What is Beaufort County NOW and How to Better Use It

    Recently an associate of mine in my other professional life, county government administration, expressed to me, "I really like Beaufort County NOW; however, often when I look at the latest articles, I see one I want to read when I find time, and when I come back to the home page it's gone."

    This bright young public servant continued, "I know why they are gone; it's because you put up so many articles every day, far more than anyone else I know, but I guess I am conditioned to these long lists of posts on sites that change far more slowly. I suppose these sites only put up a few a day."

    After I explained how to better access the slightly older articles, I had a "eureka" moment: Why not explain: 1) a few of the essential features of BCN to better locate recent posts and quite frankly, all of the 8,043 posts, as of this publishing point, which is a valuable resource for the community and our region, and 2) explain what is the purpose, once again, of what BCN is, and, moreover, what it is intended to be.

    First, the 2nd initiative of this post: What is Beaufort County NOW?

    BCN is a Moderated Informational Platform - I even coined the phrase some time ago. A Moderated Informational Platform is an expansive cyber site that allows users / writers / readers the opportunity to express themselves to a wide group of readers, or if one is just a reader, the platform allows them a wide array of information. For either purpose, the site is dynamic and Social, allowing all registered users/ writers the ability to login, and message one another, me, my staff. In fact, chances are, if one messages me during business hours, one will most likely get a written reply within the hour.

    Now the moderated part

    This is the component that makes BCN, or any other County NOW, unique to its publisher, their staff, and to their collective users / readers. We publish everything we receive; however, we screen for quality of presentation, and, to a lesser extent, quality of content. It is not that we wish to restrict to remain elite, we just want to present a quality product, irrespective of the content, providing that all content has some greater purpose than, say, for example - the vast majority of the posts on Facebook.

    I cast no negative aspersions on Facebook; I think Facebook serves a valuable service - it connects people, and often for a fine purpose. BCN; however, endeavors to do the same, but with content that usually has a wider perspective, and reasonably well delivered. My purpose is to let Facebook be Facebook, and let BCN be BCN.

    And finally: How to more effectively use BCN

    In deference to my good governing friend, we who control BCN have always endeavored to present the most navigable cyber site in existance to the extent that current technology will allow.

    For instance, we have long used the duplicated method of the navigation bar beneath the header, with a single level drop-down exposing the coordinated links to all levels of categories, but in the structure of a separate section/category home page, so similar to the BCN home page that one might not be able to tell the difference. Some people tell me that they have bookmarked their favorite section/category home page as their access point, which actually makes no difference in accessibility to all navigation. We are the only local news and information cyber site, in northeastern North Carolina, that provides this level of consistent navigation from such stable access levels, so it is understandable that our greater level of functionality would confuse some folks. They simply are just not use to this level of communication through the wonders of a better technology.

    The second of the aforementioned "duplicated method of navigation" is our category bar to the left of our post/exposition sector which is the core of all of what you are drawn to on BCN. The category bar, to your left as you read this, occupies much cyber "real estate" and does it this way for a purpose: The bar is organized to effectively display all major categories (parent), their subsection (or children), secondary subsection to the subsection (or grandchildren), and in some rare cases, tertiary subsection to the subsection (or great grandchildren). I generally do not like drop-downs or side-drops (they are cumbersome), so we employ the constant category method and sacrifice ad space for the sake of far greater efficiency.

    Search Beaufort County Now

    The boss, me, loves Search, and BCN's works extremely well - the best I have seen in a more regional site, and we have worked long hours to take it to that level. I use our search, with our well organized filters to filter down to what I need, or what needs to be discussed; case in point(s): Stan Deatherage, Search (unfiltered); Hood Richardson, Search (unfiltered); Pat McCrory, Search (unfiltered); Bill Cook, Search (unfiltered); Obama, Search (unfiltered); Wilmington, NC; Search (unfiltered); Tom Hanks, Search (unfiltered); Pamlico River, Search (unfiltered). You get the picture. Also the most current articles relating to that subject will be closer to the top of the Search, unfiltered or no.

SNI Will Use BCN to Sell a Better Way to Communicate Beaufort County NOW, The County NOWs, Symbiotic Publisher, Publishing SNI is Searching for Ambitious People Who Wish to Make a Difference, to Lead