This is my first blog.
That’s one of the changes to The Island Free Press. The other is an overhaul of the category pages.
I’ll tell you about each in what is my first attempt at blogging.
First, I’??ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out what a blog is.
According to Wikipedia:
A blog (a contraction of the term weblog) is a type of Web site, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.
I like that description, and that’s what I intended the “Shooting the Breeze” column to be when we launched this online newspaper almost 17 months ago. I wanted the column to be just shooting the breeze with readers – short items on what’s happening here.
It was that way for the first week or two when I “blogged” about Tropical Storm Gabrielle.
But along the way, Shooting the Breeze became something else for a variety of reasons.
It became a column I posted about twice a month that was all about important issues – usually beach access – but was also long and analytical.
I will still write those long and analytical articles about issues that are important to our islands, but they will appear on other pages – Beach Access and Park Issues, Local News, or Commentary.
And I will blog in this space – I think and I hope.
There will be commentary, news, interesting events, great photos, and other information in a shorter format posted daily – or at least very often. I like to give Donna Barnett, our Web master, the weekend off when possible. And none of you wants me uploading blog entries on my own. That could be a problem for the site and the readers.
The other change is that we have realigned the category pages. We will continue to cover all of the areas we now do, but some will be arranged differently.
That is because of what we have learned in the last 17 months of publishing this Internet newspaper.
Our readers like our feature stories on island history or nature or cooking.
But what drives this Web site is news, news, news. That is what readers – both on and off the island– want first and foremost.
Thus, we have concentrated our modest resources on covering news stories and have not added as many feature articles.
Our main category pages – Beach Access and Park Issues, Local News, Community, and Commentary will not change. Nor will the Fishing Page or the Real Estate and Business Page – both of which are important to the economy of Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.
We have combined four other category pages into one “Island Features” page. Those four pages are Island History, Nature and Environment, Island Life and Lifestyles, and Places to Go and Things to Do.
The subject areas are still there. They are now subcategories on one page. The subcategories include a general one for featured articles and also watersports, food and dining, excursions, island history, and nature and environment.
We will update this page more often than we could the individual pages, and the new arrangement will make it easier for readers to find new stories on these subject areas.
Check out the new page and let us know what you think.
And let me know what you think about my blogging – but give me some time to get used to this.