So what’s this new section?

10.22.2007 by André Natta · → Leave a comment

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Welcome to The Rumble

Screenshot of The Rumble.

I was actually surprised when I was stopped several times over the weekend and asked just what this new section I hinted at was going to be. Well, it’s live as of right now and it’s called The Rumble.

There’s a method to the madness here, so you can either go on over and start using it OR you can read on after the jump and get some crazy explanation about why we’re doing it.

Over the last few weeks we figured out that maybe one of the ways to encourage our loyal readers (you) to become more interactive in helping us determine what to cover was by providing a space for you to see what you had contributed to the conversation. We want to become a primary info source for people in The Magic City but despite the best intentions of our small volunteer staff, that job becomes very hard at times. Enter The Rumble.

There are similar versions of it out there on other “hyperlocal” blogs; so we figured that we’d start by looking at similar projects and seeing how we could be different from them. While we are far from finished in terms of creating this “virtual whiteboard” we think it’s good enough to launch today.

The first column allows people to submit news tips and suggestions for stories to the site. It also allows for us as well as other readers to comment on these stories in real time (hopefully one of us is sitting in front of the computer at that time). You do not necessarily have to enter your email or website address (at least for now depending on how well it goes), but you do need to enter some sort of name. Keep it clean (we do have filters on) and on a topic.

The middle column finally gives us a place to show off photos from our Terminal Flickr Group (as well as a reason for people to join & submit pictures to the group). You can also send images to us via email. We only ask that the pictures submitted are in Birmingham and possibly relate to something going on in the city (though we’re not going to turn away any really cool shots… again so long as they relate to the Magic City). We figured full color photos were meant to be seen in full color and it allows for those that contribute to have other images of theirs looked at and commented on.

The third column takes advantage of del.icio.us, a social bookmarking network, though we’re looking to add others in the near future. Here’s a link to our profile; it’s a little bare right now. Tag your suggestions as needed and help us track down new websites, interesting stories and different perspectives that we’d normally not be able to track down.

The way I see it, this is your site. I am just a stationmaster who’s figuring out how to route the information to the appropriate parties. This way, you get to have a say in what’s being covered, hopefully creating a stronger community in the process.

This is the first of several changes to The Terminal that you will see in the coming two weeks. There will be format changes to sections and more additions to The Rumble, so stay tuned. (And yes, we’re adding The Rumble to the header later on today). I figured those of you that checked this post should have the first chance to play with it.

Enjoy and let us know what you think…

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Filed under: Alabama · Birmingham · blogging · The Terminal

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