Democrat’s Web changes a click away

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 4, 2001

Eight days ago this newspaper published Profile 2001 and in doing so a little history was made.

The edition included dozens of stories and photographs about people and places we thought were interesting or noteworthy including those honored as Citizens of the Year and Unsung Heroes.

But in a less grand fashion, Profile 2001 marked the first time the annual edition has made it into cyberspace.

This was the first year that we’ve published Profile onto our Web site – but it won’t likely be the last.

If you somehow missed the print edition of Profile 2001, or if you accidentally tossed it out prematurely, you can easily call it up by going to The Democrat’s Web site at natchezdemocrat.com.

The site includes the same stories and photos published in the print edition, along with all of the advertising sponsors who make Profile possible each year.

The publishing of Profile 2001 to the Internet is actually only one of several changes we’ve made to The Democrat’s Web site in recent months.

In case you didn’t realize The Democrat maintained a Web site, let me pause to give a little background on the site.

The Democrat ventured in Web publishing during 1997, but quickly found out it wasn’t as easy as it looked. As a result the site sat dormant for many months as we struggled to manage the large task of posting news information each day to the site.

In late 1998, we made a decision to take the Web site a bit more seriously and the site was revamped.

We publish news, sports, obituaries, opinions and features each day of the year to the site. The site includes most – but not all – of the information that print subscribers can read each day.

And unlike many Web sites, ours has new content added each day – even Christmas and New Year’s.

Thousands of people with an interest in Natchez, Adams County and Concordia Parish read our news online. And those numbers are growing each month.

In an effort to better serve those readers we’ve begun adding a few new features.

One such addition is the new Bridal Directory. It offers a list of upcoming weddings with the time and location, along with the page’s sponsors listed online and available 24 hours a day.

Along with adding Profile and the Bridal Directory to the Web site, we’ve also rolled out a mobile edition.

It is intended for people who use personal digital assistants, electronic organizers and Web-enabled wireless telephones.

The mobile edition has the same news, sports, obituaries and opinions as the full Web site. However it is in a simple, text-only format to allow easy transfer into the digital devices.

Now users of such devices can download the newspaper’s content with them, stick it in their pocket and read it wherever and whenever they’d like.

It may seem like a pretty wild concept, but it isn’t some futuristic dream.

It’s a reality, and it’s all just a click away.

Kevin Cooper is managing editor of The Democrat. He can be reached at (601) 445-3541 or by e-mail at kevin.cooper@ natchezdemocrat.com.