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Welcome to the new Castanet!

Over the past 6 months, since the Okanagan Mountain Park Fire, we have been reflecting on our day to day news coverage and your comments on our coverage during that extraordinary time in our history.

The result is this redesign. We believe it reflects the best of our past coverage, three years of online news experience, and better meets what you need and expect of us as “Kelowna’s Home page”.

You’ve told us to be “more immediate.” You don’t want to wait for the newspaper or local newscasts when a story breaks. You want to know now. Therefore, instead of daily editions as evidence on our past site, this new site is structured such that news gets posted when it happens. If a big local news story breaks, count on us to get the information to you as quickly as we can.

You’ve told us “go local”. We understand. While we now have BC, Canada, and the World news sections, we’ll continue to focus our attention on local news first. For stories outside Kelowna and the Valley, we’ll only cover the biggest stories that we think you’ll want to know about. Otherwise, you’ll continue to see us provide you with handy headline summaries, news at a glance for the busy lives we live.

We’ve heard your requests for an archive of recent and older stories. All our stories will stick around longer on the site in case you missed them earlier. On each page and our front page, you will always find the latest news listed first. Shortly all our news, past and present will be fully searchable. Our new scrolling format also allows us to cover more local stories on our sports and entertainment pages than you have seen before. We also have a new “features” page where local experts will share their knowledge with you.

You’ve told us you like links and you like multimedia content that accompanies our stories. Over the coming weeks and months you’ll see us increasingly use multimedia to help tell the story – letting the story determine the best way to relay it to you, bringing the best of what the internet has to offer in news.

For Castanet to be the best it can be, we need your help. If you see local news happen, share it with us and the community. Email us [email protected] We’ll look in to your tip and follow it up. If you have a great picture or video you think others would be interested in, send that to us too. Every week we award $25 and an Okanagan Mountain Park Fire Picture CD to the best tip of the week.

You’ll notice that we have revamped our menu bar and screen size. The new menu bar allows you to find our wide range of content much more quickly with a single click of the mouse without getting lost in submenus. Our menus are now text based leaving no guess work on your part. With so much change in computer screen sizes and resolutions, we redesigned our site to allow for more scrolling, to look great on the most common JAVA enabled browsers including Internet Explorer 6.0 and Netscape 7.1

Pardon our dust, we aren’t done just yet. A few of our pages such as our classifieds need some final tweaking. Over the next few days and weeks, the rest of our remaining pages will be converted to our new format, and we’ll also introduce new features beyond what you have seen here.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, visiting our new look, and your support these past three years. If you have any comments or suggestions about the new site, please email them to us at [email protected] With the amount of work we have left in the revam site, we may not be able to get back to you immediately, but please trust we will read and value your comments.

Sincerely,

David Fowler
Program Director, Castanet.net


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