So, this is election day, 2016... AND it's the second month anniversary for The Troy Press! ...and I feel exhausted!
I'm sure I'm not alone.
I vote by mail and could have voted almost a month ago, but there are so many damned initiatives, I wanted to do my homework. But, to be honest, I've been so stressed out I haven't gotten it done. BUT, I'm going to get it completed this AM and hand carry my ballot to the Registrar of Voters.
I could just use this slot they helpfully provide.
But I don't trust it.
I do not trust that my vote will be counted, and one way to improve the odds is to visit the Registrar's Help Windows and have your signature verified at the time you drop off your ballot!
Here's the line from the Primary, last June 6.
A side benefit is you get this nice multi-lingual help poster...
I urge EVERYONE who "votes by mail" to still visit their registrar's office and have the signature verified at the time they drop off their ballot!
Two months ago, we launched this venture and just yesterday added several new people and had about 1000 comments during the day! We made over 1700 comments in just two days!
We have had a number of great accomplishments - other than just comment numbers.
Perhaps most importantly, we were instrumental in getting emergency medical help for one of us who was injured and couldn't otherwise get help - they couldn't get to a phone but COULD get to a keyboard. After they tried facebook and got no response, they posted in our Chat forum and from that several Chat Forum participants sprung to action and helped get a local family member to them in a timely manner.
And, we have been hailed as an oasis in the midst of a political desert with precious little actual Progressive resource. We are legion in our ability to crowd source the very best in political (and other) news and information. We've even had notable Progressive video-makers visit and comment, thanking us for our Progressive action!
And, we, the few who actually run The Troy Press, are on the leading edge of a new form of internet interaction; email-to-web-page! So far as we are aware, we are completely unique in our ability to take an email and convert it into a branded web page without the need for the submitter to use / know HTML. This is a significant contribution, though the real key will be in how it is used! We presently have all the following as already implemented activities people can perform through our automated email system:
1) Article submission - This includes the ability to have it make
links or attach images, either via a URL or via attachment all without any
HTML. It also automatically updates the links for the author so people can
find new articles as they appear.
2) Daily News Summary Submission - This automatically creates the newest Daily News Summary web page if it doesn't already exist, and, if necessary, any directories where the News Summary files are kept. And here too, links are updated to ensure people can find the materials.
3) Live-Writing - This is our own version of "live-blogging". Each authorized writer can just keep sending emails and it will append to their live-article, and readers can keep refreshing their page to get the updates. It works pretty well!
4) New Chat Forum Creation - We created this one so that the management of the site can be shared, so no one is over-burdened.
5) Article Publishing - This is the complementary to article submission but is an editorial function. The author, upon submission, gets an email back with a URL to a private page where they can view their article as it will appear and so can their editor. The two can settle on any edits, and then the editor can use this mechanism to actually "publish" the materials on the public web site.
We also have some new features planned and they are in the process of being implemented, but these are not ready for use just yet:
1) Article Append - This is rather like the Live-Writing, but to
any article of an author, whereas the Live-Writing is one-per-day.
2) Moderate - This mechanism is harder to implement than it might sound (!!) but the general idea is that we can share the task of moderating the site, and also have various aspects of it automated so that people don't need to remember past transgressions to come to consistent time-outs, etc. (Note the Terms of Service, and Time-out policies.
3) Un-Publish - This is for removal of an article for whatever reason, and is obviously an editorial function, though we'd likely permit authors to remove their own articles if they wish.
4) Article Update - This is a twist on the other versions of article modification, and just permits various changes to fix issues with an article of whatever kind.
OK, there you have it! Not a bad list, and we've done this in only two months! I think we can take some pride in this.
One thing we need to concern ourselves with, though, is outreach. If we are to have any larger effect, we need to have more articles and at the very least, more News Summary entries. I myself have been meaning to write more but have been preoccupied with both running things from behind the scenes and also with just earning a living. Maybe someday TTP will help with paying the bills but for now it's an all volunteer effort.
A great benefit of writing and of the Daily News Summary is that web search engines don't pay any attention at all to chat / comment content, and if we are to have any outreach at all, it MUST be through articles and the News Summaries. However, do note that some search engines, notably Google, in particular, intentionally lower the ranking of pages that appear to be merely copying what others have done, and rank new, original content much higher. Therefore, it behooves us to have more original content that's NOT in the comments! And this is the basis of the plea for you all to Write For The Troy Press!
OK, now it's back to VOTING and Election Watching!
Discus this article below, or come join us in our Progressive Chat Forum for more general Progressive discussion.