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Join the reporting team at The News Messenger

By: Tony Hazarian
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You're invited “ yes, invited “ to join the reporting team of the Lincoln News Messenger. While you're at it, you're welcome to write, shoot photos and video, and share your views with readers of the other eight newspapers in the Gold Country Media network. Has the publisher gone mad? Have all the reporters joined the writers' strike? Are they all taking a long weekend? Hmmm ... what's in the company coffee? If you woke up last week to the News Messenger's online edition, LincolnNewsMessenger.com, you might have noticed we made a couple of changes. OK, we made more than a few changes. We rebuilt it from the ground up. You might have noticed the site is faster to load, has a new color scheme and design, and has fewer but larger ads, the term Placeropolis¦ and this thing called Myopolis on the right-hand side of the page. More on that in a bit. You also might be wondering where all the stories went. While you could get carpel tunnel syndrome from scrolling the former News Messenger home page, the new home page is only one, maybe one-and-a-half screens long. With the exception of a few content categories, everything that was on the old site is packaged into the new site. And, we think, it's packaged better than before. The top of the page has the latest-breaking stories, as well as some of the best stories from the print edition. With the new site has come an emphasis by our news staffs to break more news as it happens, update the stories as necessary during the day, and write the most complete version we can for the print edition. This, along with Myopolis and our new multi-community portal, Placeropolis, takes us to a new level in providing “ and sharing “ news throughout the region. Now, from LincolnNewsMessenger.com and any of our sites, you can read news “ fully searchable news “ from surrounding communities. Want to know the stories others are reading? Stories can be tracked by the most recently posted, most read and most commented “ a fascinating way to see what news is touching nerves. OK, so what about Myopolis? Myopolis is your chance to become a citizen journalist, whether you're writing about a community meeting, your kid's soccer game or your club or church fund-raiser. Myopolis also is your avenue to commenting on News Messenger news stories, an activity that has exploded in the past year. Think of Myopolis as your place in the town square, your voice at the back fence and your seat on the front porch. With this new access to online reporting, personal blogs, photos and videos comes some new responsibility on your part. A fast and simple registration process will ensure only you can post comments and stories under your username, and will enable us to communicate with you regarding posts, customer service and new features, such as breaking news alerts. We'll also be asking users like you to help regulate the online discussion through fair play and flagging inappropriate posts. Should you see a posting you feel is out of bounds, click on the report this flag and we'll look into your concern in a timely fashion. Most of the features you have come to love on LincolnNewsMessenger.com are on the new site, but those getting negligible traffic have been trimmed. We'll be adding features and new content on a regular basis, so you'll want to check back daily to see what others are saying “ on their own or in response to what you've posted. Join our conversation.