The Roanoke Times plans to debut a new and improved roanoke.com next week, on Dec. 19. We’ve listened to what readers have been saying about the current site this year and incorporated several of your suggestions.
Here’s a Top 10 list on the changes:
1. Improved load time, because no one likes to wait.
2. A new navigation style that is easy to manipulate and lets you more quickly find the information you want.
3. Sections organized by locality so you can quickly find news about your friends and neighbors.
4. A new video page and photo section.
5. New weather tools, continuing to feature our local weather blog, along with a separate weather section.
6. Advanced search tools.
7. Facebook comments – more about this below.
8. A better mobile and tablet experience, because more and more people access the site this way.
9. A separate section on business to better highlight this topic.
10. More user-friendly and creative ways for you to find content through keyword tags and content collections.
Now, a heads-up to our frequent commenters on the blogs and stories: We’ll be requiring you to use your real name when commenting, and we’ll use Facebook for all comments. The comments can appear on your FB wall, or not, as you desire. This is a philosophical change, reflecting my belief that if you say something in public, you ought not to be anonymous. I know not everyone will agree with that — so comment away on this post while you can. I’ll have more to say about the new commenting system as we launch or right after.
We’ll also continue to tweak and improve the site after it is launched and will continue to welcome your suggestions.