The Union launches new Web site today
We are relaunching our Web site at http://www.theunion.com today, providing easier navigation, enhanced features and more reader voices.
It marks the first time in more than 3 1/2 years that the newspaper has redesigned its Web site. The site remains free.
“The essence of this design is to create a platform for our community to interact with each other,” said our Publisher Jeff Ackerman. “We’ve been talking about this for a long time.
“The future of the newspaper is to take advantage of all the resources we have in our community. How many times have you said ‘Wow, I wish they had that in the paper’? Now if you know about it, you can share it. Whether you are parents who have a picture of a Little Leaguer or you run across a burning house, send us your pictures. Send us your poetry and short stories, too.”
Some of our features will include:
• Easier navigation. A cleaner, more open layout with better organization of hundreds of thousands of pages of content. “Hot topics” will offer all our coverage of many of the topics that interest our community: global warming, the Iraq war, growth, crime and – of course – pets. We will provide related-article links for all articles, “more from this reporter” links and “most popular” links.
• Reader voices. Comment on stories (see Dixie Redfearn’s column on Page 2 for details), write your own blog, create your own online profile similar to a Web page on myspace.com, upload photos, video and audio to share with friends and family anywhere. Find people with similar interests and send messages to other readers. (I’ll write a blog once this site gets up and running for a while).
• Enhancements to existing features, including multimedia. More videos, slideshows and podcasts, with a new built-in player that will offer faster playback. Our calendar of events will offer more listings and categories. You can add your own events, view events by category, date and location.
• Extensive “out of the area” news, including state, national, international, political, national sports news and coverage of Northern California pro teams. National opinion columns by Dave Barry, Amy Goodman and Jonah Goldberg.
The site may automatically recognize your registration. To log on to our site, click on the “log in” link at the top of the page or click on the “my voice” icon on the right side of the page. To set up your user profile, so you can interact with others, click on “my profile.”
We hope you enjoy the new Web site but some words of warning from an old Internet pioneer. Please be patient; any Web site relaunch has glitches that may require time to fix.
“Baby you can drive my car”
In addition, learning to navigate a redesigned Web site that you use regularly always takes time – just as with a car. You may dislike certain features at first because they are different. But give them a chance; they usually grow on you.
To help you, we have provided a “video tour” of the site, hosted by Jeff Ackerman. Please click on it on the right-hand side of the home page in the multimedia box.
Another self-help tip: click on the “FAQ” – frequently asked questions – at the top of the page by the search box or at the very bottom of the page. It will answer many of your questions.
To learn more about “reader voices,” roll your computer mouse over the “reader voices” link located on the horizontal tab at the top of the home page. You will see two links – “how to be heard” and “join our community.” Click on these to learn more.
To submit a calendar item, click on a calendar on the Web site, such as the “my calendar” tab on the right side of the page. Then click on “submit an event” to submit your event.
If you get confused, don’t panic – human beings will be available to help you. Send an e-mail this address: email@example.com. Your email will be answered by Eric Dickerson, who is the project manager for our Web site relaunch. Please email your suggestions to Eric too. A special thanks to our technical crew in Reno, led by Internet Director Jason Aloia, for their work on the site.
Again, please be patient. You’re driving a faster car now and you need to get adjusted to it. We hope you like our new design, and we hope the new features interest you as you discover them. Happy driving!
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