Hard News by Russell Brown


Announcing: Public Address System!

I mentioned at the beginning of the week that we had something new in the works for you. Well, this is it: Public Address System, a community site designed to complement the one you're reading right now.

We've been soft-launching the site over the last couple of days and this morning we're fully public, so please, pop on over, register and enjoy. The warmest thanks are due to our developers, Matt and Karl at CactusLab, who have the ability to get what I'm on about, point out to me when I'm wrong and just make it happen.

When you visit their website (check out the clever little Halloween remix they did with style sheets) you'll see how busy they've been this year, so I'm very appreciative of the attention my little job has had in the past couple of weeks. (Oh, and I'm also loving that little Google-style "beta" note Matt's put on the new masthead.)

Anyway, a little about what's on the site:

The Public Address Café and Forum: Yes, finally, comments - although yer standard blog comments is precisely what I'm seeking to avoid. You'll need to register to post, our preference is for people to register and post under real names, and we will be moderating for quality. I'm keen to expand the pool of people engaged in online discussion and I think an atmosphere of respect is vital to that aim. For the time being, only our bloggers will be able to launch new topics, but I'm open to suggestions for those. As we proceed, I'll make a practice of inviting in people with knowledge and experience relevant to the question under debate. There are several topics running already, so get in there. You'll note there's also a "discuss" button at the bottom of this post.

Real Times: The Documentary Channel Blog: Which is what the title suggests. In the interests of transparency, note that its author, The Doctor, will often (but not always) be me, and that the Documentary Channel is paying us some money to appear on our site.

OurTube: A user-generated forum for New Zealand (and otherwise relevant) multimedia posted on YouTube and elsewhere. The opening crop includes Shortland Street's most famous line.

Monitor A little forum for the discussion of television. Again, feel free to add topics here.

Feeds: We've got 'em up the wazoo. There are RSS feeds for all parts of the site, down to the level of individual forum topics, and also inbound feeds from Scoop, the excellent New Zealand blog aggregator Planet of the Journals (BTW, I've been trying to contact the Journals guys as a matter of courtesy, but their email link seems to be broken), and Graham Reid's popular Music from Elsewhere. We may add more inbound feeds in future.

Public Address itself will continue to dish up good writing and opinion on a daily basis. I've conceived Public Address System as a site you can (and please do) visit throughout the day. Anyway, that'll do for now. We're very proud of our new baby and we trust you will love it too.

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