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Advance's new Web site launches

By By Adam Prestridge
Saying last week was a hectic one would be an understatement.
In last week's column, I "teased" readers with some obvious remarks regarding a new project the Advance embarked on in early January. Eight months later and many headaches suffered, the project is nearing its completion. If you do not know by now what I am referring to, it's the launch of the paper's new and improved Web site.
During the months that the project was under way, there were numerous times I wanted to toss my hands and give up, but the team here at the Advance always joined together and worked through each problem that arose. You, the reader, were our driving force each day and hopefully in the next couple of weeks, you will express your opinion of the site, good and bad. In fact, the new site became somewhat of a obsession of mine, just ask my wife.
Throughout the project, if you ever logged onto www.atmoreadvance.com and discovered a blank screen or an error, you now know that it wasn't a mistake. A team of webmasters, web architects or web designers, whatever you wish to call them, were feverishly working to complete the site. Sometimes these problems caused delays in updating the site and on a few occasions forced us to forego updating for a few days. For that, we apologize, but believe the new site will be well worth it. We hope you agree.
There were several elements that we at the Advance wanted to incorporate in the site, which slowed us down at times, but Wednesday, despite a few hiccups, the site went live. Most of those problems have been ironed out, but I'm sure there will be more as the transition process from the old site to the new one continues.
Some of the new features on the site are, a slideshow, which displays all the photos incorporated with the top stories; a most commented and most emailed story feature, driven by our online readers and world news.
The biggest "treat" for our readers is the ability to view video filmed by members of the Advance's staff. These videos will range from breaking news and postgame interviews from local sporting events to interviews with public officials and scenes from community events.
Readers can also view large photo albums, which enables the Advance to publish additional photos of events covered in and around Atmore. Our readers can also share photos with other readers by submitting photos under the "Your Photos" section and uploading them to the site.
Another new addition to the site is the ability for readers to submit upcoming events such as carnivals, speaking engagements and even birthdays to our interactive calendar. Readers can also view recent special sections.
All the other features offered on the old site are also available on the new one including breaking news, lifestyles, opinion, weather, obituaries, an online poll, stocks, a guestbook, archives and much more.
In the next couple of days, there will be even more additions to the site, so continue surfing.
We at the Advance have committed ourselves to delivering up-to-date news in a timely fashion. Please log onto our Web site periodically each day or sign up for news alerts offered on the site to see what is happening in our community.
We at the Advance hope everyone enjoys the new site and welcome your feedback.
Adam Prestridge is publisher of the Atmore Advance. He can be reached at 368-2123.