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Web site offering new features; N-D increases its online presence

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By Phyllis McLaughlin

First, I just want to say that I am extremely optimistic for our country’s future. Whether you voted for Barak Obama or not, I hope we will finally all start working together, despite party alignments, and get the United States back on track.

The world is watching us; our friends, allies and even some of less-than-friendly countries have indicated they will support the new administration.

I hope that we all do, too.

What’s new on the Web

Hopefully, everyone out there knows we have a Web site: MyCarrollNews.com. We’ve been online about two-and-a-half years, and over the past summer, the site went through a few changes in layout and design. In fact, all the papers owned by our parent company, Landmark Media Enterprises (formerly Landmark Community Newspapers Inc.), are switching to the new platform.

Some of the changes include the ability to comment directly on stories posted on the site. You will need to sign up to do this, providing your name and a working e-mail address. You don’t have to use your real name if you post comments, though we do encourage that.

Also, we have the ability to post slide shows, and since July have posted several on topics including the Tobacco Festival parade, a day at the pool at Robert Westrick Memorial Park and others.

The information technology team at LCNI is working hard to make improvements to our site and add more features. For instance, starting this week, we will be able to send out e-mail alerts to let you know what’s new each Wednesday in The News-Democrat. Once you get to our site, you can sign up for this service for free. It only takes a minute or two.

Once you have signed up, you will receive e-mails when we update the Web site on Wednesdays – and especially when we post breaking news during the week.

If you are into social-networking Web sites, we now have a presence on FaceBook. If you are a member of FaceBook, search for The News-Democrat under “Groups” and you’ll find a fan page you can join. So far, we have 27 members. Comments can be posted on our “Wall,” and you also can post your own photos to share with your fellow Carroll Countians. Perhaps you have a great photo of a pet, or an event your kids were involved in or something else that’s happening in the county.

The FaceBook site also allows you to post links to other useful Internet sites – particularly sites that provide information on Carroll County organizations, local bands, businesses, schools and churches, etc.

But mainly, every Tuesday night, you can find a sneak peak of Wednesday’s front-page headlines.  You can send your friends to the FaceBook fan page to show them some of what’s going on in Carroll County, or to show off if a photo is posted that includes you. From there, they can click on a link and visit our official Web site to find more news, sports, features and photos.

Carroll County Animal Support also has a presence on our Web site. On the menu bar, click on Features and then Adopt-A-Pet. There, you’ll not only find dogs and cats in foster care hoping for forever homes – you’ll also find out when the next CCAS meeting will be and what projects the group is planning. We’re happy to publish similar information for other groups. Just contact me.

So, please – take time to check us out online and tell us what you think. We’d love to hear your comments on stories or issues, as well as suggestions for improvements or additions to the site.

Phyllis Codling McLaughlin is editor of The News-Democrat.