The new and much improved Portage County Gazette website debuted to the public Sunday, July 1, one day earlier than we promised in last week’s paper. It’s a site that’s been long in the works, as the staff debated about what it should include, not include and how it can be relevant in today’s digital world.
Associate Editor Matthew Brown, whose technology geekery far surpasses my own (I’m no slouch in that department, but I feel like an amateur next to him), has spent the past several months using our ideas to develop the website, and the end result is something we all like and hope you will like, too.
The new website offers headlines and the first few paragraphs of a large selection of news stories, features, columns and sports stories in the current edition of the paper, and once in a while it will feature an article in its entirety.
It also offers plenty of opportunities for users to interact with The Gazette. People can share headlines, stories and photos on various social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter. They can also submit articles, obituaries, announcements, story ideas and, most importantly, “What did you expect for a buck?” submissions.
The staff here, while usually a funny bunch, sometimes has trouble coming up with those tidbits, and we know the stories about a “7-year-old son of a staffer” can get a bit old sometimes, so we definitely welcome your funny thoughts and comments for one of our most popular pages.
People can also purchase or renew a subscription online, submit a classified ad (which in most cases are still free in our paper) and contact the various staff members at the paper.
The new website is still in its infancy, and Matthew is in the process of teaching the others how to update it. Once we’re all up to speed, it will be a place Gazette readers can go to see some of the material in the paper, the latest obituaries, photos from events we didn’t have room to publish in the print edition, and breaking stories as they happen.
We plan on sharing some of those stories on our Facebook page, so plan on “liking” us to receive updates to your newsfeed to make it convenient to access them.
We consider this new website a marvelous leap forward for The Gazette, and it’s coming at the 13th anniversary of the paper. While the print edition will continue to be our flagship, the website and our Facebook page will act as great supplements to it for our readers. We know those supplements are the future, and this website is our way of getting there.