It’s Lookout’s third birthday and we are celebrating it with you with our redesigned website. We’ve talked with many of you over our more than a thousand days of publishing, and gotten lots of great feedback — and ideas for making Lookout better and better. We’ve listened, and after a few months of transition – tech transitions are mind-bogglingly detailed – we’re glad to present the new updated Lookout Santa Cruz.
It looks like us – and one of the best compliments a reader recently gave us is that “Lookout feels like Santa Cruz.” It’s still highly visual from top to bottom, showcasing the images of the places and the people who make up Santa Cruz County. Now, we’ve made it easier to find the dozens of stories that roll through Lookout each month. We’ve made it easier to scroll through our content to find the stories you want to read and have sorted the many pieces we report and write into easier-to-navigate sections as you read us on your phone (60% of you do) or a computer.
Let us give you a quick tour, first on your computer.
You’ll see our mission statement now prominently displayed on the top of every page: We look out for Santa Cruz County and you. Community betterment has always been core for us, and this mission statement sums it up succinctly.
To the right, members and all registered users will see My Account, if you are signed in. If not, you’ll see the Sign In button. Follow that link to get quick access. (If you’ve been signed in to our website previously, your same email and password information will work on the new site.)
If you’re not a member, the Become A Member button makes signing up easy.
Immediately below the Become a Member button, you will find links to frequently visited pages: our events calendar, job board, student engagement curriculum for educators and options on how to advertise in Lookout.
If you are having any trouble with logging in, or have questions about your membership please reach out to email@example.com
Just below that, we’ve laid out all we offer with a couple of clicks.
At Lookout, we pride ourselves on doing three things for you, and you now see those prominently displayed.
First, and primarily, we’re a community newspaper that happens to be digital. So Get The News surveys all the news in one place.
Just click on Get The News and you can easily find our top section, special ongoing sections like Changing Santa Cruz, and each of our correspondents.
Second, Enjoy Santa Cruz County is our expanding section on fully participating in this wonderful place. Top of the list: our fast-growing and well-used entertainment and community calendar. If you haven’t used it, try it out. Here you’ll also find dozens of guides, and those we’ll be adding over the next year. Puzzle finders, find your new page here – and you can expect new kinds of puzzles to be added soon. And the Lookout Job Board, offering the latest in local jobs.
Third, we aim to help build a better community on our site, in forums and working with many civic and media partners. Build Community is where you’ll find key parts of Lookout:
- Our Community Voices opinion section featuring fresh ideas from your fellow citizens about how to make life better here.
- Our Member Center, with latest events and surprise perks offered exclusively for members.
- Lookout in the Classroom, our major ongoing effort at bringing the news to students.
- Our Civic Partners program, which gives back to top nonprofits in the county.
- Our Marketing Partners work, showcasing local goods and services.
Then, the link to our hugely popular newsletters. We’ve now got seven of them. You know the writers: Lily Belli, Wallace Baine and Christopher Neely, offering you the latest news on food, culture and politics, respectively, and Will McCahill waking you up with Morning Lookout and Max Chun assembling the quick-read Lookout PM. Sign up for the newsletters you are missing.
Here, too, sign up for our news alerts, if you haven’t, keeping you up to date on the big local stories of the day.
Below that, you’ll see something new, Trending Topics. These will change with the most popular stories of the moment. You’ll find the new navigation and Trending Topics bar on every page.
And now just scroll down the page. You’ll see more of the Latest News, along with sections for Education, Food or Politics and Policy and all the other topics covered under Get The News, all showing you at a glance more of what correspondents produce every day.
You’ll also find our Marketing Partners’ advertising, including their own storytelling in Promoted Content. All of our dozens of Marketing Partners are local. We feature and support business. Please support them and us.
Don’t forget the “footer” at the bottom of our home page and all pages. There, you’ll find quick links about all of us who work at Lookout, how to contact us and the basics on membership, advertising, newsletters as well.
Now, quickly, take a look at our new section pages, where you are spending increasing time.
Take the new Education page, as an example. Here, as usual, you’ll find our latest stories. Now below those, you’ll find the new packaging of stories, a block of UC Santa Cruz stories here, or others, to come on K-12 and Cabrillo College. You’ll find that better packaging, like that, on all the section pages on Lookout.
On your phone or tablet, you’ll find a similar, improved experience. At the top, you’ll see our visual carousel of top stories. Just touch the bubble below to scroll left or right. Below, you’ll just scroll through the latest news, and find our new sections as well.
We offer a special thanks to Ashley Harmon, our senior director of audience partnerships, who has led us fearlessly through the changes. And to the crew at Newspack, the news company-oriented part of WordPress, which has worked around the clock to make the new site work for you. Kudos to Joe Boydston, who has led the team there. They care about the big picture, and the details, key to this or any venture. And we want to thank Royce Martin and the crew behind him at the Los Angeles Times, whose tech has powered Lookout from (pre)launch on. They have been great partners in Lookout’s infancy and we look forward to continuing other parts of our partnership with the Times.
While we have double- and triple-checked everything in this big transition, we expect you will find a few glitches. Please let us know anything that’s askew – or anything you are having trouble locating – at firstname.lastname@example.org.