Eaton: Some changes are coming to EastIdahoNews.com

From the Editor

Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com

IDAHO FALLS — It seems like just yesterday that we were pulling out swimming suits, sunscreen and flip-flops in anxious anticipation for summer.

Now here we are four months later and school is back in session, pumpkin-spiced drinks are back in style and Christmas decorations are popping up in stores.

Change is in the air, and here at EastIdahoNews.com we are excited to announce some changes of our own.

NEW LOOK

We are getting ready to launch a redesigned EastIdahoNews.com later this month. This is something we’ve been planning for awhile and we look forward to seeing what you think of our new look.

We purposely aren’t doing a drastic makeover — rather, it will be subtle design changes and big upgrades on the backend of the website that will allow pages and videos to load a lot quicker.

Nearly 85 percent of you visit EastIdahoNews.com on your phone or tablet, so we’re making our mobile version a lot cleaner and simpler to navigate.

While we will soon have a new look, the way we post stories isn’t changing. We are the only news agency in east Idaho that doesn’t have automated article posting — meaning all of the news content you see on EastIdahoNews.com is posted by one of our team members rather than an automatic feed, computer program or system.

NEW FACES

Many people are surprised when I tell them fewer than 10 full-time people work at EastIdahoNews.com.

Although we have one of the smallest newsrooms in the region, we are the most read.

Last month 779,149 individual users visited EastIdahoNews.com reading stories or viewing videos nearly 3 million times. During the first five days of September, we’ve already had 400,000 users on EastIdahoNews.com. These numbers are not contrived estimates — they are an accurate measure of real people with unique IP addresses visiting our site.

While our visitor numbers are growing, so is our staff.

We are pleased to welcome Mike Price to EastIdahoNews.com as a full-time reporter. Mike interned for us last summer, and we are happy to have him join us permanently.

Myles Primm and Brandon Griffin are also joining us as reporters after spending the last few months interning in the newsroom.

Also, a new editor/reporter will soon begin working with us in the coming weeks.

And we are always looking for freelance writers to add to our growing pool. If you’re interested in writing and reporting for us (on and off camera), please email nate@eastidahonews.com.

NEW COMMENTING SYSTEM

Facebook analytics show we have the most engaged and interactive audience among news agencies in east Idaho. We’re glad you’re passionate about current events and that you aren’t scared to share your opinion with us (even when some of you tell us how much you can’t stand us).

We are in the process of transitioning the comment platform on EastIdahoNews.com from Disqus to Facebook. For the majority of you, Facebook comments will make it much easier to use and interact with our website. It also provides a seamless connection between our website and social media accounts.

This decision will also enforce a measure of accountability for commenters. Our goal is that users will no longer be able to hide behind pseudonyms as comments will be linked directly to Facebook accounts. We feel this will better help facilitate constructive discussion and discourage spammers.

NEW FEATURES

New editorial features are coming to EastIdahoNews.com.

Last week we launched a new series called “East Idaho Survivors.” The first installment featured Kaio Doxey, a premature child born at EIRMC at just 24 weeks gestation. The Doxeys’ story is inspiring, and we know there are thousands more that deserved to be shared.

“Survivors” will feature east Idahoans overcoming incredible hardships — abuse, near-death experiences, accidents, suicide attempts, cancer, etc. These will be in-depth stories of your friends and neighbors defeating the odds.

You’ve probably also noticed our new “Winning Wednesday” contest posted each week on our Facebook page. We’ve partnered with local businesses to give away some pretty cool prizes, and you’ve responded (and won) in a big way.

We plan to premiere other features in the coming weeks that will compliment our breaking and daily news coverage.

It’s an exciting time for EastIdahoNews.com, and we look forward to these changes! Again, we can’t thank you enough for turning to us every day as we strive to be a news source you can trust.