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This is a series about illegal immigration and how it affects and has affected our community. The present day problems and concerns are direct results of what has gone on in the past. Illegal immigration is a problem that has special significance in our area. I think that if we didn't address this in the all-encompassing way the way Gabe is doing we would be remiss. To turn our backs on the problem would be as ludicrous as The Detroit Free Press ignoring the problems with the auto industry or the LA Times not looking deeper into the sub-prime meltdown.
OCL: "I did but it got deleted by Vic Ad because I used all caps", to my knowledge no comment has ever gotten deleted or ever will get deleted for using all caps.
oldRaider: I can understand your feelings about the series but to assume that Gabe is writing this specifically to receive awards is a stretch. For God's sake, Gabe writes a semi-weekly series called "Pothole Patrol" which documents and follows up on , you guessed it, potholes. This, in my opinion, ain't gonna win anybody any awards but does do a great service for our community. This is just one of many pieces Gabe is involved in.
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One last thing about our new choice Mike, our new provider is called Ellington. It is definitely not a cheap option and in the world of newspapers is considered one of, if not, the best in the business.
We have, what is called in the internet world, an extremely high bounce rate. A bounce rate means that viewers come to our site to look at one thing and leave immediately with out going to any other part of the site. A high bounce rate is a symptom and, after a fair amount of study, we found that the main reason people left our site was because of the confusing interface. Hell, I work here and I couldn’t find stuff sometimes. And the search feature that’s supposed to help users? Let’s just be kind and call it inadequate.We decided that since our house was going to be demolished anyway, we should design something completely new from the ground up. Sort of like Extreme Makeover, without the cheering crowds. That’s where the metaphor falls apart; everybody loves a new house, nobody loves a new website.
Here's the thinking behind why we didn’t go with choice number one:Our site has been cobbled together over the past few years in piecemeal fashion for more than a couple of reasons. We had no web designer. We had no clear focus on what the site should be, as is the case with many newspapers, our site was largely an afterthought. Most importantly, that one company that I spoke of before, was not the only one supplying the underpinnings to our site. Another company supplied the underpinning for all of our blogs and yet another company coordinated other parts of our site. To continue with the house metaphor, our whole structure was built on multiple foundations. None of these company’s software talked to each other so our ace programmer Shawn Willmon would stay up until the early-morning hours daily patching this Frankenstein monster together.In essence, we had a house that was part mobile home, part ranch house and part lean-to and none of it had indoor plumbing. No one involved wanted to assign our newly-accquired Web Designer and Lead Programmer to spend thousands of precious man hours to replicate that.We also thought about taking the existing design and tweaking it a bit but trying to keep as many elements of the old site intact since our many regulars were comfortable with it. Here’s where I get to our second choice.
Hi Mike,I am the Multimedia Editor for the Advocate and was on the core team that designed the new site. It is easy for me to understand just how frustrating a change as huge as this is to veteran users. I personally have never encountered a big change in either a computer application interface or an often-visited website that enjoyed. I would be hard pressed to find anyone who would welcome it, I think that it goes against human nature. Change sucks.Mike, I'm not sure if anyone has explained what our motivations were in the redesign but I'll give you my take on it.The chief motivator was that the out-of-state company who supplies much of the underpinnings of our site decided to get out of the business and told us we had about 3 months to make other plans. This is sorta like someone pulling the concrete slab out from under your house and leaving you with a pile of broken walls, windows and a roof. Standing those parts back up on a new foundation is just not gonna get the job done. So, this basically left us with two choices:1. Redo the site from top to bottom and replicate it as close to the way it was as possible using a new company, or...2. Redo the site with a new design and a new interface.
It's ludicrous. I've never understood why Hollywood has not attempted a live-action movie version of Jonny Quest. To me, it's one of the few remakes of an old TV show that makes sense.