I'm very excited today to introduce you to Alex Parker, our new digital editor here at LJWorld.com.
Alex will replace Whitney Mathews, who you'll all remember left LJWorld.com and The World Company just before July 4 this year. It's taken us a little longer than we would have liked to replace Whitney, but it was important to us to have the right fit. Alex is the right fit.
Some of you may recognize Alex's names from his previous time at the World Company. He was our education reporter — coincidentally one of his clearest memories is reporting on the USD 497 decision to build new stadiums at its high schools — and then a reporter and web producer for our websites. One of the works I'll most remember from his time here was the multimedia story he did on a Fort Riley unit's preparation to deploy to Iraq.
Alex left us in 2009 and has worked for the Chi-Town-Daily News and the Chicago Reader before returning to Lawrence just this week. I'm really excited to be putting the LJWorld.com community in his hands.
With LJWorld.com in good hands, I feel like it's an appropriate time to announce news of my own. A few weeks ago, I let The World Company know I'd be leaving to take a new role at Public Radio International in Minneapolis, Minn. My last day is next Tuesday.
I've spent the past five years working here — and I've lived here for more than eight — and I cannot tell you all how thankful I am for all of the support and wisdom I've gained from working with the community here — both virtually on LJWorld.com and our other websites as well as in person in Lawrence. Leaving will be bittersweet for me; I'm sad to leave my friends and colleagues in Lawrence, as well as the community we have here, but I'm excited for the new opportunity.
So, thanks again, for being a fantastic community. And don't be surprised if you still see me lurking in the comments occasionally. There's a great community here and I just don't want to totally get away.
Well, we've done it again. We've taken your LJWorld.com and shaken things up a bit.
Today, however, that changes. We've unveiling a host of subtle changes that we think will make it easier for you to find the variety of content on a variety of topics that our journalists are creating. Here, in detail, are the biggest changes we've made. If you have feedback, questions, or concerns, feel free to post them below and Whitney, Ben Spaulding, our designer, or myself will try to get you answers.
So, the biggest change is "The Latest" — a constantly changing feed of the latest content from our staff. On the previous homepage, it was only a list of the latest stories and blogs on LJWorld.com. Now, it's a list of the latest multimedia content from any site in our network — and it can be a video, a photo gallery or even a special feature. Here's a before and after:
Next up, you'll notice in that same picture that we've added a third tab: a most discussed feed from lawrence.com and WellCommons. There's a lot of good content and good discussions on those sites and we want to put them in front of our largest audience, on LJWorld.com. We don't have KUsports.com discussions anywhere on the homepage yet, but we have some other plans for that, down the road.
In addition, you'll notice that we've rearranged and change our featured content boxes. Instead of being stacked down column two, they're now split between column two and column three, with sports and state government occupying prime positions. Next are our WellCommons and lawrence.com features, which replace the large WellCommons box and Arts and Entertainment feature we had on the old site. These link you directly to those two sites. Here's a before and after look at that.
The last significant move is the editorials, which have moved from under The Latest above the user blogs and letters to the editor. We think this reflects that all of this content is, fundamentally, opinion-based. In fact, in a previous iteration of the homepage, those two modules were located together. Here's a look at where you can find that content now.
That brings us to what didn't change. Most discussed is exactly where it has always been and its function is the exact same. The navigational bar is the same as well, though we do expect some changes there in the not-too-distant future. The top ads, visual tours and green edition remain where they've always been, as do our lists of special features, events and the ever-popular on the street question.
If I've missed something or you have a question or concern, leave it in the comments. I'll be checking in all night and again tomorrow to help out and take your feedback.