Changes on the Horizon – More to Come

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It’s been a while since we chatted. Get yourself a beverage, pull up a chair and put your feet up while we catch up.

At the start of the new year I told about some upcoming changes on anewscafe.com’s horizon – literally. Sure enough, in the last two months we redesigned the masthead and front page to focus less on the few (myself included) and more on the many.

In part it was manifested by the creation of a moving banner with scores of anewscafe.com contributors’ faces. (Some are still MIA, so if you’re a contributor who’s not on the banner, let me apologize for the error, but also let me know so we can fix it. Don’t be shy.) 

Along those lines, we discontinued The Dish to make more room for more voices. Then we proudly welcomed the ever-popular weather blog by Chris Fontana, “The Old Forecaster”, who puts his all into meteorology.

Still, to keep things fresh and lively, we continue to add new talent and features all the time. Case in point, I’m pleased  to announce a great new column that begins Friday, “Paul Shigley’s Take-Out Window.” You’ll find it on the home page in the center aisle, between Day & Night, Your Guide to North State Arts & Entertainment, and the Food section.

I won’t say too much more about the “Take-Out Window” now, because Paul will do the honors of introducing himself in his first column tomorrow. But I’m confident you’ll like and respect Paul (aka “Shig”) as much as I do, and that you’ll become fast fans of his “Take-Out Window,” too. (Yes, you may recall his “You Can Do This” outdoors columns. Same smart guy. Different column. He’ll explain.)

Also, in the coming weeks you’ll get to know yet another gifted journalist, one dedicated solely to covering hard news, something we’ve wanted to do since this site’s inception. But I’m getting ahead of myself. You’ll meet him soon enough.

We’re open to new ideas, your ideas, too. As always, we genuinely care about what you think, and what you want. We care about what pleases you, and we also care about what bugs you. We want you to feel comfortable here, and if you’re not, we hope you’ll say so.

For example, one reader complained that the contributors’ banner moved too quickly, so we slowed it down. (Better?)

And lately, some of you have suggested I write more and manage less. Point taken. The truth is, I allowed distractions to interfere with my writing. But no more. I’m back 100 percent.

And I hope with all my heart that you’ll be here with me, because your online news magazine continues to expand like everybody’s business. How big? Well, last month anewscafe.com was visited by more than 53,000 unique visitors, and received more than 2.2 million page views.

These numbers absolutely humble me, because they’re not just numbers, but human beings who log onto anewscafe.com and keep coming back for more. I never take those numbers – or any of you – for granted.

Nor do I take for granted how you – the reader, contributor and advertiser – make it possible for our team at anewscafe.com to offer you locally owned, independent journalism every day, often with multiple posts a day. (Check out the Week in Review to see the quantity of content. Pretty impressive, if I do say so myself.)

Because of you, anewscafe.com allows us to communicate with thousands of people in a meaningful, civilized way. Because of you anewscafe.com reflects the people, places, news, fun, information and events – big and small – that matter to us all. 

It’s your “we site” and we’re all in this together — all connected, all online. I’m happy to be here. I hope you are, too. Make yourself at home and stay as long as you like. I’ll be here to keep you company.

 

Independent online journalist Doni Greenberg founded what’s now known as anewscafe.com in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke of the Czech Republic. Prior to 2007 Greenberg was an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Northern California in the tiny town of Igo.

 

Doni Chamberlain
Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as anewscafe.com in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke of the Czech Republic. Chamberlain is an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, California.
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37 Responses

  1. Avatar Doug says:

    Looking forward to the changes, Doni; it sounds like it'll be even better (seems like I'll have to stay on my toes to keep up with everything!)

  2. Avatar Sharon says:

    Thank you, and thanks to everyone who makes this online magazine such an important resource for our area. I'm so grateful that this is one of your passions.

  3. Avatar Canda says:

    Doni,
    I definitely like the idea of you writing more. While living in Sand Diego, I used to go online to the RS just to read your articles. I love your writing, and look forward to seeing more, and fun to anticipate new changes and new faces!

  4. Avatar Doug Mudford says:

    Doni

    I'm happy you're writing more. I know getting a business started is a time consuming process but I missed your perspective on "things". Your recent columns on raising chickens and silicone pans are pitch perfect. I want more please.

    Doug

  5. Avatar Margaret says:

    Count me as another out of area reader (Oregon) who is very happy you'rll be writing more. I enjoy several features of the new look, but I really miss the "girlfriend humor" of the Dish. Any chance that you and Kelly might resume writing that column?

  6. Avatar Karen McGrath says:

    Doni –

    So glad to see that this wonderful community resource remains strong and continues to move forward with creative solutions and bright ideas. You and this site are an inspiration to us all. Here's to you! Karen

  7. Avatar Tom says:

    Doni,

    I am glad that you are writing more but I miss the Dish too.

  8. Avatar Chris Bennor says:

    I'd love an email (maybe daily or weekly) with links when your contributing writers update their blogs – I think I miss a lot of good stuff because I'm lazy about exploring the site on my own.

    Miss The Dish so much – maybe monthly or ad hoc?

  9. Avatar Laurie says:

    Doni,

    I also moved out of Redding and miss The Dish every Friday..

  10. Thanks for the encouragement. I'm looking forward to this next chapter, too.

    Re The Dish, it was fun while it lasted, but it won't return — at least not by the same authors. Maybe we can later recreate The Dish with guest writers.

  11. Avatar China says:

    Great!

    Please bring back the Dish. Many people I know (including myself) looked forward to this treat and miss it very much!

  12. Avatar Larry says:

    Like, like, like. Hmm…I am thinking that I spend too much time on FaceBook if that is all I can come up with.

  13. Avatar Sue says:

    Doni, I too loved the Dish, please reconsider..at least once in a while. It's wonderful how this site has expanded and I'm looking forward to all the new content that will be at my fingertips. Thanks!

  14. Avatar Uncle E says:

    I think the changes are pretty fantastic. I would include a link to your contributors on the moving banner, but that's about all. Oh, and perhaps you could get Mr. Jim and Mr. Phil to do a weekly cd review. Doesn't have to be by a local band, just what they're currently grooving to.

    2.2 million, eh? Quite the bragging rights, Doni. This little grass roots endeavor has hit the big time, and I believe it is due to the human nature of the writing in addition to the variety of the contributors. What a great example of what people can accomplish with the right…ahem…motivation and loyal friends.

    Congrats!

  15. Avatar Alan Ernesto Phillip says:

    Hi Doni,

    "We are, each of us, Angels with but one wing,
    and we can only truly fly, embracing each other…"

    I don't know who said that, but I am SO glad to finally hear all about the cool-sounding details and spring cleaning going on at my most favorite site!

    I love a variety of flavors with my food; changing up the site a bit to include more from our very varietal e-community is uncommonly altruistic and reciprocal in journalistic offerings… As my teenage daughter might say, "Wow, dad. It's, like, tribal!"

    While it was popular, I really do support the idea of morphing the 'dish' into something new that might include other "duos" or people who have fun and flare with their observations… You know who they are… So send out those RFPs and herd em' in, to your new schedule! "Yeeeee-Haaaaaaaa!!"

    Thank you so much Doni… We all love, respect and admire you and your unique work & craft. We are ever your fans. ( Heck, I can't wait to contribute again myself! 😉

  16. Avatar jacki g. says:

    Doni,

    I miss the human interest angle that made your RS columns so powerfully affecting. You found the stories that make each life unique and important, you have a gift for that. I'd love to hear more cultural/foodie commentary from Joe, in the Czech Republic. I loved the image of Joe making Valentine's Day cupcakes for his and Marie's friends there. I know he and Marie love to travel and would enjoy their take on the things they encounter, just as I enjoy Doug Cushman's Parisian contributions…(Femme de Joie is a new fave, too). The community that your vision created has expanded all of our worlds. Thank you!

  17. Avatar Adrienne jacoby says:

    LOVE THIS PLACE!!! . . . but it is a time eater. What jacki g. said in the first two sentences above? AMEN!!!

  18. Avatar Laura says:

    I hope this doesn't mean we have to send best wishes on a new adventure to Kelly? Please say it ain't so!

    I heartily concur with the wonderful enthusiasm above, I love this site and must confess to spending more time here than I probably should!

    Thank you all for the excellent work!

  19. Avatar Margaret says:

    Another Margaret, part-time Redding, part-time Oregon, looks forward to
    your new format. Good luck and best wishes to all who contribute to this
    great site.
    I look forward to it every day. Thank you for the excellent work.

  20. Avatar VCKid says:

    Steve and Kelly Brewer are both missing from the banner, and there haven't been any posts from either in a few days. Hm. No announcement, no explanation, no goodbye?

  21. Avatar Linda Gutierrez says:

    Doni,

    Really looking forward to the changes! You will keep going strong because you are A News Cafe and that is what makes it GREAT! There are many of us out here that love you and look forward to the site everyday. As you know, you have my support and dedication. Let me know if I can help in any way.

    Your Friend,

    Linda

  22. Some of you have noticed that Kelly and Steve are MIA.

    You’re right. But I didn’t address it in today’s column because I felt that their departure shouldn’t be lumped into today’s column about the site’s myriad upbeat changes.

    I’d originally scheduled the announcement about the Brewers for tomorrow.

    But because the topic’s on the table, I’ll address it now instead, earlier than I’d planned.

    Yes, it’s true. The Brewers are no longer working on the site. The thing is, the explanation about their departure is theirs to tell.

    You can find them both online at their respective blogs Pink Hollyhock and Home Front, where I’m sure they’ll speak as freely about it as they wish.

    I will remember the good times our team shared with Kelly and Steve. Everyone at anewscafe.com will miss those times. We wish the Brewers well with whatever life brings their way.

  23. Avatar Budd Hodges says:

    Doni…"Anewscafe" has always been one my faves and gets my attention for at least 30 minutes of my daily surfing the net.

    I look forward to your new changes, change is good. Yes, we can! And then comes, Yes We Did.

    Love you all, but "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

    Sincerely, Budd

  24. Avatar J. SUMMERVILLE says:

    I think you are right about discontinuing the "dish" – enjoy your writing more! Quite an accomplishment Doni – who knew? Remember when one door closes, another opens up!

  25. Avatar denice says:

    Yay! More Doni!….Please, no more "Dish" (over it)…
    Have enjoyed A News Cafe from miles away since day one.
    You Rock!

  26. Avatar Joanne Lobeski Snyde says:

    I'm here with you, and have been since the RS days.

  27. Avatar Janet Tyrrel says:

    I really enjoy reading Chris Fontana's "old forecaster" commentary on the weather.

    Am heartsick to learn Kelly won't be here anymore. Like many others, I know change is inevitable but that doesn't mean I have to like it! jt

  28. Avatar Hal Johnson says:

    "The thing is, the explanation about their departure is theirs to tell."

    Doni, why didn't they explain their departure on this
    site? Was that the Brewers' decision, or yours?

  29. Avatar Karen Whittaker says:

    Hm-m-m…

    I have enjoyed TNC (The News Cafe) since its inception. I felt for Doni, and her parting with the RSL. I was glad to hear Kelly came on board, and loved the connection between Doni and Kelly, and all the good things that transpired. My evenings are spent reading the TNC; This has been my reward after a day at work! I come home, kick off my shoes, take my bra off ( I call it my top girdle), remove jewelry, and AH-H-H-H, relax.

    I will continue to be a loyal reader of TNC. It is not up to me to specualate the changes, or judge the changes. All I hope for is that everyone will be happy with the choices made.

    As I continue to read ANC each evening, I will also continue to read the BLOGS of Kelly and her husband Steve. I wish everyone the best in life!

    I do hope, however, there is a fair and reasonable explaination as to why these new events are happening. I truly hope it is NOT because of any turmoil…

    I have a favorite poem from Robert Louis Stevenson:

    A Goodly Life~~

    To be honest, to be kind-to earn a

    little and to spend less, to make,

    upon the whole, a family happier for

    His presence-to keep a few good friends.

    Best regards to all,

    Karen Whitaker

  30. Avatar LR Watson says:

    Without the Brewers the Cafe is definitely going to be a few fries short of a Happy Meal.

  31. Avatar Alan Ernesto Phillip says:

    ¡Felicidades Doni!

    You have always stood for something I find important:
    honoring positive and healthy connections in our varied lives and families.

    Thanks for the new designs, giving us Paul Shigley's cool 'Take Out' and for the links to keep up with the Brewers. I (like most, I'm sure) am thoroughly delighted with what you're cooking up these days! You… are one honorable, class-act, lady!!

    With Love and Lots of Good Thoughts,

    Saludos y siempre a su servicio,

    Alan

  32. Avatar pmarshall says:

    Doni, I will miss Kelly, but I know there has to be changes now and then. I missed you when you left the R/S, but now you are into other things. Glad the News Cafe is doing so well. You are a good writer, so looking forward to your "column". While The Dish" was OK, maybe not my favorite.

  33. Avatar LJ says:

    Changes at anewscafe.com will take a short adjustment, but will be fine and can't wait to see what is ahead for you!!!

    KYCU………LJ

  34. Avatar Emma S says:

    Thks for update. One suggestion – I enjoy reading Ed White's fitness columns … especially on Monday as a motivator to get me starting the week right exercising. Any chance you can have a Monday fitness column (or maybe you do and I just miss them).

  35. Avatar Michele says:

    The changes sound great, Doni! (And, frankly, The Dish was a little too contrived for my taste.) I look forward to the new additions and to more writing from you.