Upham's Corner Online

Upham's Corner News - What is an Online Newspaper?

Posted: Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Nancy Conrad, Editor

News media outlets are in a state of transition. Newspapers that generate hardcopy output are finding it difficult to remain profitable. Much of the world's print is becoming digitized.

Today's newspapers can still be held in your hands. They have a front page, a back page and content between that we expect to be fresh with each issue. Content consists of facts, stories and opinions. Much of it is focused on (time) events - what did or could happen.

This contrasts with a different type of publication called a catalog where the focus is "things." The items for sale tend not to be time-dependent unless they are "on sale" or could go out of style.
On the Internet, websites that serve as portals provide a focal point for a collection, presentation and dissemination of like information.
  • A web store is a portal for a collection of items (things) for sale.
  • An information portal is a collection of digitized things (often for sale)
An online newspaper is like a combination of traditional newspaper and information portal (catalog).
  • On the newspaper side, we provide traditional media content and format
  • On the catalog side, we provide access to past issues and information as well as other useful "lists"
An issue of the online newspaper consists of a front page with links to subsidiary pages and articles, all of which are webpages. Since all webpages are permanently retained, newspaper archives can consist of front pages, each linking to the articles it featured on the day it was issued.

You can think of the catalog as the collection of all webpages. Or you can think of the catalog as the vehicle that provides access to the information you're looking for.
  • Browse the front pages of prior issues
  • Read through a news index
  • Perform a site search
Generally the preferred technique is the site search but that requires content management capability.
Upham's Corner News Online has a relatively small and specific target audience. It consists of the residents and businesses of Upham's Corner as well as other interested parties who can benefit from a closer look at the life and times of our community.

The population of around 10,000 means that Upham's Corner could be considered a small city. Boston looks at Upham's Corner as a micro-neighborhood of Dorchester.

Mostly we don't think of ourselves as a small city or as a unit of self-sufficiency.

Instead we look to our city officials downtown. This fosters a mentality of dependency. The less we do for ourselves, the more helpless we feel, especially in tight economic times.

The less we look at ourselves and forget to remember who we are, the more we look through ourselves and forget that we exist.
There is no doubt that our website will look like a newspaper. Publishing the newspaper will be our first priority. We'll announce each issue so that the latest news and feature articles can become talking points for the community.

But as we begin to touch the pieces that make up our community, getting to know the people, the personal side of businesses, where we live and go to school and dine and worship, it is a simple matter to add this information to the website and share it with all.

Upham's Corner News Online looks to paint a picture over time - gathering up the details, stories, photos, statistics, directories and links to reveal who we are.
How do you call where you live -- Dorchester? Boston? Virginia Street?

"Do you live in Boston?"
"Nope."
"Do you live in Dorchester?"
"Nope."
"So then where do you live?"

"I live in Upham's Corner and I'm darned proud of it."

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