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The Courier Herald Online by courierherald
Jun 30, 2009 | 15019 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

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The Courier Herald Digital Edition Is Touchscreen-Ready
by courierherald
Dec 10, 2009 | 4544 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
I might be letting the cat out of the bag a little early, or I might be putting my foot in my mouth.  Either way, I simply can’t resist writing about it.  To me it feels like I am watching history unfold before my eyes–the changing of a paradigm.

As you may know, The Courier Herald completely changed our website in July and went to a new digital edition model for our website. This shift came as the result of a lot of brainstorming and research on the part of our general manager.

We did not make this change lightly. Shifting the focus of our website from what was the industry standard just five or six years ago into what we believe will be the industry standard one or two years from now was a difficult transition. As with any new venture, there was worry and trepidation. Still, we had a vision of what we thought we should do, and we stuck to it.

The result of that vision is The Courier Herald Digital Edition, which offers readers a digital, interactive version of the printed paper. We created a dual format system, one for quick scanning and one for extended reading. We offer a printable pdf of the daily Crossword Puzzler and, most recently, digital archives stretching all the way back to the middle of 2007.

We bit the bullet and it has paid off. Our website now has hundreds of subscribers and over 3,400 free account holders. The benefits for our free account holders include the ability to submit content online, blog, view online classifieds, read special sections, view our monthly House Hunter and use our business directory to find the goods and services they need.

For our online subscribers, the benefits are even greater.  The digital edition gives them the same exact content as print edition subscribers for the same, low price of $10 per month. It’s the full experience of reading our newspaper, now delivered through the Internet.

But that’s only a part. The reason for my excitement is that yesterday I saw a video of the new Sports Illustrated on a touchscreen tablet. This new product, a completely new file format, is being developed by five major publishing companies including Time and News Corp.(The parent company of Fox News) and is poised to be released next year.

It’s the publishing and newspaper industry’s version of what the release of the iPhone was to cell phones. Before the iPhone, flip phones were the hot item. After the iPhone, the new “smart phones” became the norm.  With the release of this new digital format, geared towards touchscreen computers, netbooks and tablets, the game is about to change.

What makes this so exciting is that our new digital edition, which debuted in July 2009, is already touchscreen, netbook and tablet compatible. The quick viewer format on our website will already flip pages at the touch of the finger or the touch of a mouse, and our PDF format is readable on most of the current digital bookreaders that are on shelves now, and will also work with these same interfaces.

The new Sports Illustrated is amazing, and they have the money to have more video and photos than a small, local paper.  But what this small, local newspaper does have is the foresight to be touchscreen-ready nearly six months ahead of the curve.

So if you want to see the future, go online and search for “Sports Illustrated Tablet,” and watch the video of their future digital format. As you watch, though, I want you to think in the back of your mind: “My hometown newspaper’s digital edition already works on a touchscreen too!”

- Jonathan Dye
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Follow us on Twitter
by courierherald
Oct 20, 2009 | 4792 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

    When weather conditions become dangerous, every moment matters. The Courier Herald recognizes this fact and wants to be a part of keeping our community safer.  Earlier this week, there were tornado warning in Laurens and surrounding counties.  When The Courier Herald learned of these warnings, issued by the National Weather Service, we snapped into motion to inform our readers and our community.

    The first step we took to inform the public of the warnings was to issue a Twitter® update. is an SMS messaging service that has grown in popularity across the world and was even credited with assisting in uprisings in Iran during recent elections.  It is a communications tool of the 21st Century and The Courier Herald is utilizing this technology as part of our growth as a local media outlet.

    If you have a Twitter® account, you can follow The Courier Herald and receive updates on a daily basis about local stories that will be appearing in each day’s edition.  More importantly, when there is an emergency, you will be informed.  All our Twitter® updates appear instantly on our website, and are viewable by everyone.  If you follow us on, you can also have our tweets (the official name of a single twitter submission) delivered directly to your cell phone.  You’ll be updated on emergency and dangerous weather situations in real time, as they happen.

    Luckily no one was injured in our area during this week’s storms.  Unfortunately, storms will occur again and again.  Instant mass communication is part of the future of news delivery. It has the potential to save lives and to reinforce safety, freedom and democracy.  The trick is, you have to sign up.

    Don’t wait around.  Go to to start following us today.  We will keep you informed in case of emergency, and keep you up to date on the stories that are breaking each day in The Courier Herald.  It doesn’t matter if you are a print edition subscriber, a digital edition subscriber or an occasional reader.  This service is free and it could save a life.

    Follow us.

- Jonathan Dye

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New website focuses on local community
by courierherald
Jul 10, 2009 | 4882 views | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

    It’s about being part of a community.  It’s a new way of envisioning the experience of interacting with your fellow citizens, and it’s centered around being a newspaper subscriber.  The Courier Herald’s new website, launched on July 1, 2009, is for ALL subscribers.  Yes, that’s right.  Whether you subscribe to the digital edition (delivered to you through our new website) or the print edition (delivered to your home or office), you can still enjoy all the benefits of a free account to

    Along with your free account, you can choose to subscribe online, in print or to purchase your newspaper out of one of our many boxes located throughout the area. You decide the method that works best for you, and then you can use The Courier Herald online to interact with your fellow readers.  Our new website gives you the power to speak up and express yourself about topics that affect our area every day.  That’s the power of a free online account.

    So what else do you get with this account?  A whole lot, and remember, it’s available to ALL subscribers.

    Free account holders can go on and create a profile that will allow them to post blogs and photos about the news that affects them.  It’s very similar to myspace and facebook, but it’s topical to the news and events that are happening locally.  It brings all the power of the Internet to every subscriber and reader of The Courier Herad.  There are also forums, so that every reader can voice there opinions and share their ideas with others in our community. But that’s not all.

    A free account also gives you access to the online versions of all of our major special sections, including Porter’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing in Middle Georgia, The Senior Living Guide, Letters to Santa, and many more.  You’ll also have access to our monthly real estate guide, House Hunter, and interactive content including a gas buddy local gas price map and an interactive online sudoku puzzle.

    The Courier Herald online is also a communications hub.  It’s a new way for our subscribers to interact with their local newspaper.  Members can submit Tell Its! online for printing in The Courier Herald Tell It column. They can submit Hometown News, Letters to the  Editor, Wedding Announcements, Engagements and Who’s New.  You can even upload photos directly on the website.

    Want to call us?  Want to email us?  Go to and go to the contact us page.  There you will find the contact information for our newsroom and advertising departments.  Whether you need to speak to a reporter, post a classified ad, or advertise in The Courier Herald, the website will give you everything you need to get contact the right person.  It’s simple and easy to use.  And it’s free to ALL our subscribers. Get yours today!

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New Digital Edition Subscriptions Coming July 1st
by courierherald
Jun 30, 2009 | 4826 views | 2 2 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

    On July 1, The Courier Herald will be changing the format of our website and offering a full digital version of each day’s newspaper for online subscribers.  This new version of the paper is exactly the same as the print edition, except that it is delivered to our online subscribers on their computers. It is fully interactive with a clickable page menu on the left side of your screen and clickable internal links on the pages (For example: If you see “continued on 3a,” on the front page of the digital version, then just click on those words to be taken directly to where that story is continued on page 3a.)

    Not only will The Courier Herald be introducing this new and improved digital version of your newspaper, which our readers have been able to preview online for free during the month of June, but we will be offering this new digital version at the same low price as our print subscription.  This gives all our subscribers more choices without higher prices.  You can subscribe to the entire newspaper, whether print or online, for the same low price you’ve come to expect.  You get to choose the delivery method that works best for you.

    The new digital version will also come with some great changes and updates to our website.  This includes the ability to pay for an online subscription directly through our website using a credit card or checking account.  It also includes the ability to post classified ads to our website and pay for them directly on the site.  You can post them online (and in the print edition) 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week.  Your classified will appear in the print edition on the next available day.  And remember, viewing the classified on the website is alway free, so there will be no limit to the amount of potential customers you can reach.

    Other changes to the website include the introduction of new “Community” pages.  These allow all online users to set-up profiles, upload photos, create blogs and post to community forums.  There will also be ways for you to submit a letter to the editor, your hometown news stories, or Tell It! directly through the website.  And all these features are also free to all our online users.  No matter how you get the newspaper delivered, whether print or digital, you will have access to all these new features of the website free of charge.  The two subscriptions have all the same great benefits at the same low price.

    If you are already a subscriber, you can switch your subscription to the digital edition by calling 272-5522 on or after July 1.  If you don’t call, you keep your print edition at the same price with no effect on your service whatsoever.  If you want to start a new or additional online subscription, please visit on July 1 or after.  And thank you for supporting your hometown newspaper.

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July 09, 2009
There are many costs related to having a digital subscription that you are not considering. Such as the cost of paying for a website, paying for a person to maintain the website, paying for software to create a digital edition, etc. The costs of gathering and compiling the news are figured in as well. The costs come from some of the same and some different places, but they are still a factor and still figure into the overall cost of a digital subscription.

Most importantly, having different costs for the two types of subscriptions would create two-teirs of subscribers paying different prices for the same product. All subscribers should be treated the same, without one group being charged more than another. We believe that would be unfair to our subscribers as well.