Many people today cannot remember a time before the advent of the Internet and the World Wide Web. The technology has become so familiar and integral to our everyday lives that we forget it has been around for only a few years, since the early 1990s.
The truth is, as technology goes, the Internet and its related components are still in their infancy, meaning that improvements are being made daily, even hourly in some cases, on how to better present information on the Web and make it more accessible to users.
To that end, the editors and Web developers at Southeast Farm Press have been working diligently for months now to make our Web site — http://southeastfarmpress.com  — more graphically interesting and easier to use, and we hope you’ll be pleased with the results when we launch on Sept. 1.
One of the problems with the dizzying pace of technological progress today is that new technology often is introduced just for new technology’s sake, with no greater purpose other than the perceived “newness.” For instance, it seems that every time we buy a new cell phone, there’s yet another new model of the one we just bought being offered a few short months later, with maybe one or two new features that’ll hopefully — from the viewpoint of the manufacturers — justify its purchase.
But that’s not the case with our new Web site. When you visit for the first time, the first thing you’ll notice is a completely new look. There will be a new featured article and photo or video in the upper left hand corner of the home page. In the center column, you’ll find a list of “Must Read” articles that’ll be useful in your farming operations and daily lives.
The upper right corner contains a new feature that will direct you to collections of articles on the current “Hot Topics” of the day. You’ll also be shown a list of the new topic pages that you’ve visited most recently.
The topic pages should be especially beneficial. Our new Web site design enables editors to assemble a collection of articles, photos, videos and other features on a single topic in a specific location.
The balance of the left column includes a special video belt displaying the newest videos produced by Farm Press and a list of the top feature articles, blogs, podcasts, related videos and Web polls that have recently been displayed on the site.
Information about new Continuing Education Courses offerings from Farm Press and up-to-the minute weather forecasts, commodity quotes and commentaries also will continue to be available in the third column on the home page.
And when you want more information on a topic, the newly designed site features a much more robust search function. Once you go to the topic you’re looking for, you’ll find a world of related information right at your fingertips, and you won’t be directed or misdirected all over the Web in your search.
All of the content on the Web site is organized under new categories. Articles, podcasts, videos and other features all can be found under their respective categories instead of being classified as videos or content types. Put simply, the sites are designed to get the most relevant content to you, our readers, when you need it most.
As an added bonus, the content on our new Web site will be more mobile friendly than in the past, so you can access it on your cell phone.
We’re continually looking for ways to better serve our readers, whether it’s through improvements in our digital media or our print publications. Our ultimate goal, always, is to be the most timely, reliable source of information for Southeast agriculture.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns about our new Web site, please drop me an email at: [email protected] . I’d like to know what you think.