Between the Lines
Editors of The Elkhart Truth discuss community journalism, what goes into decisions and other issues facing Elkhart County and the surrounding area.


    Meet the new elkharttruth.com

    We're excited about a major upgrade to our website. We think you will be too.

    Posted on Jan. 26, 2014 at 12:47 p.m.

    If you’re reading this, you already know that things look a little different around here. Welcome to the brand new elkharttruth.com.

    First, I’d like to take a moment to formally say farewell to our old website. It reminded me a lot of my 1989 Ford Ranger — it sure wasn’t shiny, and it often struggled to keep up, but it was mostly dependable for all of us.

    But just as my Ranger lacked a radio, rearview mirror, rollable windows and air conditioning, our previous website didn’t possess features that we’ve come to rely on in the digital age. It was built in 2004, back when iPads didn’t exist, no one used Facebook and only fancy business people and MBA students owned smartphones (which weren’t very fancy yet).

    So, enjoy your retirement, old website. Happy trails.

    Back to the new website. We have a new design with different colors, fonts and more, but this isn’t just a new coat of paint over that Ranger. This is a completely new engine. We know it looks dramatically different, so please allow me to give a brief tour of what’s changed.

    Go ahead and check elkharttruth.com on your smartphone and tablet. You can now read all content, comment on stories and search for anything on our site.

    No more squinting to read the latest news or blog post. Text is bigger and easier to read.

    We have a lot of pictures and videos on our website. They’re now bigger and easier to find.

    First, the bad news: Your previous commenting account won’t work with our new commenting system (but all of your old comments are still available). You can sign up for the new system by scrolling to the bottom of this page and clicking “Sign up” next to the comments (please note that this is separate from the Elkhart Truth account you use for newsletters -- but more on that later).

    Now, the good news: This commenting system is a huge improvement over the old one. Creating an account is as easy as connecting with Facebook, Twitter or most other services. You can also quickly create an account through the interface.

    • Posting pictures and videos allows anyone to share a vision with the rest of the community.
    • Liking comments will help ensure the best comments and respected voices are more prominent.
    • Actively participating in conversations and engaging others will earn you points that designate your account with specific badges.
    • We will verify many prominent voices in our community and label their accounts with a Verified status.

    All of these improvements allow elkharttruth.com to better serve as a hub for community conversation. We only ask that you be civil, contribute positively and don’t be afraid to engage -- when someone becomes disruptive, he or she will be tossed from the party.

    It’s now easier than ever to share news stories and blog posts with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. You also can easily email and print articles. On every story page, you’ll see small share boxes floating alongside the content. Click the Share box to get started.

    We have new puzzles and games that now work on every device, so go ahead and check them out on your tablet.

    Business partners of The Elkhart Truth will be pleased to have more prominent advertising space and new ways to reach members of this community. Contact Adam Kirkpatrick (akirkpatrick@elkharttruth.com) or Mishanna Cramer (mcramer@elkharttruth.com) for more information.

    Finding stories you care about will be quicker and easier with our new navigation. We’ve also launched the Hometown section, where you can quickly find news and information that’s most relevant to your neighborhood. And don’t worry, if you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can always search.

    Your previous elkharttruth.com account—which is different from the commenting account—will still work on the new site. If you haven’t already created an account, doing so will allow you to sign up for different newsletters, such as breaking news, daily headlines, daily obituaries, deadline deals and more. Even more features soon will become available for elkharttruth.com accounts, so be sure to sign up.

    While a lot has changed, we still have more work to do. You can expect to see even more upgrades in the future, such as the launch of a community blogging platform and other ways to feature community content across the website. We also know it can be confusing to use separate accounts to manage newsletters, read the digital edition and comment on stories, so we’re working hard to improve that experience.

    In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the new elkharttruth.com as much as we do. Our mission is to make elkharttruth.com your destination for news, community, conversation and more here in Elkhart County and across northern Indiana and southwest Michigan. If we ever fall short, please don’t hesitate to let me know at rmartin@elkharttruth.com, @ryanmartin87 or on Facebook. And please let me know if you have any questions, comments or concerns about the new website.

    Ryan Martin
    Digital Content Director for the Elkhart Truth

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