I want to introduce you to a new friend. A friend that I hope will become an important part of your everyday life. Please meet:
I know, I know. Many of you think you already know our Web site. But believe me the new statesboroherald.com is not like anything you’ve seen before. The adage new and improved was invented for our new Web site.
We opened the new statesboroherald.com for public view Monday afternoon. It’s in its “Beta” stage, which means it’s not complete in its design or what it will offer. It’s close, but what you see today will look somewhat different in the coming weeks and months. And we want and need your help in deciding what tweaks and changes we make in the near future.
So please go to statesboro herald.com. That address still will take you to our old Web site, but once there, click on the statesboroherald.com banner and it will redirect you to our new site. I am confident you will like what you see. I urge you to take a little time and go through the site. Then let me know what you think – what you like and don’t like; what you want to see more of or less of; anything reasonable you believe would improve the site, I want to know.
Please email any thoughts and suggestions about the Web site to me at email@example.com. I promise we will consider all suggestions.
Why did we create a new Web site?
The short answer is because we had to. Without going into a lengthy explanation about the long–term decline of newspaper circulation in the United States, the bottom line is we want to reach as many of our readers and potential readers as possible. A superior Web site combined with our newspaper allows us the best opportunity to accomplish that.
Also, we want and need you to be an active part of our newspaper and Web site. In the past, you could send us letters and emails, call into Soundoff or participate in an occasional reader survey or poll. But those were pretty much the limits of active reader contributions to the newspaper. Our new Web site changes all that.
In a sense, statesboroherald.com allows you to become a member of our staff. How can you do that? Ahh, let me count just a few of the ways:
* By becoming a blogger
* Commenting directly on stories
* Uploading directly your photos (and sometime soon, your videos)
* Putting your events of interest directly on the community calendar
And those are just a few things.
You will find everything you expect from a newspaper Web site and then a whole lot more on the new statesboroherald.com. Of course, local news, and plenty of it, will be front and center of the site. All the news features you read regularly – Police Beat, obituaries, editorials, Soundoff, weddings, engagements, etc., will be on statesboroherald.com. Business stories and columns from Jan Moore and columns from Dear Abby, Dr. Kemp Mabry, Holli Deal Bragg, Kathy Bradley and others will be easy to find on the site.
So what’s going to be new – A whole bunch.
Here’s a partial list:
Breaking news in real time
We now have a breaking news feature on statesboroherald.com. When news of significance occurs, we will let you know about it immediately on our site and then update the story as we get more information. Also, you can sign up to have breaking news sent directly to your email to keep you informed instantly. Don’t worry, we will not overwhelm your email with needless alerts.
Local, state, national and international video clips are now available on statesboroherald.com.
Click on the “Local News” menu on our Web site and you’ll see local videos of the Doxey family and Soccer Saturday at Mill Creek Park. Next week, look for a different video every day from the Kiwanis-Ogeechee Fair. We are in the process of expanding the capability of putting more video on our Web site, so you’ll see even more in the near future. (Soon, we will let you upload your own video clips to the Web site. More on that later.)
The local news video you see on our site is shot by our reporters, editors and correspondents. It is raw and mostly uncut. We’ll show you what people at a particular scene are doing and seeing. You’ll hear the real sounds of an incident or event.
Also, while we know you come to statesboroherald.com primarily for local news and information you can’t get anywhere else, we will make the biggest national and international stories available in nearly real time via video news clips supplied by the Associated Press. For example, when a gunman took several students hostage in a Colorado high school last week, a video report from AP would have been available as the event unfolded.
The AP video feature is located on the left side of our home page. It is updated with breaking news throughout the day.
Statesboroherald.com will allow you to hear for yourself what local newsmakers are saying. You can find out what Georgia Southern football coach Brian VanGorder says every week during his Southern Conference press conference. (See what he said this week in the Sports section of the new Web site.) And you can listen to it when you want to – according to your schedule. Our site is open 24 hours a day.
Other audio clips you may hear include recordings of important government meetings and even a performance of a Bulloch elementary school’s Christmas sing. That’s how local we want to get.
Everyone wants a chance to have his or her voice heard. On statesboroherald.com we’ll offer you that opportunity with a blog.
I will have a specific blog site and so will other reporters and editors for the Herald. We also will have local-based experts share their knowledge on their own blogs concerning a variety of topics. I urge you to join our blog community. You don’t have to be a professional writer. Your blog entries don’t have to contain great meaning or an earth-shattering revelation. Just have fun.
My blog will have a wide range of entries. From the personal – coaching my 6-year-old son’s soccer team, to the sporting – Georgia Southern’s football season, to the serious – sharing why and how we make decisions of coverage and other matters in the Herald newsroom.
Also, you can make your blog your own news site. For example, the Future Farmers of America chapter at Southeast Bulloch High School could put up all its meeting information, accomplishments of members and anything else of interest. The Red Hat Society could do the same. And so could the Chess Club at Brooklet Elementary
Scroll down to the bottom of our Web site’s homepage and join the conversation.
The Photo Gallery feature you’ve come to love on our current site will be available. As always, click on Photo Gallery and follow the directions to get your photos posted. And then check out the site immediately and see what you posted, because now you can post your photos, all of them, directly to the site yourself.
As I mentioned earlier, we hope to make the same feature available for your home videos, as well. Again, stay tuned.
We will continue to be your best source for Statesboro and Bulloch County obituaries and obits from the area. But now our obituaries also will be part of the Legacy network. Legacy allows you to view Statesboro Herald obituaries, sign a guest book, send a condolence note and offers many other features. It also will allow you to view obituaries from almost anywhere in the United States.
The new Community Calendar allows you to upload your events directly to statesboroherald.com. We want you to let other people now when your group or organization is holding a meeting or a special event, or whatever. We will continue accepting all your calendar items and putting them on our Web site, but you now have the option of doing it yourself.
Not sure where to go to eat? Click on “Dining Guide” at the top of our homepage and you can check out a list of just about every restaurant in Statesboro. You can search the guide for a specific eatery by type of food, price range, hours, location, etc. Soon, the guide will include restaurants in Savannah, Pooler, Hinesville, Richmond Hill and other surrounding communities.
Looking for something to do in the Boro or the area? Click on the Entertainment bar at the top of the homepage and you’ll be taken to the Connect Statesboro Web site. If you can’t find something fun to do there, you’re not really trying.
If you want to sell it, buy it, rent it, trade it or announce it, the Marketplace feature on statesboroherald.com can do all of the above and more.
Looking for work? You’ll find more opportunities here than anywhere else in the area.