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Monroe Observer is Returning
Monday, March 19, 2007 9:53:05 AM - Monroe Ohio

The Monroe Observer is making a comeback as a monthly newspaper beginning April 1. My goal with this paper is to keep the community informed of things that are going on in the city, including the schools, clubs and organizations, churches and businesses. Much of this information does not have a wide enough interest to be published in the regional dailies, but I know that the community is very interested in local stories.

Discuss it on The Voice

I want this to be a paper not just about the community, but BY the community. I welcome all contributions, including ones written by our students.

The companion website is meant to be a repository of ideas and stories along the same lines. My hope is that the community will use this to stay up-to-date with events during the month and to organize volunteer efforts.

I am posting this invite on the Voice so that some of our more “techie” residents can start posting, but the newspaper will be the first real announcement of the site on April 1. Until then, I’ll be adding new features and people will be experimenting.

Here are the steps:

Registering:
Go to
www.monroeobserver.com
Register (needs only username, email)
An email will be sent to your email account with a link to confirm registration. You can then select a password.

Posting a story:
To post a story, click on “create content”.
Under the “categories” menu on the form, there are specific tags for the article (elementary, sports, etc.). You can select more than one category (i.e. High school and sports)
Click “submit” and the story is posted.
All users can edit their own posts or delete them so don’t worry about experimenting.

Right now, anyone can post to news or business listings. I may restrict posting to some categories at the end of the month when we go totally public.

Blogs:
Each registered user has a blog. It is found under “blogs” in the menu (click on “my blog”).
This is used as a personal journal. You can set it to allow comments to your posts.

Groups:
Groups are not quite ready yet, but they can be used to organize a special project or as a way to stay in touch with parents and/or students. Groups can be public or private and users can elect to receive emails whenever new information is posted to the group. I see this as a good way to organize and communicate for sports and civic clubs and possibly classroom information, etc.

Calendar (will be up by Monday):
Under “create content” click “event”. Right now, just put in things that are of interest to the larger population. Once groups are created, you can have specific calendars with game and practice times for your own group that can be visible to the public (or not).

If you have a story to tell, please do. I'll be mining the site for articles and ideas for the newspaper. The paper will go to the printer on Mar. 26. I will be pulling articles from the site for the newspaper until the 23rd. If there are photos with the article, I will contact the author for a high resolution copy for the paper.


Story ideas:
Upcoming events (of course)
Honors and awards
Student showcase (I will print a limited number of poems, stories, photos, b&w art, research papers to show off the students). There is no limit to the number on the website though.
Sports scores and stories about the teams/athletes/games
Club events and meetings
Weddings and engagements, significant anniversaries
Stories about locals serving in the military

Mostly, just use the next week or so to experiment. Explore and tinker. Try to break it (but not too hard).

Please, let me know if you have trouble with anything or see something that needs to be changed or made simpler. There is a "help" category on the Forum if you want to post questions (or answers).

If anyone has documents they need to have added in, go ahead and email them to me and I’ll convert them. Feel free to do a document dump to my email and I’ll sort it out. I’m also available to take pictures.

That’s all for now, let me know if you have any problems.
Suzi Rubin
423-0831
suzi@monroeobserver.com

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