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New look for Breeze Web sites welcomes voices of our readers

January 28, 2009
By CONNOR HOLMES, cholmes@breezenewspapers.com

Breeze Newspapers has expanded its Web-presence by bringing a new, community-based interface to its publications throughout Lee County.

The new look is designed to bring reader participation to the forefront of local online news.

"First of all, the Web sites are interactive," said Publisher Jack Glarrow. "That allows readers to reply and have their comments read by everyone that comes onto the site. It becomes a community discussion."

The improved Web interface also allows for more accessibility to online news stories and photographs, including photos from the "CU'" online photo community hosted by Breeze Newspapers.

"Our news is updated daily and it's updated on the spot as quickly as we can," Glarrow said. "It becomes a daily electronic newspaper for the communities it serves."

Breeze Newspapers' online publications on Sanibel-Captiva and Fort Myers Beach have consolidated in each of those areas to offer a stronger community feel and a site where everyone can interact. Those sites can be found at www.captivasanibel.com and www.fortmyersbeachtalk.com.

Fact Box

What's new on the Web?

Calendars: Look for us to have a calendar that should help you better plan your daily lives. Have something you want too submit to the calendar, you can do so directly from the site.

More polls: You will find more chances to express your opinion on the new site. We plan on using more polls and using them more often, sometimes within a story itself.

User comments: Users are free to comment on most stories they read on the site. We think that involving the readers more through polls and comments will add a human touch to the site as well as make it more relevant to our readers.

More information in general: The new site allows us to post more information to explain a story. With the new site we can post more photos with each story, we can provide the reader links to more information and we provide links to documents that may in some case provide background information for a story.

Registration: Our new site allows readers to register for their own account. Registration is important because it allows you to post comments on stories, blogs, message boards and polls. It also allows you to post photos to our popular CU photo-sharing site. The site provides readers a view of thousands of photos of the area and is already popular with readers.

Blogs: Look for some quick-hitting blogs to appear on our site covering a variety of topic. Blogs are a great way of including the public in the news process and we hope you enjoy the addition.

Stories where you expect them: The new site allows us to post stories in more than one location. A story about a store being damaged by floods could be found both under business and news.

Mobile news: The site adds a mobile edition that allows you to access the site via your cell phone or PDA device.

E-mail alerts: Registered users can sign up to get an e-mail whenever an event is posted containing the keywords that interests them.

Improved advertising options: Local business now have more options to get their messages across, including more sizes of ads, even the option to put their newspaper ads on the home page.

"Its intent is to be the hub of discussion within the community," Glarrow said.

Other weekly newspapers, including the North Fort Myers Neighbor, Gasparilla Gazette, Lehigh Acres Citizen and Pine Island Eagle will each host the discussion of local information for their respective communities.

Additionally, www.FLguide.com is in the process of being revamped. The site allows Breeze Newspapers to welcome newcomers and visitors alike to Southwest Florida with a host of information on the area.

The Cape Coral Daily Breeze underwent a similar transition last November when www.cape-coral-daily-breeze.com launched its new look.

Other noted improvements of the new sites include message boards, monthly calendars, more fact boxes, pictures and polls and improved advertising options.

Local bloggers will provide up-to-date information about topics that are important to their community, and those who wish to blog for their local Breeze paper are encouraged to contact an editor with their ideas.

"We're looking for anyone who could have a subject that's of interest to the neighborhood," Glarrow said.

Breeze Newspapers' online advertising has also improved, allowing businesses more size options as well as an option to place their newspaper ad on their home page.

A "mobile edition" of the site is available on cell phones or PDAs, and e-mail alerts keep readers attuned to the topics that interest them, allowing readers easy access and up-to-date information from their local news.

To become a part of the discussion at Breeze Newspapers' online communities, visit the following sites:

For Cape Coral, visit www.cape-coral-daily-breeze.com.

For Sanibel and Captiva, visit www.captivasanibel.com.

For Fort Myers Beach, visit www.fortmyersbeachtalk.com.

For North Fort Myers, visit www.northfortmyersneighbor.com.

For Lehigh Acres, visit www.lehighacrescitizen.com.

For Boca Grande, visit www.bocagrandetalk.com.

For Pine Island, visit www.pineisland-eagle.com.

For newcomers, visitors or those interested in learning more about the area, visit www.FLGuide.com.

 
 

 

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