Grandmas, Spotted any cute kids?

Published 1:47 am Saturday, October 4, 2008

When The Star-News launched its new Web site last month, we added a number of new features, making our site a more interactive experience for our readers.

Those who register on our site have the ability to comment on stories, and to create galleries to which they can post their photographs.

The photo galleries appear in the Spotted link from our home page, and there are two sides, “We spotted” and “You spotted.” We post our galleries on one side, our readers on the other.

Often, we don’t have space on our pages to include all of the photos we take at an event. For example, there are four pictures in today’s paper from the Meredith’s Miracle fish fry held last night; there are 18 photographs posted to the spotted gallery. There are about seven photographs in today’s paper of the hoopla leading up to Straughn’s homecoming; there are 44 photographs posted online.

It took a couple of weeks to get all of the bugs worked out, and we still have glitches now and then, so I was a little hesitant to issue this invitation. Now that we’re feeling better about it, here goes: Grandmas, post your pictures!

So far, we’ve had four readers post galleries. And truly, you don’t have to be too tech-savvy to do this. Once you go through the registration and create gallery steps, adding photos is as simple as dragging them from the desktop to a “box” on the website and clicking “upload.”

Registering on the site also allows readers to comment on stories. In some cases, the dialogue among readers is more interesting than the original story.

We also now have the capability to post video to the site, and are beginning to experiment with giving readers football footage and sound bytes. For all of us who contribute to news gathering, that’s a new experience. Fortunately, there are now tiny video cameras that capture decent quality video, making the process less cumbersome for us.

Many readers have enjoyed the convenience of our site’s search engine for doing research or referring to previous stories. While the new site has a search engine, all of our archives are not yet accessible. Some very smart information technology folks are working on getting those transferred and accessible for us, and readers should be able to use archives to find at least five years of archived materials in the near future.

Meanwhile, the search engine can give you access to anything we’ve posted since the site went up in September.

Our goal with our new web site is to make it more user friendly to our readers. A few have told us they don’t like it, but most say, “It’s more like reading the paper – almost everything’s there.”

In some cases there’s even more. Log on, check us out, and grandmas, please don’t disappoint me! Show Covington County your latest pictures of those little darlings.