Welcome to the new Decaturish
Good morning, Decaturish readers.
You might notice something different about the site today. Hopefully it’s a difference you’ll appreciate. I couldn’t have done it without a talented group of folks assisting me, specifically Jared van Aalten, who helped me take my purchased theme and turn it into a beautiful, clean website.
I’d like to take a few minutes to explain how I have organized things. Please note that some older links might not be working correctly because we are still transferring the URLs. Thank you for your patience.
I’m using a magazine-style wordpress theme that’s responsive, meaning it should work well on all platforms like desktop computers, iPads, etc. Also, pay attention to that spiffy logo Brittany Luiz designed for us. There might be some surprises there …
Oh, comments, my old nemesis. The old commenting system sucked. There’s no other way to put it. It was time-consuming and irritating for everyone. That’s why I’ve scrapped it and decided to use Disqus. All new commenters will need to be verified before they can comment. Once a user has verified with Disqus, they can comment without me having to sign off on each comment before it appears.
Disqus interfaces with other social media, like Facebook, so you should find it easier to use. The comments policy still applies. I can ban you at any time, for any reason, but I’ll try to use as much restraint as possible. Anyone banned on the old website can expect their banishment to continue here.
The other thing I like about this system is, like Reddit, it allows users to upvote and downvote comments. The cream will rise to the top, hopefully.
Yes, we are selling ads now. I’ve engaged a capable salesman who will help me keep the relationship between editorial content and advertising at arm’s length. But let’s get real, here. I’m the publisher of this thing, so revenues will always be something I pay attention to. It’s one of the realities of transitioning from reporter to entrepreneur. I have made a promise about all this, and it’s one I intend to keep. Anything I make beyond my bare minimum expenses is going back into the company. That means paying for writers, equipment upgrades, etc. My goal is to get a diversity of voices writing for this website, the sooner the better.
I’ve also engaged our logo designer, Brittany Luiz, to design ads for us as needed. I’m excited about this because much of the look of this website is based around her logo. I’ve always wanted ads that conform to the aesthetic of the website and having someone who knows the product will help me get there.
Yes, we are still taking donations. The button is at the bottom of the home page screen. If the spirit moves you, I won’t turn it down.
As you noticed right off the bat, things are organized differently. We cover three distinct, cool communities: Decatur, Avondale Estates and Kirkwood. We also cover broader issues that interest everyone, which will be categorized as the Metro ATL section of the home page. We’re going to be much more dependent on photography with the new website, but it should be a cooler experience for you.
All of the wacky things that I do – the fundraising appeals, Sunday Morning Meditation, etc. – will be on my new editor’s blog, D’ish, which you are currently reading. I can’t take credit for the name. Chris Billingsley, a retired Decatur High Social Studies teacher, suggested it and I thought it worked beautifully. The editor’s blog will be located on the right hand side of your screen in the gray box.
I organized it this way because there are two kinds of consumers of this website: people who read us for day-to-day news, and people who are visitors looking for something a little more offbeat. On the old website, I could never separate the two. Every post appeared on top of the last one, which I referred to as “the heap.” Now that I can separate the two, I can also remove news about events that have already happened from the home page. It’ll keep everything looking fresher on an ongoing basis.
I think this approach provides a better service to the reader while giving me the creative outlet I need to thrive. I would say my writing focus is 90 percent news, 10 percent editor’s blog. There will be some overlap between all of the categories.
So that’s pretty much everything you need to know. It’ll be a little bumpy, at first, but I will gradually work out all the kinks. I hope you enjoy what you see. If you have any questions, feel free to email me: [email protected]