More photos, all the time

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year already since we arrived in Sweet Home. My family arrived on March 1 of last year. Of course, we had to keep a low profile, as most of you know, but we were here.

The “home” part is definitely become more real all the time. It’s always a little unreal when you move to a new place, and our last stop was the longest ever for me, so it’s taken a little while to really get that “settled-in” feeling.

Putting in a lot of hours of “overtime” here in the office has probably slowed that process, but we’re getting there. Now, if I could just get that lawnmower fixed. (The kids jammed up the riding lawnmower I bought and now the grass is starting to grow.)

We’re making progress with The New Era. There’ve been some growing pains, but we’re getting in the groove here and I hear from people that they like what they’re seeing. As I’ve said before, you’re the ones whose opinions I care about.

We’re continually working to make the newspaper better. As I’ve also stated before, a newspaper should be all about serving its readers and when we can offer you more news, photos, commentary, as well as helping local businesses communicate to readers, through effective advertising, what goods and services they have to offer, then we’re on the right track. That’s a good newspaper.

Along those lines, I want to mention one new wrinkle we’ve added to help you see more of Sweet Home activities.

One constant frustration is that we often don’t have enough room in the paper to run everything we want to (and you want us to).

How much space we have is, unfortunately from the editorial standpoint, dictated by how much advertising there is. When lots of ads are sold, we have lots of space, and vice versa. It’s a numbers game, but sometimes stories and photographs get left out when the numbers don’t add up right.

So now we’ve got a bit of a solution. We’ve added button to our Web site that will allow you to connect to a gallery of photos of certain events we cover that we think will be of interest to the public — things like parades, festivals, and sports.

If you visit our Web site homepage at http://www.sweethomenews.com, you’ll see a button on the right-hand side of the page that says DotPhoto. This is a company that sells photos, but it allows us to stash photos for you to look at to your heart’s content. They’ll be there for several months.

If you really like a photo, you can actually purcahse a print from DotPhoto, but that’s optional. There’s even a cool slideshow feature that lets you look at the photos to music.

We’ve loaded a bunch of photos, most of which never made the newspaper, from last fall’s and this winter’s high school sports seasons. Some might be of interest to you as parents, students, or just readers. We’ve also added a few from last summer’s Sportsman’s Holiday Parade and other events, such as Homecoming.

We plan to update the site fairly frequently from now on with photos that will augment what you see in the paper. The newspaper itself is still our main product but the Web site, though it offers less than the paper does, will some day offer more than it does now. More on that as we progress.

One important key to getting into DotPhoto: register before you try to enter. One guy who tested the site out for us a week or so ago told us he got frustrated because he couldn’t get past the first page — because he didn’t register. You have to register to get in, but that’s for DotPhoto, not for us. Remember, it’s free to look.

***

While I’m on the topic of service and news coverage, I’d like to mention (the obvious) that we don’t have ESP.

That, in case you’re wondering, is a gentle reminder that it helps to inform the newspaper when something significant enough to warrant public attention is about to happen.

I’ve worked at large news organizations and at small newspapers — like this one — and every once in a while, at every level, we would get calls from people irate that we didn’t cover such-and-such. Nearly always it’s because we somehow weren’t aware it was happening.

We journalists like to be on top of things. That’s our business, but we can’t be everywhere at once and, unfortunately, we don’t generally possess clairvoyance. Also unfortunately, we also have moments of weakness, particularly early in the day.

Don’t be shy about telling us about things well before they happen

Thanks for your loyal readership. We appreciate it, and it’s one of the reasons we want to serve you as well as we can.

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