Northwest Citizen has a Front Page

Permalink +

Fri, Jan 29, 2010, 3:42 am  //  John Servais

Two years ago, Jan 2008, this website changed from hand coded pages into a database driven one. In one move we added several writers and enabled commenting by anyone who wanted to (so long as they used their real name.) I had an idea how the site should develop, but wanted to do it in careful stages. Start simple and see what was needed next.

Back in 1995, I started this site as a method for bringing local political and planning issues to public notice. Issues the Bellingham Herald covered up or ignored. At the time, I thought others would soon also have websites that reached out to anyone with an Internet connection - maybe 20% of the people back then. It was 4 more years before the word "blog" was coined. It was about 8 years before anyone else started a similar site in this area.

To me, in 1995, a reverse chronological page of personal observations seemed like an obvious way to do this - and the Internet seemed an obvious way for us to all communicate more. Back in those days, Tip Johnson helped me with guest articles and - as importantly - was a person I could discuss ideas with on how to use the Internet. We used NwCitizen to good result from 1997 to 2000 in stopping Western Washington University from expanding into 17 city blocks of the Happy Valley neighborhood. Tip suggested Western look to the waterfront. They laughed at him. My, my - how time does reveal things.

Well, two years after moving to a database, we have tonight installed a front page. The purpose is to help readers learn more about current issues. The Issue boxes can give 30 words about an issue and list a half dozen articles worth reading. You see, sometimes an article written 6 months ago is still relevant and informative. With print publications, these get lost because we recycle the newspaper. Sadly the online version of many newspapers hide articles behind a firewall after a week and charge good money to see them. Seems very dumb to me because the expense of keeping old articles online is pennies.

Also, we will now feature a lead story in a large box at the page top. This allows us to make sure you don't miss some outstanding article by one of our citizen journalists.  I thank Tip for insisting over the past few months a front page was the next needed step.

On the left side is the beginning of an index to columnists. For the past few months, Ham Hayes has been writing a Wednesday morning column. I will be starting one every Monday morning. Eventually, we hope to add more columnists for other days. And Deb Gaber will edit all our columns and articles, as she has for months now, making us all look like better writers than we are. But these new design elements will take a couple weeks for us to get used to and using correctly. Right now their contents are a bit rough. Give us some time.

I want to thank John Meloy, our programmer, for coding the site two years ago and for today's front page.  He is an outstanding local web designer and he contributed some of his time and reduced his rate for this work as a contribution to our community discussion.  

I hope these format changes will lead to a better website. We are still inventing how we communicate online. I had a correct vision 15 years ago - and I have a vision now. Time will tell if the new vision works. 

Tip Johnson  //  Sat, Jan 30, 2010, 12:59 pm

And it is a volunteer effort!  Good job everyone.

Citizen journalists and opinion writers will become a more and more valuable source of public information as traditional media struggle with their bottom lines and corporate directions.

Exploring and evolving useful and reliable frameworks for citizen information may be crucial to our continuing experiment with democracy.

Nice work on the front page.  I like it and hope it will encourage more people to get involved and contribute.


Northwest Citizen has a Front Page

Fri, Jan 29, 2010, 3:42 am  //  John Servais

NwCitizen adds new design elements to its home page. The publisher explains what and why.

1 comments; last on Jan 30, 2010

The Way I See It - Death by Secrecy

Wed, Jan 27, 2010, 6:59 am  //  Ham Hayes

Issues are no longer relevant when secrecy is the name of the game.

1 comments; last on Jan 27, 2010

Johns Repair

Specializing in German vehicles...

The Lummi Blockade

Sat, Jan 23, 2010, 8:15 pm  //  Tip Johnson

The Lummi Nation appears prepared to implement a threatened blockade of Lummi Island commencing February 14th

1 comments; last on Jan 24, 2010

The Way I See It - Upheaval!

Wed, Jan 20, 2010, 7:00 am  //  Ham Hayes

The earthquake in Haiti is a new reminder that we must also be prepared.

0 comments

Racism and Western’s Late College of Ethnic Studies

Mon, Jan 18, 2010, 7:00 am  //  Kamalla Rose Kaur

Profiles WWU's College of Ethnic Studies and racism during the 60s

2 comments; last on Jan 19, 2010

Political Ethics

Sat, Jan 16, 2010, 7:00 am  //  Craig Mayberry

Contrasts business ethics and political ethics

4 comments; last on Jan 18, 2010

The Way I See It - Don’t Eat That!

Wed, Jan 13, 2010, 6:59 am  //  Ham Hayes

What will New York's proposed salt reduction laws do for us?

0 comments

City working to buy Chuckanut Ridge

Mon, Jan 11, 2010, 6:21 pm  //  John Servais

Bellingham council and mayor are working to buy the 80 acres of Chuckanut Ridge development for a bargain price. Washington Federal does not want the land.

1 comments; last on Jan 12, 2010

Hippie Jim’s Peace Prize

Sun, Jan 10, 2010, 7:00 am  //  Kamalla Rose Kaur

Local concert celebrates Pete Seeger's 90th birthday--and the efforts of one man to see him awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

2 comments; last on Jan 12, 2010

Horizon Bank closed by FDIC

Fri, Jan 08, 2010, 9:02 pm  //  John Servais

Fate of proposed Chuckanut Ridge development continues to be a concern.

2 comments; last on Jan 09, 2010

The Way I See It - Flying Blind

Wed, Jan 06, 2010, 6:59 am  //  Ham Hayes

The screening of several million airline passengers a day is a huge task--and not being very well done.

2 comments; last on Jan 09, 2010

Sport of Bellingham

Tue, Jan 05, 2010, 1:17 am  //  Tip Johnson

Port of Bellingham in the news

0 comments

 

Election Info

Candidate Filings

Primary election results

Whatcom Auditor

Coal, Oil & Trains

Community Wise Bellingham

Powder River Basin R. C.

Local Blogs & News

Bellingham Herald

Bham Herald Politics Blog
Bham Politics & Economics
Cascadia Weekly
Ferndale Record
Friends of Whatcom
Get Whatcom Planning
KGMI
Latte Republic
League of Women Voters
Lynden Tribune
MikeatthePort
Northern Light

Twilight Zoning
Western Front - WWU
Whatcom Watch

Local Causes

Chuckanut Community Forest

City Club of Bellingham
Conservation NW
Futurewise - Whatcom
Lake Whatcom
Lummi Island Quarry
N. Cascades Audubon
NW Holocaust Center
RE Sources
Reduce Jet Noise
Salish Sea Org.
Save the Granary Building
Transition Whatcom
WA Conservation Voters

Governments

Bellingham

Port of Bellingham
Skagit County
US - The White House
WA State Access
WA State Elections
WA State Legislature
Whatcom Auditor
Whatcom Auditor
Whatcom County

Weather & Climate

Cliff Mass Weather Blog

Climate Audit
Nat Hurricane Center
NW Radar
Two day forecast
Watts Up With That? - climate

Leisure

Adventures NW

Edge of Sports
Entertainment NNW
Famous Internet Skiers
Recreation Northwest
Sailing Anarchy

Good Web Sites

Al-Jazeera online

Alaska Dispatch
AlterNet.org
Antiwar.com
Arab News
Asia Times
Atlantic, The

Common Dreams
counterpunch
Crosscut Seattle
Daily Kos
Daily Mirror
Doonesbury
Drudge Report
FiveThirtyEight
Foreign Policy in Focus
GlobalPost
Guardian Unlimited
Gulf News
Haaretz
Huffington Post
Innocence Project, The
Intrnational Herald Tribune
James Fallows
Jerusalem Post
Joel Connelly
Juan Cole
Julia Ioffe/New Republic
Le Diplo
Media Matters
Michael Moore
Middle East Times
MoveOn.org
Nation, The
New American Century
News Trust
NMFA
numbers
Online Journal
Palestine Daily
Palestine News
Paul Krugman - economics
Personal bio info
Portland Indy Media
Progressive Review
Project Vote Smart
Reuters
Sea Shepherd
Slate
Stand for the Troops
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Talking Points Memo
TED
The Crisis Papers
The Intercept
the Oatmeal
Tom Paine.com
truthout
Vox
War and Piece
Washington Votes
WikiLeaks.ch
ynetnews.com

NwCitizen 1995 - 2007

Early Northwest Citizen

Quiet, Offline or Dead

Bellingham Police Activity

Bellingham Register
Bob Sanders
Carl Weimer
Chuckanut Mountains
Citizen Ted
Citizens of Bellingham
Cordata & Meridian
David Hackworth
Facebook Port Reform
HamsterTalk
Jack Petree
N. Sound Conservancy
No Leaky Buckets
Northwest Review
Orcinus
Post-Oklahoman Confessions
Protect Bellingham Parks
The American Telegraph
Wally Wonders