a strenuous time for all of us in unprecedented ways, but it's also forced us to live outside the box, innovate and work much smarter and harder than we've ever had to before.

At W24, the music never stopped. Instead, the click-clack of our keyboards hastened and became louder as we scrambled for continuity in the new normal.

We swiftly, and almost without warning, moved from the office to the lounge, swapping out our heels for loafers, slippers and sneakers. We found ourselves opting for DIY facials and going on a forced hiatus from many work-related activities we once enjoyed (i.e., Friday after-work cocktails with colleagues). It wasn't without fear we entered a new way of doing life and work with no idea what the future would hold. And, as with all change that comes suddenly, there was some concern at the uncertainty that lay ahead of us as we took on these drastic life changes.

Suddenly meetings started to feel more like episodes of Love is Blind (office edition), and leaving the office simply meant moving from one end of the couch to the other. However, the saying about making lemonade out of lemons comes to mind if I were to sum up this year so far.

READ MORE: Get your working from home motivation back with these 6 tips

Ever so enterprising, the W24 and News24 teams never stopped innovating. In fact, the pandemic brought with it an eagerness to do more, and do it better. As you may have noticed, there've been numerous changes in our family brands such as Channel24, Arts24 and the News24 site, and now it's W24's turn.

Today we turn over a new virtual leaf with a brand new website packed with fantastic features, including a comments section, text-to-speech functionality and subscription content.

While you decide which of these new features you're going to test first, I can already see myself using the text-to-speech function on a lazy Sunday morning when the mind says I need to go through the day's leisure reading, but the mellowness of Sunday and the body say 'lie in the sun, eyes closed with your face buried under an oversized sunhat.'

This functionality truly is a solution to every busy woman's need to stay abreast of information on the days when 24 hours just aren't enough.

READ MORE: WATCH: Leading ladies on SA's Netflix originals highlight the importance of women supporting women

Our comments functionality is another feature I'm looking forward to as I relish nothing more than hearing from our readers. Better yet, together with the rest of the W24 team, we'll be online to interact with you as much as we can.

Since we are introducing a subscription service (together with all News24 brands) for R75per month, you can look forward to brand new content over the next few weeks. We're busy curating unique content in collaboration with local experts in various fields, including personal transformation and sexology, to give you access to some of the best minds in our country at your fingertips. We understand that you'll be paying for premium content, and that's exactly what we'll be curating!

After many somber months, I'm excited to welcome you to a brand new era for lifestyle journalism and women's content!

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What are you most looking forward to buying this Black Friday?
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Results
It looks like the pandemic is still far from over, so more loungewear
17% - 23 votes
The lockdown has made me want to invest more in homeware and furniture, so I'll be adding those to my Black Friday cart
26% - 36 votes
I'm going to use it to get a headstart on Christmas gifting
39% - 53 votes
Footwear is all about comfort this year, so definitely sneakers
12% - 17 votes
It's a good time to get discounted wigs and other beauty essentials
6% - 8 votes
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