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Jim Clark column for 12-24-2010

By Jim Clark

When you get to my age, change doesn’t come easily. I’m actually proud of myself for keeping up with computers and how to use them, especially at the newspaper.

So when it was announced quite some time ago that we would be changing the look of our website and the method for getting things posted, I was a little skeptical.

As the process went on, one thing did become obvious. It would take cooperation from the readers to make it work.

This past weekend we went “live,” with a few glitches here and there, but now much of it is up and running quite successfully.

One of the last things to start working was what we call the e-edition, which is every page of the newspaper represented on the computer screen for you to read. Understand that the website design was done in Kentucky at our company’s home office, and they worked long and hard to make everything go.

In the e-edition, the pages are loaded as PDFs. PDF stands for Portable Document Format, and things in PDF form individually can be viewed with Adobe Reader, which is a free program. Clicking on the e-edition pages on our website should bring them up for you.

We still are working, at this writing, at getting videos on the site, but I promise you we will overcome that problem, too.

I told you last week that we wanted your participation, and we’ve already gotten some of it. One man brought in a picture of a dog for “Pet of the Week,” which we’ll put on the site today. We also want you to add calendar items and various other things to the website as if it were your own.

Of course, we have the right to reject any objectionable or potentially libelous material, so don’t go crazy on me when you write something.

One of the things that is required of you is registration. On the upper left of the site is a registration spot, and then a login position. This makes sure that individuals are posting items, and not automated programs.

We all know how spam has infiltrated our e-mails, and we’re out to make sure that doesn’t happen with the website.

Also, we have many advertisers who put their ads on the website. Take a look at those and you might find a bargain you didn’t know existed.

One last concern is obituaries. When they were told we rarely get any, someone in Kentucky asked, “Don’t people die down there?”

It seems that our local funeral homes have stopped sending us death notices. We have two levels of obituaries, free and paid. Free obituaries are those that tell you who died, where they lived, relatives and upcoming services. If you are, unfortunately, put in a position where you are dealing with a funeral home, tell them you want an obituary in the South Marion Citizen. They each have a chart that tells the difference between obituaries you pay for and those that are free.

If you want complete information that is written the way you want it, you have to have a paid obituary. But if you just want to let the community know that a loved one has died, and when the funeral is (we put notices on the website immediately so you don’t have to wait a week), then tell them to get it to us.

So go ahead and log in to the website, which is still www.smcitizen.com. We hope you enjoy it.


Jim Clark is the editor of the South Marion Citizen. He can be reached at 352-854-3986 or at editor@smcitizen.com.