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The Cavalier Daily website gets a facelift

Dear Readers,

If you visited cavalierdaily.com today, you may have noticed that things look different. For those who frequent our website, you probably recognized the changes almost immediately. For those who only check our page periodically, you may have experienced a sensation not unlike the way you feel when you’re mildly certain your friend is sporting a new haircut. For those of you who have never read The Cavalier Daily online before: Welcome! We’ve just launched a website redesign!

The changes are not drastic — we’ve updated the masthead to match the print edition and switched to non-serif fonts, among other things — but they reflect a step toward our goal of increasing our online presence and becoming a more easily accessible and navigable resource for our community. In the past two years, in order to meet the demands of the modern and tech-savvy community we serve, we launched a digital-first campaign that spawned a new website, a mobile app, an e-newsletter, and a social media section. As The Cavalier Daily enters its 125th year, we are still thoroughly committed to remaining at the top of our game in the digital media world.

Here is the low-down on the main changes:


1) We’ve streamlined the page elements on the website with our print edition in order to present a consistent brand image.

– Replaced old “cavalierdaily.com” with current print edition masthead

– Switched from serif to non-serif fonts for a more modern feel

– Got rid of mid-tone and light blues in favor of a more consistent dark blue with orange highlights


2) We’ve made our popular content more visible and accessible.

– Came to the website in search of a certain much-discussed opinion article, but can’t seem to find it? Now the newest content from the Opinion section is located in a clearly visible box on the top right hand of the cavalierdaily.com main page.

– We also have a new Featured box, which contains some of the most interesting, relevant, or well-written stories of the day.

– The new Featured Multimedia box, located about halfway down in the middle of the page, is a much-needed replacement for our previously obscured multimedia gallery section. Now, the photos and videos from last night’s game or this afternoon’s big event are easily accessible and visible on the main page.


3) The specific literary sections are now more clearly marked and feature section-specific top and recent stories.


4) All comments are now automatically sent to the moderator, who must approve them before they appear on an article. This change is less aesthetic than it is practical. We have had issues with rogue commenters, trolls, spammers, impersonators, etc. ever since the site first launched, and we used to deal with them by deleting the comments hours — sometimes days — after they had been seen by thousands. For those who are unaware, The Cavalier Daily has a comment policy that we strictly adhere to in the interest of fostering a productive and respectful dialogue on our articles. We welcome opposing viewpoints and spirited argumentation, but they must fall in line with our rules. Instead of enforcing the comment policy retroactively, we will simply not allow comments that violate our policy to appear on our pages, period. This is not to say we won’t approve your slightly controversial opinion on whether wearing crocs as anything other than shower shoes is socially acceptable; in fact, we generally approve 90% of the comments. The only downside is that there will be a slight time delay before your comment appears on an article, but we will make sure to check back frequently.

But wait, there’s more! In addition to implementing a few more minor changes (article templates, spacing, alignment, tagging stories, etc.), we are still working out the glitches. Please bear with us as we work hard to make sure we are bringing you the best product we possibly can. If you see something that looks off, come across a link that isn’t working, or have general ideas for the website, please email om@cavalierdaily.com.

Yours,

Rebecca Lim
Editor-in-Chief


Full-time advertising representative starting in December 2013

The Cavalier Daily is the only daily news organization at the University of Virginia and the oldest
newspaper in Charlottesville. It is an entirely student-run, non-profit organization with an
operating budget that it accrues solely through selling advertisements. The Cavalier Daily
maintains a 10,000 twice-a-week print circulation, publishes a daily online edition with expanded and enhanced content, and publishes a daily e-newsletter. In addition, it has recently developed a mobile application for smartphones.

Responsibilities

*Drive The Cavalier Daily’s growth by securing as much advertising revenue as possible, both by maintaining existing accounts and bringing in new accounts
*Develop sales goals and projections, working with the staff to obtain goals
*Coach and train student staff members
*Prepare promotional plans, sales literature, media kits, and sales contracts
*Prepare and deliver sales presentations to new and existing accounts
*Summers will be used for selling online, e-newsletter and mobile app ads, generating new business, *collecting on past-due invoices and developing other revenue-generating ideas
*The position may expand to include other strategies to increase revenue, including running fundraising campaigns and developing new revenue streams

Skills

*1-3 years of experience in sales or advertising preferred
*Independent worker
*Interest in social media and online advertising
*MS Office
*Adobe Photoshop/InDesign skills are preferred but not necessary
*Strong communication skills

If the chance to work in a fun, fast-paced environment appeals to you please send your resume and cover letter to editor@cavalierdaily.com.


Is it enough to <3 #socialmedia?

Social media.

(Round of applause)

These two words have spread through the journalism world like wild fire. Aspiring journalists, newspaper veterans and anyone with two fingers, a computer and an often misplaced belief that they have something to say that the world needs to hear have all jumped on the Twitter bandwagon. But, is social media making readers dumber?

If it is, newspapers like The Cavalier Daily, which are proud of their social media efforts — my 1,587 Facebook friends know I totally heart #socialmedia — should be concerned.

As proud as I am about The Cavalier Daily’s social media presence — we have the largest number of Twitter followers of any Charlottesville newspaper, so I think that I have earned the right to brag — I am conscious that it may be acting as a deterrent for readers to well, actually read the newspaper.

Recent conversations I have had with faculty and students have confirmed my suspicions.

“I love following @cavalierdaily, because I don’t even need to read the story if I don’t have time,” seems to be the common consensus. “I can just glance over the 140-character tweet and glean what I need to know from that.”

That is a worrying trend, I thought as I browsed my Twitter feed and replied to three emails with the words “Sure,” “OK,” and “Fine.”

There are several ways The Cavalier Daily is trying to mitigate some of the laziness that can be encouraged by social media. Smarter tweets, probing questions and, of course, reader engagement. Rather than tweeting headlines, tweet questions. Ask for reader feedback. Force readers to critically analyze our content.

It comes down to this — journalists are often attention-seeking. Think about it: We spend our lives writing in often uncomfortable situations — wars, city council meetings, cramped cubicles with no windows or signs of life — all for the glory. The glory of seeing our names above the fold or on the main page of a well-known website. Therefore, it’s easy to get sucked into a world that can quantify that all for you. When I lose a Twitter follower, a little piece inside of me dies. But, it’s more important to put aside this arrogance, to go for quality tweets, ones that encourage readers to go to the main source — The Cavalier Daily website or print edition. It isn’t just enough to <3 #socialmedia.

—Kaz Komolafe is the editor-in-chief of The Cavalier Daily. You can contact her at k.komolafe@cavalierdaily.com.












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