I remember the first newspaper website I was a part of, way, way back in the late 90s.
Then, 1997 I believe, The Examiner was launching its new initiative to bring online news to its readers and followers.
Of course, back then, we had no idea the impact of our online news platform decisions, we knew little about how to monetize it and things like pop-ups, videos and Facebook werent a part of the equation.
Today, that world has changed so drastically that I can barely remember what that first website launch was like.
The IT crowd was excited. I was aware of it all, but not so much that it was going to change my world. I remember the actual homepage taking an inordinate amount of time to load due to the amount of photos on it.
But as news gathering changes in our world, we must change with it. So, accepting and working to make that experience better became short- and long-term goals in the newspaper world.
Here at the Cass County Democrat Missourian, were taking that step, yet again.
This week, we launch the new www.demo-mo.com web page.
After many years of talks and a lot of hard work over the last few months, we are delivering a newer, crisper online news experience for our readers.
Top stories will be easier to find; photos more prominent.
And, really, as you look through the page, youll see a myriad of positive changes from our old platform.
What we used in the past was functioning, yes. But it wasnt easy and certainly didnt look as sharp as we would want.
Our new web site brings to it many ideas from both the current and past news staffs. Since community journalism is a group effort, I have appreciated the loyalty to the project and dedication from my news team to help get this done.
With the dawn of online news site and the maturing process of such web adventures, I always seem to go back to the age old question I still get, almost weekly: Has the web hurt your print sales and advertising?
While the answer is complicated, the fact remains that online news was going to happen. When newspapers started launching websites in the 90s, it was a matter of maintaining our promise to deliver news to the wider audience.
It wasnt always a simple or desirable transition. It still isnt.
But our role as journalists hasnt wavered during this time of transition in our business.
And this week, thankfully, were able to offer you an even better online news experience to couple not compete with one of the strongest and most decorated weekly newspapers in Missouri.
If you would like to tell us what you think of the site please do so here, http://www.demo-mo.com/customer-service/