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EDITOR’S DESK: Our new corner of the world

       By Kenyon Jordan

        OK, so here it is: the Westside Pioneer online.
       We would have liked to provide more new news stories for the Jan. 6 "launch," but we'll be building them up in the days ahead, and to fill the gap we've included some articles from recent print editions. For the most part, we're just pleased to have the website functional and available on the date we'd promised… unlike a certain federal government health program (hrrumph, hrrumph).
       As for our own website efforts, I'm happy to say that everything went pretty smoothly, with guidance and good work from our "techno guy" Travers and only one or two hiccups. (Sorry about having to wake you up early Sunday the fifth, Travers!)
       We're also pleased that more than 90 percent of the businesses that were advertising regularly with us in the print edition of the Pioneer are at least taking a stab at the online version. In several cases the business owners have never advertised online before, so we definitely appreciate their willingness to take that chance.
       One other key point about advertising is that local businesses continue to be by far our largest source of monetary support. As it was with the printed newspaper, they are the reason this website can exist and be offered to you at no charge. But they are also in business for a reason, to make a profit (just like us). So they need to feel that people are coming to the Pioneer website and looking at their ads. In that regard, all we really ask of you readers out there is that you take the time to look at our advertisements and, if you do go to any of the stores or try any of the advertised services, say you read about it in the Westside Pioneer online.
       As an oh, by the way, we welcome new advertisers. If you're a business looking for customers on the Westside - for display ads or classifieds, please call Therese, our advertising director, at 471-6776 or e-mail her at ap@westsidepioneer.com .
       Obviously, too, we appreciate new readers - not to mention those of you who had read the Pioneer in print and have now followed us online. If you haven't done so already, you can sign up for our e-mail notification list by sending me an e-mail at editor@westsidepioneer.com. We use it to send out a blind-copy "blast" when we've added any significant articles (but no more than once or twice a week).
       We really will try to make this website worth your while, writing stories about Westside news that most of the time no other publication bothers itself with -- certainly not as consistently nor with as much of the detail that pertains to Westsiders. Plus, now we'll be almost completely in color and can use hyperlinks to let people jump to other stories or websites. Worth your while? Heck, we're shooting for out-and- out habit-forming!
       Another way we're reminding folks we're still around is by putting flyers in some of our old news racks. You may have seen them already. They include something new for us - our very own QR code that savvy electronics users can "read" with their tablets or smartphones. A beneficial side effect is that such people don't need to grab a flyer. So all this neat online stuff and we're saving paper too!
       So, why did we change to online? Finances were part of the decision, but not all of it. We delved into the details when we announced the decision in our Nov. 14 edition. Other explanatory articles/columns appeared in the Editor's Desk Nov. 14 and Nov. 27, the "See you on the other side, Ray" house ad that started Nov. 21 and in columns by Therese and Travers in our last print edition Dec. 19.
       Final thought: Being as we're just getting our feet wet in this online news business, we welcome any suggestions or feedback at 471-6776 or editor@westsidepioneer.com. If you'd like to submit a letter for publication, the e-mail is the same - although you may want to check the Frequently Asked Questions link on our Contact page to see our basic letter-writing "rules."

Would you like to respond to this column? The Westside Pioneer welcomes letters at editor@westsidepioneer.com. (Click here for letter- writing criteria.)