Things move fast in the Internet age. Here at Mountain Xpress, for example, we’ve been adding new bells and whistles to our Web site at such a rapid rate that it’s probably a good time to take stock of our online offerings and share some highlights.
In addition to all our regular news and arts coverage, which appears on the site, here’s how to take advantage of the online-only features at mountainx.com.
Follow the paper trail in The Xpress Files: This ever-growing archive features documents from local, state and federal government agencies. It’s where you’ll find such varied public records as e-mails to the mayor, audits of groups that receive county funding, environmental assessments and police reports.
See the souped-up Garden and Outdoors pages: We recently rearranged these two sections to make the content more dynamic and useful. Both pages now feature up-to-date posts, relevant Twitter feeds and links to recent Forum posts on those topics.
www.mountainx.com/garden and www.mountainx.com/outdoors
Tune in to your favorite bands: Given our area’s rich variety of musical talent, no local-entertainment site would be complete without a page featuring local bands. Ours is a one-stop shop for pictures, descriptions, contact info, band-member names and other information on your favorite acts.
Find your favorite food: Our online dining guide offers a full menu of local restaurant and bar information. You can search by the name of the eatery or survey the options by style of cuisine. The guide features addresses and phone numbers, links to restaurants’ Web sites, and Google maps to help get you where you want to drink and dine.
Turn the page with literary news and reviews: Xpress arts writer Alli Marshall authors the weekly Web-only feature Book Report, which is stocked with literary news, reviews and interviews.
Check out Asheville’s street fashions: Asheville Street Style is a photographic record of Asheville’s unique and evolving DIY fashion scene. Enabling you to take in the latest trends online, the recently added feature is updated regularly with shots of the city’s stylish denizens.
Read the news by topic: A few months ago, we began tagging our news and feature articles with the main topics they cover. Clicking on the hyperlinked tags—which you’ll find just under the article titles—will take you to a list of all the stories tagged with the same topics. And by visiting the All Tags page, you can now search out content based on all the tags in the system.
Show off your flickr photos: We’re working hard to improve the way we collaborate with the community, and our newly created flickr group is the latest example. Once you have a flickr.com account (it’s free), you can join the Mountain Xpress Community Photo Gallery and add your photos. Each week, we’ll highlight selected shots by community photographers on www.mountainx.com. So grab your camera and join the fun.
Don’t miss our photo galleries: Our regularly updated photo galleries feature collections of images shot by Xpress photographers, interns and community members. The galleries are connected to news events or stories you’ll find in our print edition. If you want to buy a print to keep, contact us at email@example.com.
Fire up the freewheeling forums: There’s always a lively discussion in the Xpress Forums. Signing up is simple (you just need to provide a valid e-mail address). After that, you’re free to start a new discussion thread, engage in a thoughtful discussion with fellow boarders and even get caught up in a flame war or two, if that’s your thing. Topics run the gamut. Jump in and mix it up.
Keep track of the big screen: Xpress readers are familiar with Ken Hanke’s keen-edged movie reviews in each week’s print edition, but if you’re not looking online, you’re missing out on Hanke’s Screening Room column and a new blog feature called Movie Buzz.
www.mountainx.com/movies/screening_room and www.mountainx.com/movies
Update your calendar: Mountain Xpress prides itself on offering one of the most comprehensive community calendars in our print pages. The calendar is also available online. But the first week in May, we’ll launch a revised online calendar that will be much more user-friendly. Key improvements include: a search function that will enable readers to find events by date, key words or category; and an interface that will let users submit information directly into our calendar database (we’ll review the info and approve it for publication).
The Twitter-powered newspaper lives on: Xpress unveiled the “Twaper,” its Twitter-powered newspaper, on April 1. But it wasn’t just a joke—it was an experiment in community collaboration. We want you to know that the Twaper lives on, and you can join in. Conceived as a social-messaging platform, Twitter—in concert with Xpress’ Web site—lets citizen journalists post instant minireports on current happenings (140 characters maximum) or highlight links to items of interest. We’re looking for trusted partners to help us tweet the news on Twitter, so if you’re interested, send us a direct message at Twitter or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
www.mountainx.com/twaper and http://twitter.com/mountainxpress
Get a laugh: Mountain Xpress features funnies each week in print, and you can also view all our cartoons online. And for a twisted, witty take on local happenings, don’t miss the Asheville Disclaimer.
www.mountainx.com/cartoons and www.mountainx.com/disclaimer