Editor’s Note: New Year, New Theme!

Welcome to the whiz bang new layout of!

How are your New Year’s resolutions going? One that I made a few years ago was to liven up and refresh the website. Better late than never, so I am officially counting it as a completed 2017 resolution!

Back in 2009, started as an extension of community meeting minutes. It wasn’t much, basically a textual repository. As interest and traffic grew, it morphed into full-featured blog with news articles, photos, commentaries and events. That worked great until we started adding so many stories that it became tough to organize in just linear stream of posts.

many of you told us that articles moved so quickly down the site that you missed stories (and could never find them again). With the new THEME, it will be much easier to browse the site while deep diving into specific subjects without having to scroll through endless pages of posts.

The new grid layout is easier to skim and includes lots of new features, many that are specifically designed for mobile phones and tablets (now 60% of our traffic). I won’t bore you with the laundry list here, but take a look around when you get a chance.

The grid layout gives us the chance to experiment with a little advertising and you will see that appearing on the site in the next few weeks. I’ve talked in previous Editor’s Notes about how needs to become self-sustaining to continue long-term. We are close to even now through our supportive patrons and contributors. With advertising, my main goal is not to distract from the original content on the site, nor to make it too annoying for readers.

The main layout is now live, but it is still a work in progress so thank you for your patience over the next few weeks as we tweak some things and fix some of the inevitable formatting problems. And yes, I’m working on some of the strange colors!

I most wanted to keep the community feel that makes special. We’re sticking with our recognizable logo, large typefaces, the community calendar and most importantly, all the same content you have come to expect. In case you’re wondering, all the past 8 years of posts continue to be available in the archives.

One area of the old site that we have retired is the Forum. I originally thought that having a direct way for readers to post would be useful, other than through the comments. Your feedback was clear. It was too confusing to go back and forth between the forum and the main site.

Thank you to all the supporters who have contributed to and our loyal patrons and sponsors who have helped take the site to the next level. Assistant Editor Conor Finley has been vital in keeping things going and we have a tremendous group of freelancers and volunteers for which I am so very grateful.

Even better, there are some interesting things in the works that will come to fruition this year. I always seem to have more ideas than time. For now, I will leave it there and get back to work.

Please let us know what you think in the comments below and you’re always welcome to email us directly at

Thanks again for all your support.
Matt Conti, Editor

While you’re here …we have a small favor to ask. More people than ever are reading but we need your help making ends meet. Advertising doesn’t bring in enough to pay for reporting or editorial work. Keeping this website going takes a lot of time, money and hard work. But we do it because we believe community news is important – and we think you do too. If everyone who reads this site, who likes it, puts in a bit to pay for it, then our future would be much more secure.

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6 Replies to “Editor’s Note: New Year, New Theme!

  1. Matt, the North End neighborhood owes you a huge debt of gratitude for all your efforts.
    All the neighborhoods of Boston are under siege from uncontrolled and inappropriate development. The people who actually live in the neighborhoods are often overlooked and their needs ignored. Forums like this web site help keep us connected. Thank you.

  2. Matt:
    You are doing and have done an absolutely amazing job. I would guess that most people in the North End, including myself, look forward each day to keeping in touch with our neighbors through reading and seeing your awesome photos on Thank you, Thank you.

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