Upcoming Miles City website
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Posted by SeptyTwo (+667) 11 years ago
Reading through the STAR thread, there was a lot of ideas mentioned of what people would like to see in the MC Star or otherwise.

Some of these ideas have ALREADY been touched upon in the upcoming launch of our website.

Basically, our website boils down to reporting the POSITIVE aspects of Miles City life. Some categories include sports, local entertainment, school board meetings, agriculture, and classifieds.

Each school in the city will have its own section and one of the things we want to do is get some volunteer reporters out there to
do some... reporting. This includes having one or two student reporters for each school to submit content such as, little Chloe
Thompson wants to praise a certain teacher on why she thinks that teacher is doing a good job, things like that.

Another aspect of the site will be videos. Full uncut videos of City Council meetings, school board meetings, sports games. This
will enable those who cannot attend, be it because of business, or being out of town, or whatever, we want to be able to provide
all residents the chance to see something they couldn't attend. Take a High school basketball game for example. A father is out of
town during the weekend of the game, but he will have the chance to see the game, most likely the day after, as he relaxes in his
motel room. Or, someone has questions about what happens in last week's Council meeting. He or she will be able to watch for
themselves what was discussed.

Now, this site is a NUETRAL website. All we are doing is providing the content in an unbiased manner. There is no left or right,
liberalism or conservatism, or whatever. There wont be a forum for discussion or debates. There will be a spot for comments, and
those comments will have to be approved by us first before they will be viewable. How do we approve? We will check to make sure
there is NO flaming, insulting, personal attacks, or vulgarity of any kind. Our site will not work that way.

There will be a section for "letters to the editor" type of thing with the same rules mentioned applying. We just want to provide
a website that reports local interests only, and have it in an objective, no sides taken format.

We will need volunteers for content. Picture taking, video recording, guest columnist, that sort of thing. We will be doing a lot of it ourselves in the beginning but we would like to have this grow as a COMMUNITY project of sorts.

The site isn't live yet, but it is pretty much finished in construction. We just need content now. If anybody has any ideas or input, you can contact me at [email protected]

[This message has been edited by SeptyTwo (4/12/2011)]
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11902) 11 years ago
If you show the videos of those meetings, PLEASE make some effort to get decent sound. Using the microphone on the camera WILL NOT WORK! Those meetings are dull enough if you can hear what is going on but if it is just ambient noise and people sitting around and you can't hear them, it will be a huge waste of time and bandwidth.
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Posted by SeptyTwo (+667) 11 years ago
Thanks Amorette,

We discussed this already and you are correct. We will be looking into the purchasing of a camera that will have an external jack for a boom mike.

Also, is there any type of contect or articles you would like to write? Maybe a monthly guest piece about history of Miles City,that sort of thing?

Thanks again.
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Posted by Smiley (+853) 11 years ago
How can people be sure it isn't biased? Letters to the editor should be approved based on content, not opinion. If someone writes a very detailed, intelligent argument about a city issue, would it be denied?

Also, its NEUTRAL.
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Posted by SeptyTwo (+667) 11 years ago
Good point Smiley,

I know what you are saying, I probably didnt articulate that very well in my original post.. lol.. you can tell now that I wont be one writing anything on the site... my skills lie elsewhere than writing and grammar.

Anyways, I will let my associate answer that one when he chimes in...

yoohoo... John?
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Posted by Joe Smity (+108) 11 years ago
Why not fix the sound system in the upstairs Council Chambers and tie into it direct?

Don't think they have such downstair, your boom mike might be needed in that case.
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Posted by SeptyTwo (+667) 11 years ago
logistics are gonna be a bit challenging in some aspects when we first get going.

As for sound and camera... we might go with a decent digital sound recording device placed , hopefully, next to a speaker somewhere, then edited into the video with the original audio cut out.

We discussed it a bit today and for the start of things we can do a couple of different things. Either the recording device or I can just use a program to eliminate some of the background noise, such as hissing, manually.

As things progress, it will work out with the purchasing of better equipment or whatver. Right now, we are going to use what we have, and do our best to present it in a manner that works for everybody. Just it will take a little time on our part during a day of or after a meeting to get it presentable.

As for Sports events or school events, that is where we will ask for a volunteer to video the event, send it to us, and we will host it on our site.

Again, here is some aspects of the video part of the site:

We are offering the oppurtunity for the public to submit videos they have taken for viewing on our site. This free service will allow a solution for several types of situations.

a major positive aspect of this service is that those with family members deployed overseas will be able to see their children participating in events that they are unable to attend.

Another plus for this service is this example:

Let's say a father is out of town on business. He is going to miss his son's basketball game. His wife is able to attend the game and takes her video camera. She films the game, sends it to us, we post it online, and the father is now able to see his son and the team play, in the comfort of his motel room.

We will also embed videos from services such as YouTube if they were made by you and are posted on your own Youtube site or similar.


This site can be a very cool thing for the community. It will be LOCAL information only pretty much, and as I mentioned earlier, we are aiming for only positive angles on whatever subject is touched upon. As for school board and city council meetings, in video format, will be be what they are. No sides either way, just the presentation of the meeting the way it happens.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17663) 11 years ago
If you are looking for an experienced webmaster to run your board, I recommend Daniel K. Allen. Not only is he experienced in this sort of thing, he is a hard working individual, whose main concern is the good of the greater Miles City community.
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Posted by Joe Smity (+108) 11 years ago
(bites tongue...)
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Posted by SeptyTwo (+667) 11 years ago
Thanks Gunnar,

I think we have it covered though. For right now. Who knows though? Hopefully this site will take off and we will most likely need more help.

We already have the site built and it isn't all that hard. Takes but a few minutes to post up any type of contents and pictures. Pretty much the time consuming thing will be encoding videos and uploading them to server, and that is easy enough, just takes some time waiting, lol.. depending on computer.

Once we get close to launch I will link to a couple of sample pages. I will repeat though, it isn't like here on MC.com, it is more of a newspaper theme, but one that WILL be updated pretty much every day as stories and videos and pictures roll in... Again, that will take just a few minutes to do.

[This message has been edited by SeptyTwo (4/13/2011)]
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3718) 11 years ago
I think that this is an interesting idea. Ever since the lengthy thread about the MCStar's website I have been curious what a person could do with something like this. Are you planning to try to sell advertising or monetize it in any way? If it's going to be updated daily that is a lot of time and effort if you're not going to get paid.

Amorette is probably right about audio issues on city council meetings. Even if you do get the councilmen/mayor to talk into a mic you will probably have a hard time hearing any audience comments if there isn't a mic for them as well.

Have you looked into the legal issues of posting sports and such? I don't know if there are any, but it might be something you should check into just to cover your backside.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3718) 11 years ago
If you're interested, this is the thread that I was referring to if you haven't seen it.

http://milescity.com/foru...779#160944

Despite my skepticism about the financial viability of the enterprise, I think that if you could produce interesting enough content to get people to the site you might be able to sell some advertising to local businesses.
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Posted by john w caylor (+82) 11 years ago
Smiley This site is set up to showcase Miles City. All to many times great happenings and accomplishments go by the wayside. Our mission in starting this is to stay away from controversial topics and to highlight as many of the day to day accomplishments achieved by folks and this community. The star does a good job taking care of the rest as does MC.com. Everyday someone whether child or adult does something that deserves recognition. Whether it be in Sports, Scholastically, or as a tribute to a relative or friend ,etc And this will be a way to do that. So in answering your question about being bias I would have to say since a majority of the articles will be written by the above mentioned. The likelihood of bias will probably exist. As far as any other content as long as a person stays within the rules which will be thoroughly explained their letter will be posted.

As far as filming public meetings and such our only goal is to provide a medium for folks that do not have the time to go and participate. Every meeting will be verbatim and the only editing that will be done is to try and eliminate background noise and make it an enjoyable experience for all. If an individual has issues with any of the context of these meetings then the need to contact their representatives.
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Posted by john w caylor (+82) 11 years ago
Thanks Levi
We are addressing those issues. And as of right now we'll see how it grows. And anybody who wants to either send film or write an article is more than welcome too. That's what this is all about community pride.

[This message has been edited by john w caylor (4/13/2011)]
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Posted by SeptyTwo (+667) 11 years ago
Levi Forman wrote:
If you're interested, this is the thread that I was referring to if you haven't seen it.

http://milescity.com/forums/posts/view/?fpid=160779#160944

Yes, take what John mentioned above and accomplishing a lot of what is wanted AND needed for a Miles CIty website that was mentioned in that thread, is our goal.

While we wont have a discussion board or threads, we are aiming for a site that will bring content that is otherwise ignored or just doesnt fall into categories that a newspaper website or discussion thread produces.

That is not a bad thing, and we are not going to be in the business of taking away from the Star or MC.com, it is just we want to provide a lot of the "positive little stuff" stories that DO exist around town. John mentioned a lot of the aspects in his post above.


Levi Forman wrote:
Despite my skepticism about the financial viability of the enterprise, I think that if you could produce interesting enough content to get people to the site you might be able to sell some advertising to local businesses.

As for making money and selling advertising, sure, that is part of plan. However, in the beginning, that is on the side burner. We need to get the site up and consistently provide content that is fresh and hopefully build a good viewership to justify selling advertising.

Keep the input coming, I already have a couple of new ideas just from reading this thread.

Thanks
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3718) 11 years ago
I don't know if you're interested in facebook integration but I have heard good reviews from several website owners that the Facebook Comments plugin is a great way to deal with comments. The comments show on your site but people log in using their Facebook info.

It does several things. 1) it forces people to comment using their real name, which gives considerable accountability to people about what they say (cuts down on trolls and flamers) and 2) it shows all their facebook friends that they commented on your site, which may bring you some traffic and 3) it saves your users from having to register for yet another site and it saves you from having to deal with user accounts, lost passwords, etc. I don't know how difficult it would be to implement with whatever website software you are using but I would guess it's pretty simple on most of the major blog platforms. Even though I am slightly uncomfortable with the way that facebook is taking over the internet I think that if I was doing such a site I would seriously consider it just due the headaches it could save you.

Read more here:

http://developers.faceboo.../post/472/

[This message has been edited by Levi Forman (4/13/2011)]
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