Carolyn Murray

Dear Reader: You love our new look; you hate it; you love it

Welcome to week two of our new approach to producing your news and information online and in print.

As with any major renovation project, we ran into some problems. Some had to do with quirks related to the changes themselves; others seemed to reflect the veracity of Murphy’s Law.

We’ve received a wide variety of feedback from readers, especially related to changes in the print edition and I’m happy to say that much of it was positive. There were some questions and concerns, however, about a few changes they feared were permanent.

One was the absence of the list of the day’s obituary notices on the front of the Local page. That was an oversight. Also related to obituaries, many didn’t like that the notices were scattered over three pages. Neither did we. That happened because there wasn’t enough space for them all to fit on one page. We have been forced to run them on more than one page before, but forcing readers to bounce to three locations is not part of our new strategy.

Other readers had concerns because some of the cities had disappeared from the weather page temperature listings. That too was because the page template had changed, squeezing the last row out of the space. Once we realized what caused the problem, we were able to correct it.

On Monday, the new template didn’t include the usual spot for the crossword puzzle that appears on P2 of Sports. It too is back. On Tuesday you’ll find Monday’s and Tuesday’s in the paper, plus the solution to the always-tough Saturday puzzle.

Complaints about changes to the Mini-Page also were mentioned in feedback, but those were done by those who created the page, which is syndicated.

Of things that are within our control, the typeface got mixed — and frankly contradictory — reactions. Some found it easier to read. Some found it too large and dark, which made it hard to read. And others thought it appeared smaller. (It’s not. In fact it is a bit larger than our previous font.)

Murphy’s Law

Many of those who live on the north and west areas of our circulation didn’t get a paper on the first day of our launch. That was because the driver of the 26-foot truck carrying those copies ran off S.C. 701 when three apparently suicidal deer appeared before him in the roadway.

Although the truck toppled into a ditch and skidded along on its side, the driver escaped serious injury and has been released from the hospital. Presumably the deer fled the area.

The next day, a power outage fried something in our computer system (no, I can’t be more technical than that), which meant two things: We couldn’t access the publishing system unless we used individual wireless routers; and, worse, the air conditioning was out.

A new part and the combined efforts of our tech saviors got the computers back online, but the AC remained off until Sunday when a Santee Cooper crew installed a new part on the electrical system.

Such complications just served to steel our resolve to double down on our efforts, once we wiped the sweat from our eyes.

If you haven’t shared your thoughts on our efforts yet, you can fill out a feedback form at http://new.myrtlebeachonline.com/feedback.html

Carolyn Callison Murray: cmurray@thesunnews.com, @TSN_ccmurray

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