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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)

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
service@cmonitor.com.

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 mtravis@cmonitor.com. If you’re into the brave new world of Twitter, you can find him there too: @MonitorPub.)

Legacy Comments14

Web glitches? It's way beyond that. It sucks.

Van !! That is Aroooooooooooooo Perfect !!!!!!!!!!! Nhdriver

For me if you have had a web site up for 3 months and you still are having issues, you have a major problem. The issues are not minor. They involve signing on, staying on and the fact that when it goes down the new passwords you use do not work. Last time around I was off for 2 weeks. I kept getting e mails saying I was signed on with a new password, then when I went onto the CM website I was not signed on. Folks at the CM were helpful, especially Chris. Hopefully, this time the web site is fixed for good. Bottom line is the sign on problem started at the begining of this new web site, and it came back. Not a good sign maintenance wise.

It is not the lousy comment board and the looney left false posts that bothers me it is the daily censorship of conservatives comments. I will even bet this comment gets censored.

Just testing

Yea! It worked.

I stopped posting after the change occurred. Not worth the time and aggravation. I'm planning on staying away until the system gets much better.

mea culpa

Mr Travis, before the October disaster the first 2 things I did in the morning was read the Monitor's hard copy and go online and comment on the articles/letters that I read. I can't do that anymore because some of the content that in the online edition is days old. Nobody is interested in old news. Now I could care less what is on your online edition and I think a lot of people feel the same way: Before the October disaster I could: Click on the Monitor on line and I was already logged in I could edit my comments. I had my own Avatar (Ronald Reagan a real president that brought Republicans and Democrats together to get things done) I could create my own comments headline to bring attention to my comments. I could access archived comments that I as well as others made. I could get recognition if 5 people liked what I wrote and my comment was highlighted in gold. Right now I get knocked off if I take too long writing a post. I can’t edit anything or delete a stupid post (nobody is perfect). Mr. Travis your homegrown system was like gold. It was interesting and enjoyable. It was in now time. It was user friendly and it brought people who might disagree to get a better understanding of each other and become good friends. Your current site is stale, and is no thrills low budget disaster and doesn’t hold a candle to your homegrown version. I would pat the guy who developed it and get the old version online.

I'm gonna "like" this comm . . . . oh . . . wait a minute . . . I can't do that anymore.

I have to agree Dan, I liked when you could vote for a post, it saved me from writing a redundant opinion. I also agree with Van, the old comment program we the posters could have our own avatars. One final comment; It would be nice to have a thumbs up or a thumbs down for each comment submitted so that folks could put me in my place daily! :)

That was a nice feature, yes it would also stop you from being, as usual, redundant. Yes, avatars were much preferred. Yes, you should be put in your place daily. We are in agreement.

This is strange - I actually agree with Van (except that "Ronald Reagan" is the president who drove our runaway debt train out of the station). My pick of the "one thing" would be to enable paragraphing to allow the posting of spreadsheets (I think a poster screennamed "sail" really misses my homemade spreadsheets).

Mr Travis, before the October disaster the first 2 things I did in the morning was read the Monitor's hard copy and go online and comment on the articles/letters that I had read. I can't do that anymore because some of the content that in the online edition is days old. Nobody is interested in old news. Now I could care less what is on your online edition and I think a lot of people feel the same way: Before the October disaster I could: Click on the Monitor on line and I was already logged in I could edit my comments. I had my own Avatar (Ronald Reagan a real president that brought Republicans and Democrats together to get things done) I could create my own comments headline to bring attention to my comments. I could access archived comments that I as well as others made. I could get recognition if 5 people liked what I wrote and my comment was highlighted in gold. Right now I get knocked off if I take too long writing a post. I can’t edit anything or delete a stupid post (nobody is perfect). Mr. Travis your homegrown system was like gold. It was interesting and enjoyable. It was in now time. It was user friendly and it brought people who might disagree to get a better understanding of each other and become good friends. Your current site is stale, and is no thrills low budget disaster and doesn’t hold a candle to your homegrown version. I would pat the guy who developed it and get the old version online.

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