The website for Coastal Review Online is organized like a newspaper site.
We here at Coastal Review Online are moving to a new digital home. Come Monday, you’ll find us at a new address: www.coastalreview.org.
Since its inception in 2012 as a journalism experiment, the daily, online news service has shared a web home here with its parent, the N.C. Coastal Federation. Since then, we’ve shown that a nonprofit news service can succeed. So, like a fledgling flying the nest or a youngster leaving home, it’s now time to take the next step. It’s the natural order of things.
With us gone, the federation, like so many empty nesters with more room, will do a complete remodeling. The organization’s website will remain here, but it will be expanded and gussied up. With Coastal Review Online, or what we call around here CRO, no longer occupying the best room in the house on the top of the home page, the federation will expand its coverage of all the great work it does protecting and preserving the N.C. coast. You’ll find lots of pretty pictures that illustrate that work and updated reports about the dizzying array of projects the federation staff is involved in from one end of the coast to the other. You’ll also find some surprises like seafood recipes and profiles of people who go beyond the call of duty to protect our coast. So come back to our old home place often to see what the old folks are up to.
Visit us at our new digs to keep up with the latest news about the coast. CRO will continue to employ a team of professional journalists to produce daily news stories about the issues affecting the coast or features about its people, places, nature, culture, history and food. As Eastern North Carolina’s only online, nonprofit news service, we take pride in producing daily stories that meet the highest journalistic standards of fairness and accuracy. That won’t change.
How we display and package the almost 1,000 stories we’ve written will change pretty dramatically. The new website is organized more like a newspaper site. You’ll find news stories grouped under the major issues we cover. The “Our Coast” section includes stories about the coast’s culture and history, its people, places and wildlife, along with some sumptuous recipes. Looking for a place to kayak or to see black bears or birds? How about a traditional oyster stew recipe? You’ll likely find it here.
We’ve also added a “Commentary” section that will feature Todd Miller, the federation’s executive director and probably the most knowledgeable guy on the planet about coastal policy in North Carolina. Sam Bland, the federation’s naturalist, will contribute occasional columns about his jaunts through the woods and swamps and the along the beaches of our coast; and I’ll kick in from time to time with some curmudgeonly view from the editor’s desk. We’ll also ask scientists, policymakers, politicians and other experts to comment on topical issues, and we hope readers will feel compelled to add their voices to the mix. So if you have something you’re just dying to get off your chest and it deals with the coastal environment, drop me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me know what it is.
The new N.C. Coastal Federation website will feature stunning photos and updates of the federation’s work.
If pictures are your thing, you may want to contact Tess Malijenovsky, CRO’s assistant editor. She’ll be managing a photo contest that will feature the best photo of the week. Those that are judged to be the best of the year will win cash prizes. You’ll find rules and Tess’ contact information on the website.
You’ll also find lots of ways to support CRO. As a nonprofit news service, we rely on the kindness of friends and strangers. We run more than 250 stories a year, and each one costs us about $150 to produce. While we have gotten some financial support from private foundations, the federation foots most of the bills. We hope you’ll contribute in helping bring high-quality journalism to the coast by sponsoring a day on CRO, donating directly to us or by joining the federation. All contributions are tax deductible.
Along with the new website, we’ve launched a CRO Facebook page, where you’ll find the day’s story along with other coastal items that strike our fancy. We’ll also keep a calendar of environmental meetings, hearings and workshops and other coastal events of interest. We want our readers to be a major part of our Facebook page and hope you’ll go there to comment on stories and join the discussion. Or if you prefer Twitter, we’ll be tweeting from the handle Coastal_Review.
We’ll continue to post the daily stories on the federation’s Facebook page.
Problems come with any move. While the movers haven’t lost the furniture, we have lost the list of some of our old readers. Let’s see if I can explain this without going off on my Google rant about worthless software and getting what you paid for. Many readers receive a daily email that highlights the day’s story. The software that does that is a free Google product. For some reason, known apparently only to the bots at Google, we can no longer get into our account. No combination of passwords and user names works. And good luck trying to get someone at Google to respond to an email or actually pick up a phone to help you – “Thank you for calling Google customer support. Your call may be monitored for quality assurance but by the time it’s answered you will have forgotten what you called about. But your call is important to us.” The music’s pretty cool, though.
Without access to the account, we can’t change the settings to the new website or retrieve the email list. We sadly, after many weeks of trying, had to abandon the effort.
We will still send out the daily emails, but with a program that has nothing at all to do with Google. We’ve added subscribers that we had from an old list, but we fear we have lost many. We’ll apologize for Google because the bots certainly won’t. If you normally get an email from us each morning and one doesn’t arrive on Monday, please go to the new site and re-subscribe.
If you aren’t a subscriber, you should consider becoming one. It’s a good way to keep up with what’s going on along the coast, and we don’t pester you with a barrage of emails. One a day. We promise.
So, sometime this weekend we’ll turn the lights off here and do all the geeky things – changing server names, switching the DNS record – that need to be done to turn the lights on over there.
And then we’ll cross our fingers.
If all goes well, we’ll see you Monday at our new place.