by Cathy Resmer
The Burlington Free Press has been beefing up their website over the last month or so. They recently debuted a new layout (with a really obnoxious banner ad), and have started posting breaking news items on the homepage. It's gotten to the point where I can actually read the most important stories on the web the day before I see them in my newspaper, which is, I think, a good thing.
Today they've branched out again. Yesterday, one of their breaking stories was the death in Iraq of 2nd Lt. Mark Procopio, a BHS and UVM grad. Very sad. Today they've added a breaking item inviting readers to share memories of Lt. Procopio. The result is this page, where the BFP has posted emails they've received. The emails have gone through a filter--you can't post to the site directly--but I think it's the closest they've come to doing anything blog-like. They say they'll print some of the emails in tomorrow's paper.
I think this kind of responsive innovation is great. Too bad it's linked to tragedy. I hope the BFP continues to experiment with it.