New Stuff! Read All About It!
You may have noticed I've been experimenting with some new features during the past couple of weeks. Nothing earth-shattering, I'll admit, but a few additions are worth shouting about. A couple of them were suggested by regular visitors, others were added because I thought they might be fun to do. However, everything is intended to make your visit more enjoyable, and, of course, to offer additional reasons for you to visit the site more frequently.
I'm still tinkering with some of the features, either because I'm not certain what I want to do with them, or, because I have plenty of time available nowadays. Whatever the reason, you can safely surmise that I revel in my newfound freedom from daily deadlines, so I'll take my own sweet time.
However, please don't allow my plodding pace to prevent you from making future suggestions. I appreciate continued feedback about the website. Just keep in mind that even though I know its important to keep the site regularly updated, I also spend a great deal of my time working on separate, unrelated projects. I suppose what I'm trying to say is, the more interactive you are with the site, the more obligated I will feel to allocate additional time to it.
So, what's new?
Here's a list of recently-added features, with varying degrees of explanation:
New Top Navigation Bar
The Navigation Bar on the left side of the page was becoming way too congested, so I added a Top Navigation Bar. You'll find it under the site logo, immediately below the yellow scrolling ticker. The clickable links in this new top navigation bar are the most visited areas of the site, those links are now conveniently grouped together.
New Site Search Feature
You'll notice there's a new link in the top navigation bar called 'Site Search'. This feature seemed like a worthwhile addition because the site's content has grown substantially since its launch in May, 2008. The website now contains hundreds of pages and the number is growing every week, so you'll find the site search a valuable tool. Give it a try. Go on. Do it now! Click on 'Site Search' and an Advanced Search Form will appear. Reset the "Search from" date to May 1, 2008 (that's when the site was officially launched) then type in a keyword. For example, type in "Phreddie" then click the "Search!" button. Voila! A list of Search Results appears. Note, in this case, that the results include all articles, blogs and artwork where the term "Phreddie" has appeared.
New Weather Feature
Just below the top navigation bar, on the left side above today's date, you'll see a new Weather Icon. There are two options here. Click "Shelbyville" for Shelby County's five-day, ten-day and fifteen-day forecasts; a long-range temperature graph; plus, a variety of weather maps. Or, click "Weather Forecast" for Shelby County's current weather conditions and an hour-by-hour forecast, including an hourly probability of precipitation, plus an Indiana radar map. You can also access several weather-related health and lifestyle indices, such as a pollen index, an arthritis index, air quality, asthma, outdoor activities, even a daily hair frizz warning.
All weather forecasts are provided by AccuWeather, the world's most-used, most-trusted source of weather information. As we move into Indiana's ever-changing Fall and Winter seasons, you'll find this to be another good reason to visit deebonner.com every day.
New Video Feature
Okay, I'm still experimenting with this feature, but it has good future possibilities for both entertainment and information for those of you who can access it. Your ability to view the video may depend on your connectivity to the Web. Also, if you are visiting my site from your place of employment, there's a chance that your employer has blocked you from watching streaming videos.
So, where will you find the new video feature? Go to the News & Opinion Section. If your connection permits, and if your overseer allows, the video will load and be displayed below the site logo and above the first article on the page. Enjoy!
New Guest Forum
Let me be honest, I've struggled with this one. Several regular visitors have suggested that I moderate a local topic forum similar to the former "Shelby County Truth" website which, I know, some of you still recall. After considerable thought, here's what I've decided to do. I'm introducing a new "Guest Forum" as a partial solution on an experimental basis. I'm offering this because I think the previous SCT website, at times, served a useful purpose in the community. However, I'm also convinced it lost its value when it became subverted by local political forces and was swamped with inane and profane comments. I will neither invite nor tolerate those types of submissions, which is why I call it a "guest" forum. I will consider you a guest on my website as if you were a guest in my home. Consequently, stimulating conversations and honest differences of opinion will be welcomed and encouraged. Boorish behavior, profanity and libelous language will not be accepted.
Therefore, here's the deal. On the Home Page, just below the Weather box and today's date is a new link named "Guest Forum", click it to go to a page where you can enter your own public comments. To submit a message, you'll find a high-lighted "click here" or, you can scroll to the bottom of the page where you'll find the submission form. See the paragraphs that follow (New Anonymity Feature) for further information about this site's submission forms.
New Anonymity Feature
Some of you have expressed concerns about submitting article comments because you don't want your name to appear publicly on the website. Others have figured out that they can enter a fictitious name, a 555-xxxx telephone number, and a fake E-mail address and still get their comments posted. How can this be?
Here's a basic explanation. When you submit a comment, the message is sent to the out-of-town firm that hosts my website. Upon receipt, the firm immediately notifies me via E-mail that a comment has been received, this is an automated process. After I receive the E-mail notification, as the site administrator, I can go to my website, read the submission, edit it if necessary, and decide whether or not to activate the comment for public viewing. The reason that your comments aren't posted immediately is because I will personally approve or reject your submission. And, in some cases, it might take a few days, especially if I happen to be on a beach somewhere without a laptop.
Therefore, I am the only person who sees your submission. If you submitted a false name, false phone number and false E-mail address, that's what I see. Conversely, if you submitted your actual name, phone number and E-mail, that's what I see. Got it?
That means you are able to submit anonymous comments to my website. This is true for both individual article comment forms and for the new Guest Forum comment forms.
Here is the major advantage and disadvantage of Real vs. Anonymous. If you use your real name and contact information and if I have a question about your comment, I can contact you for a clarification. If you use an anonymous name and contact information, I can't contact you for a clarification because I don't know who you are, in which case, your comment might not get posted.
As many of you know, I have signed my name to thousands of editorial and political cartoons for many years. Yet, I'm no stranger to anonymity. On occasion, I've used pseudonyms on artwork. I also realize that anonymous contributions are an accepted convention on the Web. Furthermore, anonymity is not only a significant part of American history (just ask Ben Franklin), it is also a protected form of free speech, when it's not libelous.
Bottom Line: If you feel more comfortable submitting anonymous comments, you may do so. Neither the readers nor I will know who you are. With that in mind, you will increase the chances of getting your submissions published if they are concise and free of libelous content.
New Submit-A-Cartoon Feature
More and more people (kids and adults) have access to computers, that makes it possible to post your work online. Since this is primarily a cartoon website, I invite you to submit your own cartoons and art creations for publication on this website.
On the Navigation Bar located on the left-hand side of the page is a new link titled "Submit A Cartoon", click the link to go to a simple submission form. Please note that your REAL name and REAL E-Mail will be required for cartoon submissions in order for you to receive proper credit, acknowledgments and accolades.
First, create your artwork then scan it and save it to your computer. Next, access the Submit-A-Cartoon Form and type in your name, E-mail, the title of your cartoon or artwork and a description (if necessary). Then select the "Choose File" button to upload your cartoon. Click "Submit" and you're done.
I'll set up a new Readers' Toons Section to display the submissions.
Here are some cartoon submission guidelines:
1. Please submit your own original artwork.
2. Do not submit cartoons purloined from other websites or publications.
3. Did I mention to only submit your own artwork?
4. Keep it clean. Keep it simple.
5. Don't use too many words.
6. Spell words correctly.
7. Have fun.
Alright, I'm finished.
A lengthy article I know, but I hope you'll agree it's full of valuable information. Be sure to tell your friends and family about the new features. And let me know what you think!
Posted: Thursday, September 10, 2009
Article comment by:
To simply anonymous:
Oh yeah, T-shirts! Gee, they keep migrating to the bottom of my "things-to-do-today" list. Still a possibility but it's almost time for sweatshirts, isn't it?
Posted: Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Article comment by:
Way cool Dee. I like the new set up. By the way, when are we bonnerheads going to be able to order those bonnerhead t-shirts?
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