If you haven’t been to bocabeacon.com for a while, now is the time you will want to check it out, as the transition to a new format is now complete. It’s been quite a bit of time since any changes have occurred, but even old dogs have to learn new tricks sometimes.
The new site is cleaner in appearance and a simpler to navigate than before. You can access your e-edition from the home page (if you don’t have a subscription, we recommend that you check it out as you will be able to access the entire newspaper from your phone or computer, as you see it in print), you’ll find more than 400 pages of archived stories.
There are a few new options as well. For instance, our classified section can be found by clicking that link on the top of the page. You will also find a calendar of events on the righthand side of the page that wasn’t there before, so looking through upcoming events is even easier now. Our weekly columnists’ pieces that were not available before online can now be found by clicking on the “Opinion” category.
There are also some new perks that we want to make sure you’re aware of. We have been collecting our photographs through the years and putting them on a website called “SmugMug,” which allows you to browse the selections, choose ones you would like copies of and pay for them to be delivered to you directly through their service. Our archives include photos from years past and we are adding more all the time.
You can access our SmugMug account by scrolling down the bocabeacon.com homepage and finding the “photos” section or go directly to the tab on the top of the page.
We have also added an option for our readers to submit their own photos. Whether they are nature shots, photos from island events you have attended or (and these are some of our favorites) historic photos of the island you happen to have in your possession. If you are familiar with our Facebook page you have probably seen our “GCDOTD” (Golf Cart Dog of the Day) photos, and you are welcome to upload your own.
Closer to the bottom of the home page you will see links to our other publications, such as Gasparilla Island Magazine, the Visitor’s Guide and our island map, so make sure to check those out as well.
In the very near future we will be introducing a paywall into the mix. We will keep the pricing as reasonable as possible, and we will do our best to make it worth every penny. We hope you understand.
For now, we want you to enjoy the service without being charged, so go to bocabeacon.com and have a look around.
The primary goal of this newspaper since founder Marnie Banks put out her first edition in 1980 is to give you unbiased island news. Local journalism that reports the facts of a situation in a clear, concise manner is key. Reporting that allows the reader to draw their own sound conclusions is very important in this day and age, no matter what the topic is. We have a small staff – less than 10 people, in fact – and each and every one of us are dedicated to Gasparilla Island and the people who live here. We do everything in our power to make sure you are provided with the tools you need to understand the issues, to learn about our history and to appreciate every aspect of our unique little piece of Southwest Florida.
If you have any ideas that you think would make it more interesting or newsworthy, please email Editor Marcy Shortuse at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always looking for new ideas and input from the community.