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HomerNews.com gets high-tech renovation

Posted: March 20, 2013 - 5:07pm

This week marks a milestone in the Homer News’ almost 50-year-long history: a renovated website.

For those of us at the Homer News, the website is noteworthy for its upgraded technology. Our webmaster Adam Bauer is breathing a sigh of relief — perhaps you heard him — because for quite some time he’s been holding our website together with the tech equivalent of Duct tape and rubber bands. Our reporters are looking forward to being able to post stories and photos from the field or the comfort of their kitchen tables while still in their jammies.

For readers, the upgraded technology means more up-to-date information, more quickly than ever.

While we hope HomerNews.com looks fresh and appealing, we also hope it will seem familiar to readers — both our online and print edition readers. Navigating the site has some similarities to paging through the hard-copy newspaper. For example, births and obituaries are located under the Town Crier menu link, as are other features that appear in Town Crier — announcements, weddings, engagements, anniversaries, police reports and court reports. You’ll see the Sports and Outdoors on the menu bar. School-related stories are filed under the “News” heading and arts stories can be found under “Features,” along with Best Bets, Seawatch, Kachemak Gardener and other features. 

Web readers will continue to have the ability to comment on stories. The only difference is that users will have to log in with a valid email address. This minor inconvenience is part of our never-ending battle with spammers. 

Something that won’t change is our calendar. Please use this tool to get word out about your event.

We’re often asked: What’s the difference in your website and your print edition? One difference is there are different advertisers. Another is the web is updated more frequently. (If there’s a breaking news story, you shouldn’t have to wait until Thursday morning to read it.) Another difference is that the web doesn’t have the space constraints that the print edition has. That means sometimes stories don’t make it into the print edition, but they do appear on the web. Sometimes a shorter version of a story will appear in print than online. The website also has unique features that you won’t see in print. Those include Sarah Richardson’s funny, touching blog “Becoming Alaskan.” (For print-only readers, you’re missing a good read if you don’t track this down.)

With all the new technology, is the printed newspaper a dinosaur? We don’t think so. The paper is easy to pick up and read. It’s packaged in a way that makes it easy for you to find what you’re looking for. Think of it this way: Today’s information highway is like an interstate, it’s the tool you need when you want to get somewhere in a hurry. But if you want to really capture and savor the flavor of a place, you go exploring on the blue highways or, in our case, you pick up a print edition of the Homer News.

While our readers are learning the ins and outs of our new site, bear in mind, that we are too. The site is a work in progress, and as the days and weeks go by we will be polishing the site and implementing new features. We want the new site to be easier for you to navigate and use. If it’s not, please let us know. If you find things that aren’t working, we would appreciate a phone call (235-7767) or email (webmaster@homernews.com). We would appreciate hearing from you.

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