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From Rapidian staff*: After more than a year of solid development, Ron – our main developer – is off on a much-need vacation with his family. That leaves the rest of us Rapidian staffers with a tiny bit of downtime to do some of the planning work for new features and to reflect on what we've got going on so far.
The big new feature that we want to get online ASAP is a more robust database for pitching story ideas. Referred to as the "Story Bank," this database will allow The Rapidian's registered users to “pitch” stories that they would like to get covered. It’s also the best place for reporters looking for the freshest stories to cover.
This new system will get down to some specifics, including: headline, article type, content section (ex. education, technology), city quadrant, links, contact info, and the pitch itself.
You will also be able to vote for the pitches, and sort them so that the ones with the most votes go to the top—or to the bottom, if you wanted to do that for some reason.
Finally, we will also keep an archive of submitted stories that, if applicable, will be linked to the stories that were actually written about them.
The Rapidian is a user-driven site. While only those who have applied to become reporters can contribute content (application is open to all—do it!), any registered user can comment, “vote up,” add events to the community calendar and, soon enough, will be able to pitch story ideas.
The user-focus of the site reminds us how important it is not to work in a bubble. So from here on out, we are going to try to keep you more in the loop about what’s coming up next and how you can help. With that in mind, what we really need right now is feedback.
We laid out the key features of the Story Bank above, but is there something we missed? Is there something we haven’t even thought of? What features would you like to see in a database for pitching stories? Is there anything we are working on already that just doesn’t seem useful?
Let us know by commenting below.
Each week, a Rapidian staffer will publish a piece related to goings-on at The Rapidian, developments in the world of citizen journalism and tips for making the most of the site.
I am the New Media Planner at the Grand Rapids Community Media Center (GRCMC) and at The Rapidian. I spend my free time working on various community / cultural projects like The Division Avenue Arts Collective (DAAC) and G-RAD.org. I am a television and internet enthusiast.
Reports on: house shows, restaurant openings, Rapidian tech issues