poynter online mentions westportnow.com

Steve Outing talked about WestportNow.com in his E-Media Tidbits blog at Poynter Online:

Community News Photography
WestportNow is a “citizen journalism” website (published in blog format) serving a tony Connecticut community of 26,000. Run part-time by Gordon Joseloff, the site puts special emphasis on photography by community members. You can see the work of more than 50 citizen photographers in the site’s “Year In Pictures 2004” feature.

It was fun making this section, and if we’d planned it earlier, rather than doing it as a spur-of-the-moment kind of deal, it would have captions. Gordon wanted a quick and dirty solution in order to get it up quickly since it was such a last-minute wish. We could have used PhotoShop’s automated gallery maker for a fast gallery, but it’s not a very workable solution. So we embedded the gallery in an iframe on the page to keep the look and feel consistent with the rest of the site, and made the gallery with an astonishingly easy-to-use application called Web Album Generator by Mark McIntyre. You can find WAG and another great piece of software, html editor Araneae (for hand-coding websites) at ornj.net. We loaded the pictures into WAG, organized them by date, generated the album, tweaked the stylesheet generated by the program, and there you go. WAG allows you to insert captions while making the gallery but, with 400ish pictures and a need for speed, we decided to forego captions. We will probably build something in to automate the generation of the 2005 year in pics when we implement WestportNow on an ExpressionEngine platform, which we have to so very soon since it’s outgrown its Movable Type platform. As to Outing’s comment, “While most of the images that run on WestportNow.com aren’t professional quality, many are.” I think he misses the whole idea of what the photos are all about. I don’t quite get the point of that remark; it’s patronizing and it isn’t particularly useful. Does the fact that he doesn’t think some of the photos measure up to his standards of what consistutes “professional quality” in any way detract from what’s good about community contributions to their local news source?

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