By Shereen Siewert, Wausau Pilot & Review Editor & Publisher
Happy Monday, readers. I hope you enjoyed the terrific weather we had over the weekend. I don’t know about you, but it gave me a much-needed boost. There’s just something about sitting in the sun with my feet up and a book in my hands that makes everything feel so much better.
As I write this, I am anxiously awaiting the go-ahead from our development team that they’re ready to pull the switch on our new website. If all goes as planned, it’ll happen today. The new site will load faster, won’t be so cluttered, and will be more mobile-friendly. Searching for content will be easier. There won’t be any more spinning story scrolls or, worse, stories that won’t load altogether.
A bit of background. When I launched this site just over three years ago, I designed it myself with zero technical or coding experience. It worked pretty well in the early days, but when our reader base grew so exponentially, the site could no longer handle the traffic. We knew we needed a change, and we began working with the Newspack development team last fall to roll out a better product. It took longer than we expected, in part because we needed to secure the not unsubstantial financial investment it would take to roll it out. We received significant support from the Facebook Membership Accelerator Program, which is making the change possible. You’ll also see a new app (also badly needed) in about a month, thanks to the same funding source. We are eternally grateful.
That said, we are certain there will be glitches along the way. If you see something that bugs you, don’t hesitate to reach out and let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another new feature – we’ve started a new events page to list both in-person and virtual events in and around the Wausau area. Have an event for us to publish? Email email@example.com and we’ll include it at no charge. Soon – within a week or so – we’ll also introduce a weekly events newsletter that will go out each Thursday so you can plan for the weekend without having to rely on a print product to keep you in the loop. Stay tuned for that – and in the meantime, bookmark the page here.
A note about letters to the editor. For some reason, there are a handful of readers who confuse letters from readers with editorial content from our news team. In fact, we received this unsigned note over the weekend (spelling and all): YOUR BIAS IS QUITE EVIDENT , PRESENT ALL THE FACTS , WE DON’ NEED ANOTHER OBSTRUTIONIST IN CONGRESS !!!
I want to be as clear as possible. We don’t write those letters to the editor, and they’re not news stories. They’re opinion pieces from you, our readers, and your views are always welcome here, no matter which candidate you’re supporting. Because we are a nonpartisan, nonprofit news outlet, we do not endorse candidates and do not take a side in any election. That’s up to you, and it’s your right to be heard.
To submit a letter to the editor, email firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to include your name and city of residence. Anonymous letters are not published. We recommend you keep letters to 150 words or less, but that’s a guideline, not a rule. If you want to send us a 1,500 word letter to the editor, you can. We don’t edit them, because we believe that by doing so we may unintentionally misrepresent your meaning.
On a final note, I want to let you know that you might see an extra email or two this week, too, because we’re announcing a few new features AND because we’re participating in #GivingTuesdayNow, a nationwide one-day fundraising initiative to help support local journalism outlets struggling with the impacts of COVID-19. We’re a small business, too, and the financial implications of the Safer at Home order, as well as the nationwide health emergency, have taken an enormous toll, just as they have for many others in this community. If you can’t donate, that’s okay. But if you can, every dollar counts. Here’s the link to do so.
Thanks for reading, and for being such a supportive and faithful audience. We appreciate every one of you.