Web site has new look, features

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By Jamie Baker-Nantz

Change is inevitable. Sometimes it’s a good thing and sometimes it’s not quite what you hoped it would be or in other words a work in progress.

That’s kind of the way we feel about the look of our new Web site.

We had grand plans for a Web site that had all the bells and whistles and that would just take your breath away when it popped onto your computer screen.

OK, maybe that’s a bit over the top, but the point is that we had been working on improving our Web site for a long time. We had taken comments from the public as well as some from the staff and were working on a better, more user-friendly site than our old one.

Our parent company, Landmark Community Newspapers Inc., made the switch to the new format a few weeks ago. The look is different but we hope the site is easier to navigate.

The one thing that I wanted for our Web site is for it to be easy to use. There’s nothing I hate worse than going to a Web site for information and leaving aggravated because I can’t seem to get it to work.

Our new site features slideshows and we can now post video clips of local people and events. We also now have the ability to post more than one photo with a story. As we get better with this technology, we hope to add even more of these types of features.

One of the most exciting aspects of the new site is the community calendar.

The community calendar section is interactive and anyone from the community can log on and add their events to the calendar. We encourage any and all community groups to use this new feature to keep the community informed.

The community calendar is for the community to post their non-commercial, non-profit events. Church bake sales, car washes, board meetings and group gatherings can be posted there.

The new site also has archives, at least from the last year, which is something the old site was missing. We regularly get calls and e-mails asking why archives were not on the site and it was difficult to explain that when we switched Web site hosts our older archives were no longer available to us. This is an issue that we are working to correct, but it’s taking a long time to figure out and believe me, it’s way over my head but something our Web techs at our central office are continuing to work on.

Like the old site, there’s still a place for reader comments on nearly every story. All readers need to do is register a screen name. It’s free and simple. Instructions are on the Web site. Once you register, a confirmation e-mail will be sent to you. That e-mail will give you instructions to confirm your registration. You have to confirm to make sure you’ve given us a viable e-mail, that’s really the only reason.

Once you have your screen name and password you’ve selected, you are ready to comment on our stories and photos. Please no vulgar language, hate comments or other derogatory comments. While we want and welcome your opinion, we want our site to continue to be family-friendly and free from inappropriate comments.

You can also subscribe to our print product through our Web site or get someone a gift subscription. Those readers who already have a subscription can renew online, stop their subscription while out of town or change their address.

While we are excited about these changes, we know that there’s more to be done. We will continually be adding to our Web site to help give our readers the news they want and can use.

We will be updating our obituaries as we receive them in the News office and also being more aggressive with getting breaking news and updates on the site.

We appreciate your comments and look forward to serving you for years to come. If you haven’t checked out our new look, don’t forget to visit www.grantky.com.

(Jamie Baker-Nantz is editor of the Grant County News. She can be reached at 859-824-3343 or by e-mail at j.bakernantz@fuse.net.)