Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Social Network

Following is a summary of all of the various social networking tools we've implemented:

This is our main Facebook page where we post major announcements.
Here we post links to all of our headline news stories and obituaries. Just a cool way to see what's going on locally via your Facebook stream.
Here we post links to up to 5 new forum posts every 30 minutes. Just another way to keep up with what's going on via your Facebook stream.

This is our main twitter feed where we post bulletins, our latest headline news stories, the latest obituaries, and new posts from the Life in Southern Maryland Forum.
As with the Facebook Forum feed, here we post links to up to 5 new forum posts every 30 minutes. Just another way to keep up with what's going on via your Twitter stream.

Documents on Scribd:

Here we post digital copies of the County Times and Calvert Gazette newspapers, as well as supporting docs for news stories and other public document of interest to our readers.

Documents on Issuu:

Here we post digital copies of the County Times and Calvert Gazette newspapers, as well as supporting docs for news stories and other public document of interest to our readers. Pretty much the same as what is on Scribd.

Photos on Flickr:

Here we post interesting news photos as they come in to our news desk, even if we don't use them in a headline news story. There is also an extensive collection of photos from our photographers and our readers at

Videos on Youtube:

We don't produce a lot of videos, but when we do, they'll be on our Youtube channel.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tide Reports Fixed!

The Tides Reports in the weather reports have now been fixed.

There is also a shortcut for weather: instead of (Why spend your life typing?)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

All New Southern Maryland—This is Living Site

On Tuesday, March 29, 2011 we launched the third generation internet presence for the Southern Maryland—This is Living magazine.

In addition to the visual enhancements, there are many functional changes:
  • Articles are now categorized.  So, for example, you can now view a page of all articles about local people or historic places.
  • There is a RSS feed for the entire site, as well as individual feeds for each category (as mentioned above).
  • Each article employs social networking links.  Share your favorite stories on Facebook and Twitter.
  • You can now comment on any story.  Thank the writers or add additional details to the story.
  • A widget in the right column shows you the most recent stories and which stories are most popular with other readers.
  • The sponsors, who are instrumental to making the magazine possible, are now high-lighted throughout the site via the Featured Sponsor box.
Please note, if you were linking to a page on the old site that all page addresses (URLs) have changed.  All files were moved to the /archive/ directory.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused anyone.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Update to Announcements

I have just completed several updates to the Announcements, mainly for the Obituaries and Weddings:

— The menu of other announcement sections no longer uses a drop-down menu.  It is now a horizontal text menu.

— The layout of the Obituaries and Weddings has been tweaked to make the information flow better and to improve the aesthetic appearance.

— The RSS feeds for the Obituaries and Weddings have been upgraded so they pass the RSS validator.  The Obituaries feed now also include the photo where present.

— There is now a mobile version of the Obituaries at . It has been tested mainly with an iPhone.  Feedback is welcome from users of other SmartPhones.

— Readers can now leave messages of condolence in the Obituaries.  You can use your login from Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, Disqus, or post as a guest.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Classifieds Accepting Credit Cards Again is accepting credit cards once again. An automated system update early this morning broke our capability to process cards. All is operation as of approximately 2:00 p.m. Friday.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

somd-centric Twitter List

We've assembled a list on Twitter for all non-commercial Southern Maryland-related tweeters (or is that twitters?) to make it easy to get a somd-centric view of what's going on in the tri-county area. The link is:

If we missed your group/school/church/agency/team/etc's Twitter feed, please let us know by sending a note to support(at) You can see the members the list is following at

If you want to place a widget on your website that will display the latest tweets from this somd-centric list, like the one just below, visit, enter "somdcom" for the username and select the "Southern Maryland" list. When you're finished tweaking it to look the way you want, just copy the code and paste it into your page at the desired location. Now Fully Integrated with Google Services

Our Services are now fully integrated with Google's full product line.

What this change will mean for E-Mail users:

* Access to many more Google products. You'll soon be able to use all the Google services that your administrator allows you to access with your account.

* New sign in option. You will be able to sign in to Google services from the regular sign-in pages (like Your username is your full email address.

* Data ownership. All data contained in Google Apps accounts continues to be owned by your organization, and is subject to's terms and conditions. Learn more

For more information, we encourage you to review the Transition Checklist. The Google Help Center also has answers to many common questions (note that you won't be able to view the full Help Center until you've been transitioned).

What is  A way for you to have full access to Google Services and a E-Mail Address.  Apply for an account at  We manually review all account applications to ensure they are only assigned to local residents and no spammers.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Some Folks Had Problems Buying Firewood This Year

A common local consumer complaint during the winter months is being shortchanged when buying firewood.  Firewood is typically sold by the cord, which is a stack of wood 4-feet by 4-feet by 8-feet.

There are a few important things to know before buying and what you can do if you think you were cheated.  Find out more here...

Headline News Twitter Feed Repaired

Our Headline News to Twitter feed is once again operational.  They changed their authentication model for the API and we had to modify our code and upgrade a module.  Thanks for your patience!

Headline News Page Updated

I have finally fixed and updated the Headline News page.  Several of the other news sources were not reporting correctly due to changes on the remote site.  New news sources have been added and those pesky funky characters that sometimes appeared in headlines are also gone.

If you have suggestions for other local news sites you would like to see presented, or any other suggestions at all about how we can better present local news, please let us know by writing to support (at)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Broken Links in Headline News Fixed

Oops! We had some broken links in in the Headline News Archives. All fixed now.