09 30 2014
  9:03 pm  
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The first skanner website

To mark 38 years of publishing in the Pacific Northwest, The Skanner News has updated our website – as you can see.

Here you will find an expanded calendar, more local news and a photo-oriented layout that makes the site bloom with images. It is best viewed using the Chrome browser.

It is more beautiful, more functional and offers more news than ever before, says The Skanner News Publisher Bernie Foster.

The goal with the new site is to put more tools into the hands of our readers to, as our mission states, “build a better future now.”

“We’re very excited about this new site, and after working on it for two years I can appreciate what healthcare.gov is going through,” Foster says. “Ours is not nearly as complex but it is certainly bigger and better than our last site.”

Foster says his staff will keep improving the site over the next several months, so there might be even more changes.

“The Skanner News built one of the first news websites in our region, and we are still dedicated to using technology to help our readers improve their lives,” Foster said.

“We made the extra effort to make it useful, fast and powerful – whether you just want to look at our slideshows, see which movies are opening this week or keep up with breaking news.”

The Skanner News’ first website was registered in 1995, the first year that commercial ISPs were made generally available, the year that the first Wiki was built, and the same year when the domain name “Yahoo.com” was registered.

Also that year, Microsoft launched Internet Explorer 1.0, and Ebay first opened.

By contrast, www.oregonlive.com started in 1997 as did www.seattletimes.com; www.willametteweek.com started in late 1998 and www.seattleweekly.com went live in 1999 – all according to the Internet archive the Wayback Machine.

Web developer Wayne Branch was the original creator of The Skanner News’ website – which he convinced Foster to build even though the publisher says he had no idea what it was for.

“We had these computers with screens about as big as a slice of bread,” Foster said. “And it was all codes, not what you have today with plug-ins and browsers – it was primitive.

“But we put stories up there, a calendar, and Dick Bogle’s jazz column,” he says. “It wasn’t very good looking but it was where we started.”

The first site was built with CMS code and contained just five photo images; the new site is built with Joomla and contains tens of thousands of images.

The new site was built using responsive design, which means that it changes its shape to fit any electronic web browsing device -- from phones to tablets, laptops and PCs.

Responsive design also means that the reader can change what the home page looks like to suit yourself; we are willing to bet you haven’t seen many websites like this one.

As the top stories array across the home page in the form of photos, each photo is a story. Readers can click a button to load more stories, which rearrange themselves to make the top of the page look like a photo album.

At the same time, you’ll find regional news briefs on the right-hand side – don’t forget to send your news briefs to us for inclusion there, to info@theskanner.com.

The homepage also includes real-time updating Associated Press widgets for Northwest News, African American News, Entertainment, US and World News.

Our books, movie reviews and celebrity interviews by Kam Williams are all there as well.

Let us know what you think – and if you encounter any problems please let us know that too. Send your comments to lisa@theskanner.com

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