By Charly SHELTON
The Crescenta Valley Weekly newspaper is approaching its 18 month anniversary early this March. After a year and a half, much has changed while some stays the same.
When we first began publishing our weekly paper, we had a lot of support from community members, friends, and residents who just wanted the news. But now, our readership has grown so much that it is hard to keep track of who came in when and who has seen what (as to what we have to offer). So at the year-and-a-half mark, we would like to take a minute to summarize for all our readers, whether this is the first issue you have read, or if you have been with us since the beginning, all of the features and services that Crescenta Valley Weekly offers.
We are advancing. As a society, we are becoming less and less about the personal, and more and more about the technological. As far as hometown newspapers go, we do have a strong community base, but as time marches on we realize that to stay up with the times, we have to make our publication available through several different avenues, on several different formats, to reach as many people as possible. That is why in addition to our weekly paper, we have a beautifully designed website at http://www.cvweekly.com for those who are more technically inclined.
On the website, we have the same stories and information as we do in the paper, but with the limitless realm of the internet at our disposal, we can link to other sites referenced in the article, display many more photos, and even have videos in glorious 1080p HD of all the action we report on each week.
One of our newer features is our paper in digital copy. We have made available on the website every Thursday at noon a digital copy of our newspaper for those of you who like to take the paper to go in digital form on cellphones, tablets, eReaders, or even iPod Touch. It is an exact copy of the paper from our archives in .pdf format, so you can have the paper exactly as we present it, but without the newsprint ink. Not as much fun if you want to play with Silly Putty, but if you are interested in keeping all your reading materials together on your eReader, this may be the option for you.
Every week, the Crescenta Valley Weekly team is out on the street, covering the stories you want to see, be it breaking news like the Station Fire, or more family oriented news, like the Glendale Unified School District’s Measure S proposal. Either way, these are stories that matter to us in the Crescenta Valley area. And when our news team is out there, they are not only taking down the facts, not only shooting pictures for the paper, but also shooting video for the website. Video in 1080p HD, the highest of High Definition. Every week, those videos are compiled by a professional editor into one giant video compendium known as a PODcast. The Crescenta Valley POD People Podcast is the weekly video that shows what still frame fails to capture: movement. The PODcast is dedicated to all those people in our community who make it a great place to live. They are the POD People and thus worthy of the POD. Take a look at the podcasts, available on our website as well as on the iTunes Store, and see “Who’s POD Worthy?”
The most popular feature of our online presence is our Blast list.
During the Station Fire of August 2009, before we were officially open as a paper, we received so many calls from concerned residents saying they couldn’t get the news of what was happening right here in our area. We decided to establish an email reporting system that has become our Blast list. It is an email notification sent from us that reads, “NEWS FROM THE BLAST ZONE.” We can update you immediately with any late breaking news from wherever the story happens. We also cover other breaking events, such as Sports from the Blast Zone, to relay the winners of the big game. If you are still not on the subscriber list, get on it today – just send an email to email@example.com that reads Add Me to the Blast Zone.
Our most recent development is our new QR code feature. Because we cannot have moving pictures like the newspapers in Harry Potter, we have the next best thing – a little square that looks simply like squiggles or pixels, but is actually a code that your Smartphone can read.
By scanning the code, you will be transferred to a video or more pictures, or even link to another site on our paper for more info. All you need is a Smartphone, and you are ready to go. Just download any barcode scanner app (from the App Store on iPhone, on the Android Market for Android Phones, and from the Windows App Marketplace for Windows-based phones) and scan the little box with the camera on your phone. You will see a URL web address pop up, then take you to the video or site. It’s that simple. Just point your phone’s camera at the QR code, and away you go, off to more CV Weekly. Look for these codes on our stories, in pictures and even in advertisements.
As we keep our eyes looking always toward the future, we have several new projects in the works. New technologies used for new purposes. More connectivity on more devices. We are currently in the process of finding something big, something that will make the rush for being “scooped by the competition” a thing of the past. A new way of getting local news as it is happening. No more waiting to find out. If there is an accident on the 210, we can notify you, wherever you are, at any time, so you know to take the kids to school on a different route. Total connectivity to your neighborhood. It’s coming, only from the Crescenta Valley Weekly.
If you have any questions on how to sync up your technology to ours or have any new ideas for us or want to see us take our technology in a direction we haven’t covered yet, please let us know and we will do whatever we can to get our news to you in your preferred method.
Email our “Techno Wizard” at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will be happy to get back to you.