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Sandy tests newsroom, GazetteNET; prizes awarded in All-Access contest

This is a busy time for the Gazette and GazetteNET team.

  • Our E-Edition is now online.
  • Hurricane Sandy tested our newsroom and new online publishing system; both got high marks.
  • The link to purchase photo reprints is now working.
  • Commenting is available on all stories.
  • And we awarded prizes to new subscribers in our Gazette All-Access contest. The winners are: Marianne Carter of Florence, a new I-Pad; Edward Bilski of Easthampton, UMass tickets; and Janice Doore of Amherst, UMass tickets.

GazetteNET is now available on computers, mobile phones and tablets and through an electronic edition. And all of that is free to print subscribers as part of our Gazette All-Access program.

Sandy and GazetteNET

As Sandy headed north on Monday, Oct. 29, the decision was made to print our Tuesday edition four hours earlier than usual to guarantee morning delivery. At the same time we decided to keep publishing online.
With our new cloud computing technology, even if our plant on Conz Street in Northampton lost power, GazetteNET would remain up and could be updated from remote locations.

The impact of Sandy on the area was updated throughout the evening on GazetteNET by reporters and photographers who were out on the streets capturing it all. We also posted updates from the utility companies and posted wire reports from other parts of the Northeast as Sandy made landfall.

Editor Larry Parnass wrote to the staff the next day: "We put up a dynamic website last night that exceeded what our competition offered. This was our first chance to use the flexibility of the new GazetteNET for a breaking story of this scale . . . Last night at 9, when interest in the storm probably peaked, we offered a carousel feature loaded with storm news. (The photographers) fed photos into a gallery that gave site visitors a look at dozens of scenes of storm prep and storm arrival . . . It is tremendously gratifying to see our team serve our readership so well."

E-Edition arrives

E-Edition is an electronic replica of the daily paper. It is posted each morning. Each page can be opened up on the computer. Pages can be turned. It is possible to zoom in and read stories in graphic or text formats, as well as make copies of stories. The E-Edition comes with a guide and help buttons to explain how it all works.

There is a link to the E-Edition at the top of the home page and lower on the right side of the home page.

The E-Edition is just one of the enhancements to our digital offerings. And like the mobile and tablet version of GazetteNET, it is all free to print subscribers.

New GazetteNET pricing

Later this month, online readers who are not print subscribers will be asked to register to read up to five local news articles each month at no charge or pay for unlimited access to online content. There also will be a variety of pricing options for Digital Only subscribers. To learn about our subscription opportunities call 413-586-1925.

About the new website
Built by Digital Technology International, the change represents a significant investment in the future of the company and reflects our belief in the importance and value of community journalism in print and online.

The new website includes a Live News headline feed from wire services and Tweets from staff members and trusted sources. There will be more photos posted with every story and more video available.

The heart of the site remains our staff-produced local news, sports and feature content, the most complete and in-depth in the region.

A new online calendar allows for easy search of coming events, by community and by subject. There is a daily opinion poll, an improved TalkBack section for commenting, photos galleries, and easy access to special sections, like Valley Almanac, Live Well, Restaurant Guide and other features published throughout the year.

The expanded website also creates an exciting new marketplace for our advertisers.

The newspaper’s new content management system uses cloud computing technology. This makes it easier to manage, change and update our website and it also gives us the ability to publish the newspaper from other locations in case of power outages or other plant disruptions.

We encourage feedback as we continue to refine the new website, make adjustments and improvements. Let us know what you think and what you would like to see on GazetteNET.com. Email me at publisher@gazettenet.com.

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