Photo galleries

Hopefully, by the end of summer, the Post will have implemented better photo galleries on the website. The Post’s photos are pretty good given the size of the paper’s photography department. It’s pretty much the Jon Lakey show. Other than landing some interns from Randolph Community College’s photography program, Lakey shoots the bulk of the paper’s photos.

New gallery link

The homepage should get a link to the galleries page that looks like this.

Pictures are among the most popular elements on the Internet, but we’ve found our current system doesn’t draw as many people as it should. So, we’re setting up a gallery system that will make local photos more prominent on the homepage.

They’re on the homepage now, but they display as thumbnails in the right column of the

This is what the current link to the galleries page looks like. The photos are small and distorted.

page. And the thumbnails are often distorted because the photos are jammed into the dimensions of the display area. It’s not a great way to showcase our best photos, which the Post also sells.

Compared to other papers, we know our galleries are not being seen by nearly enough people. We think they’re worth showing off a lot more.

As a bonus, we hope the change will free up space to show off photos submitted from the community. We’ve had some success in the past by offering a means for people to show their photos to local readers. There are lots of ways to share photos online, but few offer as many as local eyeballs as the local paper.

 

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Change in videos

The Post is making changes to how it displays videos on the website. Early in July, you’ll see a change in the players used on the site.

And you’re going to see many older videos will disappear. We still have them, but they’re not online because we’re switching to a different company to display videos. Over time, new galleries will be built up, but let us know if there are any videos that you want to see back online. We’ll try to repost them.

Plus, there lots of Post videos on its YouTube channel. It doesn’t get a lot of traffic yet, but a couple have taken off.

A video of a teacher at Koontz Elementary School getting pies in the face has been viewed more than 1,000 times. Can anyone explain why this video has become so popular?

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Gratuitous kitten video

One of the fun jobs at the Post is shooting video. Especially videos of pets.

It’s been said, written and videotaped that the Internet is made for cat videos. Here’s my contribution, a kitten being housed at Faithful Friends animal shelter. I was helping two Post interns with a bit of a video for a story about a special-needs puppy awaiting adoption.

The kitten is actually chasing the microphone cover on the camera, but it was fun to play with a playful kitten. Reminds me of the days when my cat, now 16, was full of energy. These days, he sleeps in the garage and occasionally shuns me by turning his back to me if I dare disturb his slumber.

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New emergency communications scanner is online

The Post’s website is undergoing some more system changes behind the scenes. As a result, we had to switch to a new means of broadcasting local emergency communications through an online scanner.

Post's online scanner.

Post’s online scanner.

It went online on Thursday. You can listen to it on the Post’s Crime page.

The scanner has been online for a year or two, and it has become one of the most popular features on the site. If the audio stream drops offline, someone will often alert the paper within an hour or two.

We can’t track who is listening to the scanner, but anecdotally I hear it’s popular with office workers. That makes sense, because most people visit the Post’s website during general office hours. Perhaps listening to the scanner breaks up the monotony of office life for some people.

The scanner is also available to anyone. Headline pages are not counted as part of the Post’s new Membership system. Videos and photo galleries are also available for unlimited viewing.

But if you’re a regular scanner listener, we’d like to hear some feedback about the service. Does it work well, or can you suggest improvements?

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Google hides playable version of Breakout in image search

Breakout screen shot

Playable version of Atari Breakout in Google Image search.

Looking to kill some time at work? Google cleverly hid a playable version of Atari Breakout in the image search gallery. Simply search for “Atari Breakout,” but here’s a link.

I have fond childhood memories of playing Breakout on an Atari 2600 with my friends. If you’re really serious about the history of videogaming, here’s an article with tons o’ details that dazzle and amaze your friends at social gatherings: http://classicgaming.gamespy.com/View.php?view=Articles.Detail&id=395

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