by Cathy Resmer
Hey, the Burlington Free Press has launched a new web thingy. They're calling it Community Bulletin Board. "Have something you want to post?" asks the sub-head. "Send it to us!" An asterisked note says: "These submissions come directly from our readers. They are not edited." (emphasis mine). I presume, however, that they're doing some sort of screening. It's not like they're letting people post on their own. Also, the news hole is kinda small compared to all the ads. Whaddaya think?
Looks like what's up is mostly press releases so far, though they're asking readers for photos and video clips, too. Unfortunately, they're using .wmv format. That's a Windows thing, right? Correct me if I'm wrong.
If you're looking to find the person who implemented these new features, you might have a hard time. The Online Editor's name is not listed on the newly redesigned site, at least not that I could find, though you can email her. Fortunately, there are phones! I called the office and found out that Allison Lazarz is the Online Editor. A Google search reveals that she's an 05 St. Mike's grad. She's been on staff at the Freep for about 3 months now.
I spoke to Allison briefly. She says they've got 4 online media people there at the Freep. This page — which I found via Google, but couldn't find on the site — lists Lazarz, an ad guy, a web guy, and an "online director." No writers, though Lazarz says they're looking to enhance the news stories they put on the web. Also says they've looked into blogs, but Gannett is supposed to provide them tools and hasn't yet. Huh.
I'm curious to see how their site evolves, since they're the big 800-pound gorilla 'round here. Best of luck, Allison.