Dear Friend of the TSD:
A few weeks ago, I asked for your support as we developed the next generation of online multimedia content. Once again, I thank you for your generosity. I also promised you that you would be among the first to preview our efforts. Well, that day has come!
Introducing our updated website: www.tri-statedefender.com!
Our web development team, Ester Moore and Lee Eric Smith, is transitioning us to the popular WordPress-based platform. We believe this is an upgrade in the look, feel and overall user experience. Plus we’ve worked in a number of new features that will make it easier for you and other readers to submit events, photos and story ideas.
For the record, we’re not changing the web address you’ve gotten used to — once we complete our transition to our new website, you’ll still go to TSDMemphis.com. But for now, this is where you can visit, kick the tires and help us further refine the site by giving us feedback!
By all means, click around the site. Visit any area you like. But there are a few specific tasks we are asking you to complete, involving functions that we’re really excited about and that we want to ensure are solid before we unveil the site to the general public. Here’s a breakdown of our new features along with the task we’d like you to test for us:
Create an account: This is the epicenter of so many exciting features of our new site! Once someone joins the site, depending on the type of membership, they’ll be able to post an event, upload event photos, purchase discounted tickets, create a business directory listing and more! Future features include receiving special “member only” deals, getting advanced notice of products, events & services and purchasing ads across our various platforms: classified (print and/or web); display (print); and web ads!
Requested Task: Create a free account. Visit: www.tri-statedefender.com/register/
Events: We wanted to make it MUCH easier for users to share events with us and other readers. So after you create your account, create (at least one) event! Important: Create an ACTUAL event — church event, pastor appreciation, community food drive; upcoming school play or concert, whatever. We intend to publish an event calendar in our print edition, and your testing of this function will help give us a head start!
Requested Task: Create an event. Visit: www.tri-statedefender.com/new-event
Submit a story idea: Likewise, we wanted to make it easier for users to send us story ideas and photos of news and events in the community. So we created two forms that lets you plug in all the details. Tell us about a story you’d like to see in the TSD, or if you have a photo from a recent event, upload it along with the “who, what, when, where and why.” We can’t guarantee publication, but we will review them for possible use in print and/or online.
Requested Task: Submit a story idea and/or photo. Visit: www.tri-statedefender.com/submit-a-story-idea-or-lead/ and www.tri-statedefender.com/event-photo-uploader/
Test our new broadcast email system: To give us more flexibility to customize our daily email communications, we’re (gently) rolling out a prototype for our future broadcast emailed newsletter, including the news you get currently in our Digital Daily, videos, discounts & deals, and much more! This tool is more tightly integrated with the new site, and should give us more room to customize how readers get our digital content. You will begin receiving emails from our existing service as well as this new one we’re testing out. We won’t bombard you, we promise.
Requested Task: Give us feedback. When you provide us feedback (see below), be sure to let us know what you think of our new email!
Feedback: After you’ve tested various areas of the site, please take a few moments to complete a short feedback form so we can make the site even better!
One more thing: For now, please keep our new site under your hat. We’re excited and confident about what’s to come, however if you help us find the gaps we need to fill, we want to do so BEFORE we unveil it to the world!
Thanks . . . and get clicking!
Bernal E. Smith II, Publisher