by Cathy Resmer
Looks like the Freep just set up their page — it doesn't have any messages yet. That might be because it's new, and might also be because the RH/TA has a much simpler user interface. The software Gannett gave the Freep is, in my opinion, pretty clunky. On the Freep's site, you have to email your comment to Allison Lazarz, their online editor, rather than just using a form to post yourself, like you do at the RH/TA site. Consequently, the RH/TA's site feels community owned, whereas the Freep's does not.
Gannett and the Freep don't seem to want to open the gates to public opinion as much as the locally owned RH/TA. I'm curious to see how this dynamic plays out. It'll be interesting to see how Gannett decides to operate in the future.
Incidentally, we at Seven Days won't be putting up a welcome home soldier site, but we'll keep linking to everybody else's. And if someone wants to start their own site, I'll link to that, too. fyi.