If you have visited the Charleston Daily Mail’s website recently, you might have noticed a shift.
Those who visit www.dailymail.com, which has been established as the newspaper’s domain name since 1996, are quickly and automatically shifted to www.dailymailwv.com.
That’s going to be our domain name from here on out, and we want to do our best to reduce confusion.
If you use your bookmarks or favorites to visit the Daily Mail site on a regular basis, you’ll want to make a change to reflect ours.
And if you have members of our staff in your email contacts, take note that those will be changing to reflect the new dailymailwv designation. Mine, for example, will switch from email@example.com to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We picked the new address for a couple of reasons.
One is, it’s just a couple of keystrokes difference from the original — so it’s a relatively minor change for readers, although it is certainly a new habit to get used to, probably not unlike remembering to write the new year on your checks after each Jan. 1. We hope you adjust quickly.
Another is we want to emphasize our commitment to West Virginia coverage. Coverage of WV government news, West Virginia University and Marshall sports and Kanawha Valley news and local sports is our bread and butter. Might as well make that clear in our product’s name.
There’s another factor at work here too, and some people on social media were already guessing about it.
So, yeah, at some point I’d expect that visitors to www.charlestondailymail.com will receive news from the British tabloid. If that’s not your interest, better get in the habit of adding that extra WV.
The sale of the domain name is allowing us to reinvest in what we do here and prepare for the future.
Some of the money from the sale went to buy state-of-the-art cameras for our photographers. They’re allowing our photojournalists to shoot with faster shutter speeds, under more challenging lighting conditions and with greater image quality. The real trick to great photos is the eye of the professional photographer, but the great equipment sure does help them produce iconic images for West Virginia readers to enjoy.
More of the money has gone to purchase a new computer system that will help us modernize what we’re doing both in the newspaper and on our website. You aren’t seeing the results yet, but you will this coming spring. The system, produced by a company called NewsCycle Solutions,will enhance what we’re doing in print and online.
Much of our content will be the same — still with an emphasis on West Virginia news and sports — our hope is to make it look better.
Online the goals include: be easier to navigate, smarter suggestions about related stories, more photo galleries and greater flexibility for mobile.
Other newspaper companies are making more dramatic moves to shore up their future. Some, like The Washington Post, are selling their actual buildings. The Star Tribune in Minnesota is selling its printing plant.
These moves are what John Paton, CEO of Digital First Media, would call buying “gas in the tank” to get down the road.
We’ll miss charlestondailymail.com, but comparatively this is not that big a change. And it will be worth it when our products improve.
So please join us at dailymailwv and let the adventure there begin.