Welcome To the LampLighter Online!

The Lamplighter Online Edition is Finally Here

By Patrick Miller

This month there are some changes happening in the ways that we communicate with and keep you informed. For years, Cooper-Youngians have kept abreast of what’s going on in their neighborhood in the usual ways; over the fence, conversations at local establishments, nights out, and of course, the LampLighter newspaper, still hand delivered once-per-month for free to subscribers. This paper has been a constant in this community for a long time, keeping folks informed about their neighborhood, it’s relationship to greater Memphis, showcasing music and the arts and artisans, supporting local businesses and restaurants, and all written (and mostly published) by volunteers from Cooper-Young. In February the LampLighter reaches a big milestone; it’s going online! As is tradition, February will be our first issue in 2010, and our first online issue ever, but more than just an online edition of the printed paper, the “wired” edition will provide constantly changing information and dialogue on a day to day basis to a potentially even larger audience than the paper can ever hope to reach.

In addition, as a part of bringing the LampLighter Online, we’ve added some new fun and useful features to the Cooper-Young website as well. Read on for more…

What is the LampLighter Online all about?

The entire contents of the printed LampLighter newspaper will be available online either at or before the distribution of the paper version. An electronic version (PDF format) of the printed paper will also always be available via both the LampLighter and the CYCA websites. However, the online edition will not just be a digital mirror image of the printed paper; it will be much more. With the LampLighter online we will be introducing a number of new things online that will provide a more dynamic experience and more interactivity. There will be additional types of content added to the online edition, ways for you to communicate and share with other Cooper-Youngians (whether they are local or living farther afield these days), and follow-ups to stories that would normally end with the printed page. In fact, sometimes *you* may even be the person who adds the next installment of a growing story!

So what’s new?

The LampLighter introduces community discussion groups for the first time for the CYCA. Today, you can already comment on the information you find at the CYCA website, and you’ll be able to do that here as well, but we’ve taken it a step further in order to provide you with your own voice online in your community. The LampLighter will launch with discussion groups that will allow you to engage with your community on issues that matter the most to you, find out who feels the same way you do about a particular issue, or hear a perspective you hadn’t considered yet. If you already have a CYCA website account, you’ll have immediate access to all the areas of the LampLighter including the discussion groups, if not, you can sign up for an account online. Once you do, you will be able to post your own topic for input from the community, or to share valuable or fun information with the community. Comment on other members’ topics and provide your opinion, insight, or answers.

Starting in February, the LampLighter will feature blogs (“web logs,” journal-like articles) from the community. We will have both regular and guest spots for the blog section of the paper. Our online poll showed clearly that you are interested in contributing to our websites, and this is the perfect way. Got an interesting tale to tell, an issue to educate about, art to show off, or an opinion on an issue that you think is important to the Cooper-Young neighborhood? This is *your* podium!

Some stories will be carried on in the days and weeks after they are first published, allowing for follow-up even after the print edition has been read cover to cover. Stories may also take on a new life and direction as you and other members post your thoughts and provide your own additional experiences or perhaps a counterpoint to what you read online.

Life doesn’t typically move at a monthly pace… Because of the nature of online publishing, when there is news in our neighborhood, we can provide more immediate coverage of that news than we can in the monthly paper edition, as well as tie-ins to stories already published when they happen.

We will also be able to showcase images, videos, and music that we can normally only write about. Want to catch snippets of the bands from the Cooper-Young Festival, or see the winning runner cross the finish line in the Friday Festival 4 Miler, the LampLighter will bring it to you and more!

Are you a Facebook user? Use your account to login and comment and share from the LampLighter right to your Facebook stream!

Of course the things you’ve come to expect as a part of the CYCA website will all still be there as well, plus some additions we’ve recently added: coverage of CYCA issues, meetings, concerns, events, safety, classifieds, polls and surveys, and the new My CYCA.

So, what are you waiting for? Be a part of the adventure with us as we launch the LampLighter online edition! We need your input, and we need your talents! Come join us!

Questions and answers:

Q: Is the printed paper LampLighter going away?

A: Absolutely not! For many of you, this is a perferred format, and not everyone has access a computer or access to the Internet. The paper version is here to stay!

Q: Where can I find the LampLighter online edition?

A: The LampLighter Online is an official website of the CYCA online and can be found online at “http://lamplighter.cooperyoung.org.”

Q: What is My CYCA?

A: My CYCA is available to all registered users of the CYCA website, and can be found top in the top right corner of the pages. My CYCA allows you to use your CYCA login to interact with your community online; with it you can:

* Customize your profile including information about yourself and your interests

* Provide updates to your friends about what you’re up to lately

* Connect and make friends with folks from right here in your area you might not even know lived next door

* See what your neighbors are up to whenever they post their status

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5 Comments

  1. The first thing I noticed was how confusing this was. it wanted me to log in (how???) and told me I had to enable cookies because they are blocked on my computer. silly me, i didn’t think I had cookies blocked, so I checked my settings….and it was set to accept all cookies. So sorry, can’t unblocked them. so i clicked the part that said I could connect via Facebook. So I clicked on that – and nothing changed. so should it look any different after I do that???? Links look just like the rest of the page until you run the cursor over them. So thank you, but I’ll be looking for the paper version for a long time to come.

    Post a Reply
    • Kathy,

      I’m sorry for your experience. I’m not sure why you had the issues you had, but we do take them very seriously. The LampLighter Online is meant to be a positive experience, and to provide another means of communication for our neighborhood, so if that’s not happening it needs to be addressed. I will spend some time investigating the problems.

      Can you tell me what web browser you are using, and what version (Internet Explorer 7, Firefox 3.0, Safari 4.0, etc.). There are reported issues with Internet Explorer 7 blocking cookies on Windows Vista, even when you set it to accept all, and though that may not be your setup, this type of thing may still be an issue. Do you have another browser you could try to connect with? This would help us better understand where the problem may lie.

      Also, do you have a login with the CYCA site already? Note the message above the login area that you must sign up with the CYCA to login to the LampLighter. Make sure you do that first if you haven’t already, and you should be able to log in here.

      The Facebook Connect feature doesn’t change anything physically on the site, but it allows you to connect if you have an active Facebook account. If you do, clicking this, should have brought up a window asking if you wanted to connect with Facebook. Once you say yes, then you can post using your Facebook account as you have done here. Again, though, there is no visible change to the site.

      As far as the links, I will see about finding a color that both suits the design and scheme of the overall site, and is also a bit more obvious as a link.

      Thank you for your feedback. We do expect a few kinks initially, and we’ll be sorting those out for a while. Oh, and the paper version will be around for that long time- no worries! 😉

      Best,

      Patrick Miller

      Post a Reply
    • Kathy,

      There was indeed a bug with the login and the Facebook login. I believe I have it fixed now, and I have also added some links to the comment area to let you know that you can connect with Facebook, and to let you know also whenever you ARE connected via Facebook. From now on, when you go to comment it will indicate that you are logged in via Facebook, and show your profile picture as well.

      You can also now “logout” from your Facebook connection from here as well.

      I hope you will try the site with these fixes and let me know if things are working better. I am also looking at adjusting the link colors throughout the site.

      Best,

      Patrick Miller

      Post a Reply
  2. As you know, some of Kathy’s issues were what I ran into. You are to be commended for your commitment to address all major concerns. I saw a variety of improvements in just the last 24 hours that show you have taken positive steps to get this new vehicle running a lot smoother. I support a constant update to FAQ’s and maybe even considering some type of Tutorial page that introduces new readers to the essential steps to easy navigating, reading and responding. Hang in there Patrick, we have faith that you will persevere as long as your support team is here to help you.
    Regards,
    Larry Rutledge

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks, Larry! Very much appreciated, and your suggestions are both good ones. I will get to work on both of them. And thanks for all of your help testing! You guys are great. 😉

      Post a Reply

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