I know you're anxious to get to the Abode supplement in this week's issue, but first allow me to engage in some deferred maintenance (see last week's column) and spread some sunshine around our digital garden.
In February our Web site, The Daily Page, was awarded a first place in the very first Inland Press Association's New Frontier Awards. Inland is a large national newspaper organization; it instituted the New Frontier awards to honor "the best newspaper online initiatives." We were competing with papers like The Naples (Fla.) Daily News and The Bakersfield Californian, which came in second and third, respectively, in the category we won: Best Interactive Online Community.
Yes, it was our very own TDP Forum that took the prize, so the praise rightly goes to those verbal, active Forum participants who make the site the informative - or inflammatory, depending on the topic - online congress that it is. We call those folks Forons, and we salute them. We also salute TDP Web producer Jason Joyce, who is the person primarily responsible for being the site's traffic cop. Everyone's role was recognized by the judges:
"Madison, Wisconsin's Isthmus has built a powerful online community of literate and opinionated neighbors talking (sometimes arguing) about everything from global and local politics to zoning and transportation issues, digital technology, guitars, entertainment and local art. More than 3,500 registered participants have logged upwards of 110,000 posts, and thanks to artful moderation, an easy-to-use interface and a light hand at the editorial delete key, there's no sign of a slowdown."
We're very happy to have received this award, as we have been for others TDP has garnered, but that does not mean we are satisfied; our Web site is a work in progress. The latest addition is "Comments," which IT guru Thom Jones put together for us. It allows readers to comment on stories in the "daily" portion of the site. Readers must register, in a procedure more rigorous than that for Forum contributors, since we hold comments on articles to a higher standard of responsibility.
As for comments on articles posted on the Web site from the paper, we have a long-established method to collect them called "letters to the editor." We have no plans to change that methodology any time soon.