Lise and I were asked to pen a story about the first 10 years of iBrattleboro, and lessons learned. It’s up at PBS MediaShift:
Hey Everyone! According to Vermont Edition’s website on VPR, Chris is going to be talking about ibrattleboro on Monday’s show. Be sure to listen!
Two more site updates you’ll want to know about.
First, we fixed an issue with the Polls where someone writing in an option got two votes. No more bonus votes will be counted this way.
We’ve also fixed an issue so that people who are not logged in can vote. It was previously thanking you for your vote, but not counting it.
We’ll see how it goes. It may take a couple of polls before we’re solid, so thanks for voting and helping us test. We’ll be testing a ranked voting poll soon which is sure to confuse us all.
Second, you can now go through the archives of to find old stories and comments. There are a few things to know, though:
Time for annother update on updates, with some reminders and birthday news thrown in for good measure.
This is a reminder that logging in brings you added features of the site. If you log in, you will see everything, and will be able to edit and keep track of your submissions much more easily. Here is our article on , so you can retain your username.
I see in the new “Today in Local History” box (left hand column on the front page) that it was on this day in 2003 that iBrattleboro made its debut! 10 years? A decade has gone by? Do we now have a generation who don’t remember when there wasn’t an iBrattleboro? At any rate, Happy Birthday iBratt, with Best Wishes for many, many more!
I thought I’d give a little update on where we stand after a few days with the new site.
Overall, we’re really happy with the way things are going. You seem to be finding your way back, logging in, and using the site like before. Do fill out your user profile, and be sure to list your skills…
We’re very happy to receive your reports of problems, issues, and suggestions. We’ve solved many of them, and are continuing down the list. Next up is work on the image uploading system.
After over 46 million page views, 22 thousand stories, and 100 thousand comments on the old site, we give you a new iBrattleboro.
We hope you like it. We’ve been listening to feedback, thinking about how people use the site, and have new features to share.
Our primary goal was to keep it similar to the old site, but also to make everything better. We looked at each of the features of the old site and then for ways to improve them. You can now do repeating events with calendar submissions, add write-in votes on polls, and add images to stories, comments, and events.
We want you to log in and enjoy all the new features of the new iBrattleboro.
To accomplish the transition to the new site, we’ve set things up here on the new site with your username and email address.
Here are the steps to take to log in to the new iBrattleboro for the first time.
1. Click on Log in using the link in the upper right corner of the site.
Use the comments below to alert us to bugs or problems you come across while exploring the new iBrattleboro.
Please be patient, too. There are a lot of moving parts and we expect to be busy answering questions and helping people for the near future. We will get to everything as best we can.
High priority will be placed on things that are broken. Lower priority will be assigned to suggestions for improvements. All feedback is welcome and appreciated.
Our goal was to keep things similar, but make improvements everywhere. Here are just a few of the many new features you’ll find as you explore the new iBrattleboro.
Enhanced stories – there is a WYSIWYG editor, so you can make story text bold, italic, and so on. Please use it wisely (that is, only if necessary.)
New organization – we’ve cleaned up and condensed site navigation and have some changes to the sections.
It might be helpful if we showed you around the place, eh? Let’s take a tour of the new iBrattleboro navigation bar at the top of the page.
Note that what you see up there depends on if you are logged in or not.
In this story we’ll discuss the features you’ll see if you are logged in. If a feature is missing for you, you probably need to log in to see it.
When you first arrive on the new iBrattleboro Weather page you’ll get a quick forecast for Brattleboro and surrounding areas. Click around and you’ll find an enormous quantity of weather information to explore.
At the very top of the page are 8 tabs that help you jump to various weather information – Current Conditions, Advisories, Forecast, Forcast Discussion, Local Radar, National Radar, Links, and Space Weather.
Within those tabs are charts, maps, descriptions, and other useful information for tracking local weather.
You can get to the weather section by clicking on the current weather icon at the top of the home page, or by clicking on the weather link in the upper navigation bar.
The new version of iBrattleboro replaces icons for sections with new section page headers. Taking away the icons, we hope, will inspire you to illustrate your stories with images.
There are a few changes to the Sections, too. We’ve changed Kids to Family, to include all ages of family members. Recreation has now become Sports and Recreation. Police has now become Police and Fire.
New sections have been added: Culture, Economics, Living, Philosophy, State News, Travel, and The Region, including space for news from Vernon, Guilford, Dummerston, Marlboro, Putney, the West River Valley, and Deerfield Valley in Vermont and Chesterfield and Hinsdale in New Hampshire.
Poll lovers will enjoy some new options with iBrattleboro polls.
First, we will be getting rid of the beloved “Other” option in most cases. It has served us well for allowing flexibility but its time has come.
It is replaced by the ability to add your own responses. You will now see (write-in) as an option. If you select it, you can add another choice for people to consider.
With the new site come new profiles. You’ll be greeted by your new profile page when you log in, and anytime you click on My: Profile in the upper green bar after you are logged in.
The View Tab
Your username is displayed on a nifty badge. There are places for you to add your location, a short bio, a mini-resume, your occupation, a link to your work or business, where you volunteer and what organizations you’ve belonged to in town.
You can add a profile picture, birthday information, your interests, and your hobbies.
With this new site we’ve tried to make it easier to add images. You can add them to your stories, comments, and events, and also submit them directly to be included in new image galleries, or as a featured Photo Fun photo.
Let’s look at some of the options. (Note: UPDATED April 2, 2013)
Embedding Via Flickr
If you use Flickr, you can now use their embed code to place images and slideshows on the site.
1. Choose an image on Flickr to share.
2. Find the Share button near the image or slideshow.
3. Click on Grab the HTML/BBCode for an image, or Grab the embed HTML for a slideshow.
Here are some examples of the kind of media you can now embed in your stories and comments.
To use one, set the story input mode to Advanced HTML, disable rich-text and paste in the embed code from the media you’d like to share.
You Tube (Old Style)
Everyone who submits events should know that repeating and recurring events are now possible in the iBrattleboro Calendar. In this help article, we’ll cover how to make an event repeat, and a few other fun features.
1. The first thing to do is to log in. Why? Because if you log in, you will be able to edit, update, and track your event later on.
2. Click on Contribute>Event in the upper green bar.
3. The instructions at the top tell you that you are submitting and event to the calendar, and how to submit things to other parts of iBrattleboro.
4. The first box is for the title of your event.
Did someone say Classifieds?
iBrattleboro now has Classified Ads in a variety of flavors. Here is some information to get you familiar with some of the options.
1. Click on Browse: Classifieds in the upper green bar to get to the Classifieds section. Listings default to an old-fashioned style for browsing. You will see tabs for General Classifieds, Housing, and Jobs.