Changes in Store at the Magic City Morning Star
Due to the continuing popularity of the Magic City Morning Star, and my own increasing inability to keep up even with those things that interest me, and still have time to earn an honest living, Iíll be implementing some changes. I think youíll like them.
First, although I think I still remember how, it takes far too much time to handcode a site that updates as often as the Magic City Morning Star. Iíve been using a WYSIWYG program called NetObjects Fusion. Itís a nice program, but it tends to be overwhelmed by sites larger than 200 pages, and since Magic City is nearing 400 pages now, itís past time for a change.
While I have no intention of competing with the Katahdin Times or the Community Press, our two local print papers, I would like to be able to provide wider coverage of the area than I have currently been able to do.
I havenít been able to cover local sports events, not only because I hate sports but because I simply havenít been able to find the time to attend the games.
I am usually able to attend the Millinocket town meetings but havenít found time to adequately keep up with events in East Millinocket and Medway.
While I have managed to earn some discouraging words from some of the people at the Millinocket school department, I would like to be able to provide information from people within the school systems throughout the Katahdin area, and to do a better job of covering even basic news in East Millinocket and Medway.
Local events, sponsored by the communities, the school systems, the boy scouts, churches, and any of the several service organizations in this area, if it were easier for people to submit news of these events, or if they could do it directly, perhaps weíd do a better job of covering this stuff.
Lastly, while I donít intend to do this for a living, it would be nice if this endeavor could at least pay for itself. Absolutely no one has chosen to follow up on my pleas for donations to the cause. Thatís okay, I didnít expect you to, but I had to try.
I have taken in a few advertisers over the past couple of weeks and hope to do better in the future. The Magic City Morning Star has enjoyed a wide readership within this area, and from Katahdin area alumni all over the world. The market for advertising is in place, so it is up to me to build the infrastructure and sell the plan.
With all of the above in mind, I have invested in news software that will allow me to update the site from any Internet connection, without building every page individually. More importantly, the software will permit anyone with the proper permissions to contribute news stories directly to the Magic City Morning Star from any Internet connection, using the Microsoft Internet Explorer web browser alone, and it does not require any HTML or technical knowledge on the part of the contributor.
Over the past months, some of you have offered to cover various events, organizations, or areas, but I fear the process of sending the news articles to me might have scared you off. If you could submit directly to specified areas of the Magic City Morning Star directly from your own computer, perhaps youíd find the idea more attractive.
In other words, the software will permit me to assign permissions to trusted contributors, allowing them to add news articles directly to the Magic City site, easily and from the comfort of their own home. Give this some thought, if youíre interested. I canít pay you anything, as I am currently earning nothing from this public service, but itís good experience and it can be fun.
Once I move to the new format, currently published news articles will be archived, and will remain accessible from the front page of the new Magic City Morning Star.
Once I learn the more technical aspects of the software, and set it up on the server, there may be a gap in the news as I switch from one system to another. For various reasons that I wonít go into, I am thinking of moving it to another server, in which case it may be unreachable for a few days as the DNS address is changed. If it does go down, please donít give up on us, but give us a few days, perhaps less.
I am excited about this change and feel confident, while there may be an initial learning curve on my part, the eventual result will be to your liking.
-- Ken Anderson 06/25/03