SOME OF YOU may have noticed a quiet but major change at Connect Savannah within the past week — specifically at our website.
It’s still at the same URL, www.connectsavannah.com, but you’ll notice a vast substantive and aesthetic change for the better.
The new site allows 24/7 updating and editing. A no-brainer, I know, but the previous site only allowed one data-dump a week. Like I said, vast change for the better.
It features staff blogs, currently featured in a box at the lower right. At upper right is a dynamic web version of the popular print feature Week at a Glance. The Happenings are posted in full every week, rather than the sometimes dramatically truncated version that makes it into print.
We can post Matt Brunson’s latest movie reviews as soon as he e-mails them rather than waiting until the print version comes out. You can go to Earthweek online and roll your cursor over the icons for the text. There’s an interactive crossword puzzle
And so on. It’s just plain better in every possible way.
And it looks good. Did I mention it looks good?
While the change comes a few months later than many of us hoped, I guarantee that I speak for everyone here when I say if you’re half as happy as we are with the new site, you’re pretty darn happy!
Typically any web redesign brings a torrent of negative comments from readers — most totally legitimate, others the predictable whining from the same people who are threatened by any change of any kind, for better or worse.
I’m sure we’ll get both kinds of comments. While the basic template is not subject to particular debate, I’m also sure we’ll do our best to act on any feasible improvements you might suggest.
Feel free to e-mail your comments to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll pass them on to where they need to go.
Personally, I’ll be trying to come up with the best way to round up online all the small news items I get during the week in the form of e-mails from local organizations and activists. We can’t possibly write a story about all the items, which begin swarming my inbox on Monday morning and don’t let up until late Friday.
But there are a lot of groups in town doing a lot of cool things that you should know about. Some of the items sent in are indeed newsworthy and deserving of at least some public dissemination, even if we can’t always devote as much attention to them as we’d like or as the senders would like.
MAYBE IT'S THE WEBSITE, or maybe it’s another action-packed autumn in Savannah coming up. But for whatever reason, I do believe this issue of Connect Savannah is the first one ever featuring an opinion column from each of our editorial staffers. I hope it’s the start of a trend.
You’ve got this column you’re reading, Linda Sickler’s view of the recent citizen’s recycling initiative, and Jim Reed’s take on the weird crowd behavior at last week’s Dave Chappelle appearance. Yay, us.
IT'S FUNNY — when you call people out in print by name, you tend to get a reaction from them. Imagine that!
I got a call last week from Mary Ellen Sprague about my recent column about her bid for the District 4 city council seat, which happens to be my district. Far from being angered about the column, she was laughing as she left the message. She did gently point out that my characterization of her as an “Ardsley Park socialite” was perhaps a bit over-the-top given her day gig as a tax accountant.
Her opponent Clint Murphy also sent me a good-natured e-mail about the column. So it looks like either way my next alderman is going to have a decent sense of humor, which certainly can’t hurt.
CONSIDERING THE BUZZWORTHY aspect of the topic, two things surprise me about my Lead Story this week on where Savannah’s movies have gone:
1) I’m surprised no one else in the local media has really covered the issue yet; and 2) I’m surprised I never got around to writing about it either.
There was a time when Savannah took for granted its extensive role as a movie location. Like many things Savannah has taken for granted, that role is now gone. While some say it’s been replaced by an equally lucrative role as a backdrop for catalogue shoots, there’s no doubt that the local tourism industry gets a boost whenever a movie or TV show is shot here.
(Not everyone thinks tourism should even be courted at all; see the letters page this issue for a contrarian viewpoint.)
Some say Savannah gets no PR gain if the city’s not mentioned by name in the movie script. It seems to me this is patently untrue. Glory wasn’t about Savannah at all -- most of its historic events happened in and around Charleston -- but a lot of tourists do know the movie was shot here.
In any case, I get the distinct feeling that the other shoe has yet to drop in the whole issue of why movies aren’t coming here anymore. I suspect a follow-up will be in the works soon.
Jim Morekis is editor-in-chief of Connect Savannah.
E-mail him at email@example.com