From: Len Lazarick
Editor & Publisher
MarylandReporter.com over the weekend launched a redesigned website that we think looks more vibrant and newsy, and adds some of the features you may be used to at other news sites.
The site now allows us to use more photos, makes commenting on our stories easier, improves our search function and adds a new blog called Annapolitics.
Our new site is easier to read and interact with. It gives more prominence for photos and better ways to display them and to share videos. We’ll be doing more of videos and more podcasts in weeks to come.
Almost all the content we’ve produced over the past 15 months has been moved to the new site. The rest will be moved Monday. The only downside is that if you saved a link to one of our stories or daily State Roundups in the past, those links will no longer work, and you’ll have to find those stories again. Also, if you’ve subscribed to RSS feeds, you’ll need to subscribe again as well. Sorry for the inconvenience.
MAKING COMMENTS: The new site allows readers to interact with us and with each other in a very easy way. While we will “moderate” the comments for inappropriate language or libelous content after they are posted, we will no longer need to “approve” the comments that come in. We hope you’ll take advantage of this.
ANNAPOLITICS: Some people call our whole news website a “blog” – we won an award in that category from the Society of Professional Journalists. But we didn’t really have a true blog on the site that would spur conversations with readers and sources. We’re hoping to put fresh content on the Annapolitics blog every day – hopefully edgier and funnier than our news stories. And we encourage our buddies (and our adversaries too) from other blogs of every stripe to weigh in with their postings.
SEARCHING: At last, the search engine on the site will display the results with the newest items first. If you’re looking for an old story, and you know the headline or topic, try putting that into the search function.
TWITTER: A window on the right side of our homepage shows tweets from users talking about Maryland politics. When the General Assembly session begins, we hope that our Twitter window will be a source for what is going on in hearings and meetings in real time.
GIVE US FEEDBACK: Let us know what you think about the redesign, and especially let us know if you think something is not working properly, or you can’t find an older story.
Some of the ideas behind our redesign came from the reader survey we did in October. We got 118 responses. Those surveyed overwhelmingly liked our stories and State Roundup, but gave lower marks to the site’s interactivity and ease of use.
The redesign is the product of months of work by Associate Editor Megan Poinski, with the able technical assistance in the past month from Richard Peng of Mays & Associates, our web hosts from the start. Thanks to them and to you for reading us.
Send your comments or concerns to me or Megan. (We’ve had some problems with our e-mail in the changeover this weekend, so if you get something bounced back, e-mail my home account at firstname.lastname@example.org.)