Letter from the Publisher: Happy to be back – and sorry for the web glitches!
Mark Travis, new publisher of the Concord Monitor. January 18, 2013. (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff)
I hadn’t planned to reintroduce myself with an apology, but an apology is in order, so I will begin there.
As users of our website know, it hasn’t been working well in recent weeks. I wanted to explain why, and offer some guidance if you’re having issues.
The troubles began in late October, when we shifted from a homegrown site to one driven by a vendor’s newsroom computer system. There’s a lot of power in the new system, and all the newspapers in our family are using it. That’s a first for us, and it should serve us well over time.
But the implementation has not gone as we expected. Even now, users are experiencing three major difficulties.
One is difficulty logging in to the site, which is necessary to comment or enjoy unlimited access to the content.
The second problem involves access. Non-subscribers should be able to access up to 10 stories a month, provided they register (at no cost) after viewing five. We’re having intermittent difficulties with the meter, which means some visitors are being asked to register or denied more “clicks” sooner than they should be.
A third issue users find vexing is the lack of old content on the new site. Our online archive is being moved from its old home to the new one, but the process has proven far more complicated and thus time-consuming than we had expected, so most of it isn’t there yet.
We’re as frustrated by these issues as users are. We’re working hard to resolve them, and I hope you’ll bear with us. Again, I apologize.
In the meantime, if you’re having access issues, our customer service team can help. They can be reached at 800-464-3415 from 8 to 5 weekdays and 7 to 10 a.m. on weekends, or by email at customer
Also, I can’t resist this suggestion, for those online users who don’t get the print edition: The newspaper is, as always, available for home delivery and in hundreds of outlets each and every morning. (Some things never change.)
I’m writing this at the end of my first week back at the Monitor, where I had worked for more than 20 years before moving to our sister paper, the Valley News in West Lebanon, as its publisher in 2008. I miss the Valley News, but I have to say this feels like coming home.
I’m proud to have been part of the Monitor’s history, and am excited to have an opportunity now to help to shape its future. I have thoughts about ways in which we should adapt to what are new and challenging times, as do others here. But our decisions should be grounded not in what we think, but in what you think.
So I welcome your comments and suggestions. Here’s a question to get you started: What’s one thing we could do that would make our content more interesting or useful to you?
(Monitor Publisher Mark Travis can be reached by phone at 369-3250 or by email at email@example.com. If you’re into the brave new world of Twitter, you can find him there too: @MonitorPub.)