Monitor’s Web site offers a variety of new features

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By Special to the Monitor

The Los Alamos Monitor took the wraps off its new Web site early Sunday morning. The new site ushers in a new era of convergence, as the newspaper advances its Internet presence.
The site, lamonitor.com, has a number of key features and technological advances that were not available on the newspaper’s previous Web site. Chief among those features, the site now affords a greater use of video, photo slideshows, reader forums, blogs, and other elements designed to extend the newspaper’s reach and provide a place for community conversation and debate.
“This is indeed the moment of convergence for the Los Alamos Monitor, said Publisher Keven Todd. “The Monitor is no longer a newspaper that also happens to have a Web site. As we’ve seen the lamonitor.com numbers explode and essentially double in the past year — 220,000 page views in August—it has become clear that a greater depth of online capabilities was needed in order to better serve our readers and advertisers.”
In reviewing some of the site improvements, Todd pointed to video as being chief among them. The new content system makes it easier and faster for the news team to post video than ever before, he said. “Not only is there a multimedia showcase for video and photo slideshows on the homepage, but readers will also find video posted with more stories to add a depth of reporting that was time-consuming and rather cumbersome on the previous site,” Todd said. “The video feature alone represents an ability to add a dimension to reporting news that is unprecedented here locally.”
Other enhancements to lamonitor.com include Reader Forums, Blogs, and a Pet of the Week feature along with an Adopt-a-Pet from the local shelter. Readers will also find a way to more easily access the specific news they’re looking for through the drop-down menus under each of the main section headers at the top of the homepage.
“We’ve been listening to what our readers have been telling us they want from the Monitor, in both print and online,” Todd said. The online side not only represents a major investment that allows the Monitor to deliver a greater depth of news here locally, but it also coincides with a bigger, company-wide online initiative by Landmark Community Newspapers, the parent company of the Monitor.”
Regular online readers should go ahead and register on the site in order to post comments, and participate in the many features that will in essence become an online extension of the Los Alamos community, Todd said.
“At some point in the not-too-distant future, much of the content on lamonitor.com will go behind a pay wall,” Todd said. “Print newspaper subscribers will gain access to the online extras as part of their paid subscriptions, while anyone will be able to purchase an online-only subscription and continue to gain full access to all the local news. We invest so much in developing local content; it simply does not make sense for the Monitor to continue giving it away for free online.”
Todd said that while the new lamonitor.com is a substantial step forward for the Monitor in terms of becoming a more robust multimedia news outlet, he points out that this is only the first phase and that more enhancements are already in development. “We want everyone to get involved with the online community that lamonitor.com will come to represent,” Todd said. “But stay tuned, the best is yet to come.”