July 2, 2009

Check out our new home!

RacinePost is preparing to move, and we need your help to make it happen.

We've been working on designing a new web home for several months and we're ready to test the new site with the public. We're excited about the changes and feel it'll be a huge step forward for the Post. Here's a few of the upgrades:
* More features and a more efficient organization to streamline our operation and allow us to offer more content while retaining the look of our original site.

* User registration will allow us to manage comments, offer community forums and unveil "community builder" features that will allow readers to connect through RacinePost.

* A sophisticated advertising system that will give our advertisers real-time data on their ad's performance.

* Room for growth. The new site allows RacinePost to evolve from being a "blog" into a professional news site.
Before you visit the new site, it's admittedly it's still in rough shape. We're not regularly updating the content and we have a few more pieces to add before we make the switch. (For example, we need to test our RSS, email and Twitter feeds before changing the site.)

But we're at the point where we need your help. If you have a minute, please visit:

and kick the tires on the site. We need to test if the new design is stable and can handle reader traffic. We love all reader feedback, but we're especially interested in things that don't work. So if you come across a problem, please email us at: racinepost@gmail.com

Also, just a note about website redesigns: It's a huge undertaking. Pete and I have cobbled together the current RacinePost using a variety of free websites and basic HTML that are user-friendly and economical, but not advanced enough for where we hope to take the site. The new website is quite advanced, but that's required a huge learning curve for how to operate a piece of software used by newspapers around the world to create their web homes. We're still amateurs, at best, at web programming so please bear with us as we wrestle with computer code.

Lastly, while we're going public with the redesign today, we're a ways away from making the permanent switch. That gives us time to make needed changes to avoid a major disruption in our work. So look around, send us a note and wish us luck as we move on to the next stage in this online news adventure.


  1. Like the new site!

  2. I on the other hand prefer the current site.

    Leave well enough alone.

  3. It looks GREAT! And every link I clicked on worked, no hesitation. I like the tabs at the top, too...

    Good Job!

  4. i really can't tell the difference... but whatever you guys do i'm here everyday & it's good stuff.

  5. So, you're raising money to pay for the new redesign, when you are using FREE software?

    Seems to me something is wrong with that.

  6. We're raising money to run all aspects of RacinePost. (And, for what it's worth, the software wasn't free.)

  7. StopthemadnessNOW7/03/2009 8:56 AM

    The new site is a big improvement! While I recognize it's still a work in progress, I'd like to suggest a few things:
    1. Links to guest opinions, bloggers. Perhaps a daily "editorial" or commentary on a particular topic each day.

    2. Retain the Kiosk.

    3. A dedicated link or spot for local entertainment, reviews, etc.


  8. not worth it. By

  9. Will we still be able post anonymously if we need to be registered?

    I heard Jwax was hiring private eye to find out who was posting against them here.

    There goes speaking freely.

  10. I like the new design to a point - will there ever be a mobi or obile version for Blackberry & iPhone users?

  11. @Stop - We're working on all three of your suggestions. Thanks!

    @Anon 11:41 - You'll post under your registered user name (not necessarily your real name). We will have access to people's emails, but we'd never hand them over to anyone.

    @Anon 12:11 - Yes. We're working on a mobile site, too.

  12. If you truly want to be a professional news source, then you need to start with reporting in a non-biased way.

    I've been reading your posts for months now and it is clear that articles are written in slanted ways depending solely on the reporter's personal opinion, not necessarily fact.

    It is obvious by reading the articles where the reporters at RacinePost stand, and any true journalist would know that this is breaking the golden rule in journalism.

    It is also obvious that censoring is done for some individuals and not others, depending on the personal views of Racinepost regarding the topic at hand.

    If you want to be professional, then you must act professional. In the meantime, I view RacinePost as entertainment, much like the National Enquirer or gossip magazines.

  13. Anon 3:39: Any anonymous critic can make blanket charges with no specifics and no evidence. Either back up your blather with facts, or stick to the Enquirer.

    Any doubt where I stand on this?

  14. Pete, Love your comment! Love the Post. Thanks and have a great Holiday!

  15. Actually Pete I have to agree, just recently you wrote a post about Tom Friedel and talked about how great, smart and wonderful he was. If that wasn't pure biased opinionated reporting what was it? It's fine to write an opinion piece, but then call it an opinion piece please.

    I also recall very recently that people's posts were being deleted because they were considered "mean". Once again, if I remember right they were comments about Tom Friedel.

    There are plenty of other posts about other people on this website that were very mean and not deleted. Seems to depend mainly on what the personal feelings are towards the person in question by Dustin and Pete.

    I could dig up all the proof you need if you want me to.

  16. Great job. It's fresh and it works for me.

    As for biased reporting, this is the Racine Post. We like the reporters and if you don't, just go read the JT.

    Right on, Pete.

    Keep the vicious ("mean") and hateful diatribes at bay.


  17. Anon 6:01 - it's all good until the day your opinion differs from the opinions of the reporters at Racinepost. When that happens you will be more concerned with the biased reporting.

    It's just fine if they want to ban all the mean and nasty comments, just keep it consistent across the board for all threads.

    Dustin and Pete should not be deleting nasty comments for those people they like and leaving up the equally nasty comments for people they dislike.

    A true journalist does not reveal their personal opinions when writing a news story, period.

  18. Hiring a private eye??

    Did someone's feelings get hurt? LOL

  19. Anon, 1:05: The "post" about Friedel that you refer to, "talking about how great, smart and wonderful he was" -- actually was a post about the fountain downtown. It contained this single sentence, "Chosen, yes, because he's a smart guy and a good alderman but also because he agreed not to run for the post in the May election."

    So I think you mischaracterize the story itself, and what it actually said.

    As for deleted comments: Believe me, you wouldn't believe how nasty and gross they can be ... and their targets range across all sides. If our new site, which will require registration to comment, doesn't put a damper on the filth, then we will shut off ALL comments.

  20. Is there certain criteria that defines what will goo on the home page? On the current site I like how there can be a bit of everything. The tabs help with organization, but can also bring less attention to stories not on the main.

  21. Calling someone a "smart guy" and a "good" alderman isn't adding your opinion Pete? Of course it is just an opinion. I have no issue with Alderman Friedel, but I know people who would not consider him a "good" alderman, and I know people who work at his company that do not feel he is "smart". Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but please stop trying to pass if off as factual news.

  22. Anon 11:07

    Are you implying that he was chosen because he was a moron and terrible person? The fact is he was chosen for specific reasons.....good alderman and smart being among them. That's not speculation or opinion.

  23. "@Anon 11:41 - You'll post under your registered user name (not necessarily your real name). We will have access to people's emails, but we'd never hand them over to anyone."

    Are you sure Dustin? I am not picking on you but what if J Wax or any of the completely upstanding local colleges or other entities hands you a big juicy subpoena? Once any site requires me to register I am done posting.

  24. I'm done posting and reading if I have to register.

    I'm also done offering hot juicy (anonymous) tips like I have in the past.

    Are you guys trying to be like the JT or what?

    You will lose a ton of readership.

    Please re-consider pete and Dustin.

  25. It’s exciting to see the changes coming up at Racine Post! Suggestions that will make this online news source even better:

    Bump up the font size for some pieces just a bit more. Some of us have middle-aged eyes and will appreciate this. The glowing screen is different than reading paper and hurts eyes, especially when we’re online for other reasons too -- please accommodate us! The obituary names are especially teeny.

    I see that you are reinventing the reader feedback options and the option to shut off all comments. Good. I have been strongly urging responsibility on the part of the press in keeping nasty, slanderous, libelous misinformation and insults and abuse away from legitimate news for both online sources as well as The Journal Times. This is not censorship. It is responsibility within a community. Such insulting “bloggers” do not enhance the news; they demean the information on the Racine Post and take precious time from reporting and disseminating real news in our community. Further, they contaminate the site with hate, so that potential advertisers will not want to be associated or near such meanness and legitimate news and feature sources will decline to be interviewed to avoid abuse insults.

    While members of the public do at times have important perspectives, I would rather suggest that bloggers apply and be invited to offer commentary, under their real names.

    Finally, I like the tabs at the top and hope that you will add:

    Selected letters to the Post

    Thanks for the work you do.

  26. Anon 11:27 - yes it is opinion. Because the new mayor and Pete say so, doesn't make it fact. The majority of the good people of Racine chose Gary Becker as their mayor because they felt he was a "good" alderman and "good" businessman. It is entirely an opinion. Others chose Jim Smith because they felt Gary Becker was a bad choice.

    How do we rate whether a person is truly smart? We could give them an iq test I suppose. I imagine Friedel is knowledgeable at some things, while quite ignorant at others. Whether or not he is "smart" is very speculative.

    The fact Friedel was able to handle being mayor for a few months hardly makes him "smart", there are other current alderman who could have handled it just as well if not better. Does that make them all "smart"?

    Reporters should not be tossing out words descriptives for people such as "smart" and "good", as it is just an opinion, nothing more.

    And while I don't feel Freidel is a moron or terrible person, there are people who work with him right now that do feel that way. And that is there opinion which they are entitled to. Thank God they do not write for RacinePost though right?

  27. Oops there = their.

  28. Let's get something straight here. When Becker was ousted the next person in line of succession to take the duties as interim mayor was the President of the city council, which was David Maack.

    Maack was not able to accept the position so it was passed over to the next person in line, the Chair of the Finance and Personnel committee, which was Tom Friedel.

    The President of the city council is chosen by the sitting aldermen, and usually goes by seniority.

    The Chairs of the committees are chosen by the mayor, who at that time was Becker.

    So in reality, we can thank Gary Becker for choosing Tom Friedel as interim mayor.

  29. Karen:

    You sound very uneducated.

    If you want so much control of this site, pony up some cash and time and help pete and Dustin out.

    Otherwise, they will run their site as THEY choose.

    The threat of businesses perhaps not sponsoring this site because of nasty posts is very tacky hun.

    Scare tactics don't work.

  30. Add a classifieds section and you’ll put the RJT out of business.

  31. Can you tell us why or what you are paying for Joomla? It is open source software.

  32. Joomla is free, but we bought a template, components, modules and plugins designed by professionals to create the site.

  33. I don't like the moving text on the top banner. It makes it difficult to concentrate on what you're reading.