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Posted on Mon, Jul 27, 2009 : 9 a.m.

Welcome to; watch our tutorial on how to use the site

By Tony Dearing

Watch the video tutorial by clicking here

Welcome to

After all the planning, input and speculation, we’re glad to be live, and we thank you for visiting our site.

We’re in our infancy, but we have great aspirations. We want to be the easiest and most comprehensive way for you to get local news and advertising. We want to be your connection to the community and everything about it that makes Ann Arbor such a great place to live.

In fact, we’ve said from the beginning that we are of, by and for the community. The site we launched today was shaped by your input. And while we’re still very much in beta, we promise to continue to involve the community in every way as we grow and develop.

Everything we do here starts with a commitment to local news. We have a staff of trained, professional journalists out pounding the pavement. You’ll find their coverage by clicking on news topics on the right-hand side of our home page, such as Government, Education, Crime or Business Review.

We’re also proud to have hired a stable of talented, experienced sports reporters to cover everything from Michigan football to high school athletics. You’ll find that by clicking on our topics as well.

Whether in news or sports, our reporters have traditional journalistic skills - but they also know how to use the tools of new media to offer immediacy and constant updates. Their work is complemented by contributions and conversation from the community.

Here at, we want you to have a good experience when you visit us. Our goal is a site that’s intuitive and easy to use. We invite you to watch our tutorial to learn your way around the site. And we welcome your feedback. Tell us what you think by sending us an e-mail or by commenting directly on this post.

And while we’re glad to have you here on our site, and hope you’ll visit often, don’t forget that we also offer newsletters, which you can sign up for by clicking here. We’ll also be publishing a newspaper every Thursday and Sunday. Our first print edition will appear this Sunday, July 26.

Online or in print, we want to be your complete source of local news, advertising and community connection. Ann Arbor is an ideal place to innovate. The future of local journalism is being shaped here, and we thank you for joining us in this adventure.



Tue, Sep 10, 2013 : 11:59 a.m.

I find it unprofessional at best, and more realistically petulant and vindictive, to place me on some kind of required editor approval for all my comments because I mentioned in multiple posts as I struggled to find out why my posts were being removed (this was on the article about MLive taking over). It's either those chronicle mentions, or perhaps my stating someone's phone number and email address in response to yet another post that anonymous commenting shouldn't be allowed. However, that post was removed and I did NOT get put on a "your post will appear after editorial review" list until hours later, when I saw that every post in which I mentioned the chronicle was removed and I was posting segments of the web address to see if some kind of automatic keyword detection system was removing my posts as opposed to being consciously, manually deleted by people. I'd like for (or MLive) staff to reconsider this atrocious approach to what was obviously a well-intentioned effort to ascertain the reason for the multiple deletions. You guys know this is ridiculous.


Wed, Aug 21, 2013 : 11:08 a.m.

The rollback pop up adds from the upper right corner are popping up more often and are very annoying. They block the main text and often require a close click. I'm surprised there aren't more complaints about this. It makes me not want to support the company sponsoring the ad.


Thu, Apr 25, 2013 : 11:10 a.m.

Umm... Anyone watching the store today? Top headline is UM bball win over Fla in March. Really? Some human intervention might be warranted.


Thu, Apr 25, 2013 : 11:19 a.m.

Of course, as soon as I posted this, the problem was fixed. At first I thought it was my cache, but I refreshed several times and the bball headline remained. The rest of the stories were current. Very strange.


Wed, Apr 3, 2013 : 5:52 p.m.

When I click on the "Real Estate" section, all I get is a listing of homes for sale. Where is the aggregate page for all "Real Estate" NEWS stories? Sorry if I've missed it somewhere.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:26 p.m.

Would you ever consider an Editor's Notes button along with commenting options? It gets tiring reading comments to find a large percentage of them offering corrections to articles.


Sun, Feb 24, 2013 : 12:56 p.m.

I see that you do not post the Perspective opinion (pro vs con) online that is part of the delivered newspaper. Why not?


Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 4:10 a.m.

Tony Dearing claimed in 2009 (in this comment section) that there would be a mobile version of developed. It's now 2013, and a significant percentage of internet traffic comes from mobile devices but there is still no good way to read the local news from a smartphone. Any plans to fix that?


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 5:02 p.m.

I'm not able to enter any profile information. Is it just me, or is that function turned off?

Kyle Mattson

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 5:35 p.m.

Hi AdmiralMoose. You're correct that the profile functionality is currently disabled. This was done so our dev team could work on making larger updates to the commenting system. Please let me know if you have any other questions.


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 2:14 p.m.

I was looking for a recipe. Under recipes: baking it is showing only beverages! How strange!


Wed, Nov 28, 2012 : 8:16 a.m.

I really enjoy Head In The Clouds. It is the one advantage you have over a paper newspaper. It always has some real finds across the Web. Always surprising. Always full of information you can't get elsewhere. It was a little hard to find, but now I know I can search for it by name. Can I sign on to get it sent to my mailbox each new time? You should publicize this more as then a lot more people would know about your advantage here. Keep up the good work!

dading dont delete me bro

Tue, Sep 18, 2012 : 4:06 p.m.

since one of these latest software updates, i cannot change (or edit anything) on my profile. i like to change my icon picture once in a while. please advise. through email on file would be best.

Kyle Mattson

Tue, Sep 18, 2012 : 4:34 p.m.

Hi DDD- This is a functionality we are currently working on improving; however, we can manually update or remove a profile icon for you. I'll send you an e-mail with more information.


Thu, Sep 13, 2012 : 2:47 a.m.

How disturbing to see a political ad - with a negative slant to it, no less - overwhelm your home page. This would never have been allowed back in the day when a 'newspaper' delivered the news on the front page, editorials where everyone knew it was an opinion piece and left the cartoons to the funny pages. Another new low.


Thu, Sep 13, 2012 : 2:28 a.m.

I find the yellow anti-Debbie Stabenow ads splashed all over the homepage extremely distracting and ugly in tone. I get that you can sell any kind of ads you want, but by my count there are 4 -- no 5 -- separate ads, completely surrounding the content. Please review your political ad acceptance policies.

Jeffrey Willets

Thu, Sep 13, 2012 : 12:08 a.m.

Today, September 12th, as I was about to look at the site, I spotted several ads denigrating Debbie Stabenow... How sad that you folks take money from one particular side of the political arena and then put it on your site.. I, for one, will not read your paper nor visit your site again... I'll tell others to do the same.."Bring back the REAL Ann Arbor News."


Tue, Aug 21, 2012 : 6:14 p.m.

What happened to the weather? I look at it everyday and now you removed it from your front page? Why shouldn't we see the weather?

Julie Baker

Tue, Aug 21, 2012 : 6:34 p.m.

Hi TooT, we did just recently revamp our weather page. You can now find the weather on the right-hand side of the homepage, right above the box that says "Follow Us." Thanks for reading.


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 3:20 a.m.

Hey AnnArbor.con. Do me a favor this fall. How about doping an article where us readers can send in our stories about haunted homes and apartments. I for one live in a 90 year old house in Ypsi and have a haunting. would love to hear from others about their haunted homes. Thank you.

Laura Rayer

Tue, Jul 17, 2012 : 2:17 a.m.

I recently submitted an ad in the A2 News and for an estate sale, but can't seem to locate it on-line! Nothing is listed under garage sales and there is no listings for estate sales at all!!!


Fri, May 18, 2012 : 4:26 p.m.

So glad you're including Marcia Lyons column online. Nice not to have to search through the whole site to find her.

Tony Dearing

Fri, May 18, 2012 : 6:18 p.m.

Thanks for the feedback. We're glad you like this, and we plan to continue to post the Marcia Lyons column online, so you can continue to enjoy it.

Charles Weaver

Mon, Apr 23, 2012 : 8:24 p.m.

The Paul Wiener column you published ths week is the same as last week's.


Sun, Apr 22, 2012 : 12:52 a.m.

Broken link. On this page: there is a section at the bottom of the page with links leading to other Community Wall articles. The header is "Latest Stories in Community Wall" and the words "Community Wall" are hotlinked to a 404 page ( And, for the record, you should also be compatible with Chrome!


Sun, Apr 22, 2012 : 12:54 a.m.

Sorry, it was more complicated than that. There's a redir or something. Anyway ... please go look.

Sara Christensen

Wed, Apr 4, 2012 : 4:55 p.m. is not Google Chrome compatible. If one uses the Google Chrome browser, one cannot see or make comments.

E Claire

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 9:35 p.m.

just got my account to post and had my first post removed. Nothing in that post was against your guidelines. How about putting some info on this site on how to delete an account. I want mine deleted.


Sat, Feb 4, 2012 : 3:18 p.m.

The format of this new website is awful...too many clicks to get to anything I want the news. Time to stop reading the website


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 11:43 a.m.

I like the new large font style of the weather page.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 1:43 a.m.

It would be very useful to include at the top of the page the time when the current page was updated, as almost all online papers do.


Thu, Dec 29, 2011 : 10:58 p.m.

It also tells me my bio is empty when I scroll over my own icon, but I filled one out and saved it. Any suggestions?


Thu, Dec 29, 2011 : 10:38 p.m.

*just NOT very smoothly set up


Thu, Dec 29, 2011 : 10:23 p.m.

The personal profile sections are not the best. For instance it keeps telling me my profile is 40% done but I can't see where to add additional info. Also I can't tell where to go to read peoples full bio. The pop up will show some of it but if its longer it runs out and I can't find it on their profile. Just very smoothly set up and a bit difficult to navigate.


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 12:37 a.m.

Is it possible to put a calendar one the front page of how many days it has been since ohio beat Michigan? That would be great to see. thx!

David Fugenschuh

Thu, Aug 18, 2011 : 1:51 p.m.

Do you have an app being devoloped for the iphone or android?


Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 2:42 p.m.

First, I want to say that I really like the site and the information contained therein. I prefer it to the printed paper. However, I find the site almost unusable because of the maddeningly slow load times. Whether viewing the site at work (on a T1 Internet connection) or at home (on a Comcast high speed Internet connection) and whether viewing in Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer, the load times for pages on the site are excruciatingly slow. Is there any way to speed up the load times? I often wonder if it's the ads or perhaps the comments. If the latter, could the comments be loaded only on request rather than by default? Thanks for your consideration.

Tom Dodd

Mon, Jul 25, 2011 : 7:55 p.m.

Every Monday my geezer group goes over the week's news, but it appears they don't all get the same version from Is there really more than one edition of the Ypsilanti Community section? The Young Depot Town Merchants story did not appear in many of them. Instead, there was a story about Girl Scouts.

Steve Pepple

Tue, Jul 26, 2011 : 11:43 a.m.

We print three separate editions of the Community Focus section each week - one for the Ann Arbor area, one for the Saline area and one for the Ypsilanti area. There is only one version for each of those areas. I suspect some of your friends live outside the distribution area for the Ypsilanti edition and get either the Saline or Ann Arbor edition of Community Focus. The header at the top of the front page of the section is marked by community. Hope this helps.

Tex Treeder

Tue, Jul 19, 2011 : 7:32 p.m.

Minor technical glitch. My profile constantly shows a prompt to "Complete Your Profile." It is, as far as I can tell. I notice the occasional advertisements or spam on the Community Wall disguised as posts, sometimes repeated 3 or 4 times over. The options to flag the post are "offensive or objectionable" or "copyright infringement." How about a spam/fake posting option?

Always Amazed

Fri, Jul 15, 2011 : 3:29 p.m.

RE: The story on Veritas Christi High School I have watched the formation and opening of this school with great interest, given that I have an older son with Asperger's who might have benefited from a smaller educational environment during his high school years. Thus, I read of the "reorganization" of the school with mixed feelings. If it is true that the school closed in June, then the story written is inaccurate and misleading. Your reporter should have gotten his/her facts straight. A "reorganization" into a faith-based school is not surprising given Mr. Nye's original intent when he first conceived of an alternative high school and named it Veritas Christi. Somewhere along the line he learned that kids with Asperger's might be a target population, and he went with that model despite his original goal. He may have provided a good experience for the few 9th graders he enrolled this year; however, his lack of business acumen led to his downfall. And more importantly, kids with Asperger's don't respond well to change; and these 9 kids will be enrolled elsewhere with another transition in friends, teachers, environment and routine. Your reporter clearly slanted this story in the way that Mr. Nye wished it to be; his "experiment" is over; the building must be sold; and a "reorganization" into a faith-based school is likely an impossibility. Such disappointing journalism!

Elaine F. Owsley

Mon, Jun 13, 2011 : 12:17 p.m.

There is something unsettling about the Arbor Farms "Fresh, Organic" ad in the middle of the obits. Couldn't it move off to the side?

Larry Michalski

Thu, May 26, 2011 : 1:57 a.m.

You posted a link to a website that has a petition to recall Gov. Rick Snyder. YOU CANNOT SIGN an ONLINE PETITION for a recall! All recalls have to be signed ON PAPER! If you have signed this petition or knows someone who has, your signature is NOT VALID. Please pass this along to the people that you know who may have signed this. This site was probably set up by the Snyder campaign to fool the public and to take signatures away. Please remove this link and place a retraction to this article!


Sat, May 21, 2011 : 12:56 p.m.

Some frustrations I have with this site: - The sections in the newsprint edition don't match the electronic version. For example, the newsprint version has a section called, "Food & Homes." When I saw an article I liked in that section of the newsprint, I went to the electronic version to read it there and could not even find that section. - Search feature must not be very robust because I typed in the exact title of an article in the newsprint version and it didn't come up in the electronic version. The story was titled, "Green tax exemptions proposed for homes."

Kristina Birk

Mon, Apr 25, 2011 : 8:55 p.m.

Do my eyes deceive me, or is the year an article is posted really not visible? I had looked up some old news on the site to forward to someone, and one of the things were were trying to find out is when a certain event had happened in the past two years. I looked all over the article, but couldn't find the year. Under the headline of each posting, the day of the week, month, date, and time are all visible, but curiously, the year is excluded (example: Posted: Mon Jul 27, 9 a.m.). Luckily, the year is shown when a comment is posted and the article we were looking at had a few comments, but if there had been no comments we'd have been scratching our heads. It is an odd bit of info to exclude from the initial article posting (and makes this site lose any value as a news archive).


Mon, Apr 4, 2011 : 11:55 a.m.

Still waiting on the mobile version (see post in Oct 2009). is one of the slower websites on mobile devices (smartphone, iPad, etc...), almost to the point of unusable at times. I try to use the RSS feed, but this typically only gives a few sentences. Your local competition (Det News and Free Press) have both updated their mobile sites recently and are much better from a usability perspective. I would prefer to read, but the lack of a mobile site makes that very difficult at times. Please provide an update on your plans for mobile devices.

Patty Bradley

Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 1:39 p.m.

I would love to have an RSS feed just for news articles. I use your RSS feed every day, but don't enjoy having to scroll through all the sports articles and fluff like Sudoku. Thanks!

Tony Dearing

Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 2:10 p.m.

For every topic on the site, including News, there is a distinct RSS feed that includes only the content from that topic. That RSS feed can be found at the top of every topic page, but to save you the trouble of having to go look for it, here it is: <a href=""></a>


Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 3:24 p.m.

Regarding Livonia officer Nehasil killed in the line of duty ; my search of site /Nehasil returns with not found. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Shame on me if I am in error and missed it (I sure could not find it), so shame on you, for not even mentioning this tragedy in the Ann Arbor headlines or at least somewhere on the front page. Perhaps you didn't post it because it did not occur inside this city? I say so what; you're in the business of reporting NEWS.

Tony Dearing

Mon, Jan 24, 2011 : 9:03 p.m.

McFly, yes we are in the business of reporting news, although our mission is to cover news here in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County. We understand there are many important stories that happen elsewhere in Michigan every day, and there are several news sites, including MLive, whose mission it is to cover statewide news, and they do an excellent job of it. For us to be successful, we have to understand our mission and focus on that.

Susan Scott Morales, MSW

Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 8:03 a.m.

How about local crimes being given its own section instead of tucked in to News? I agree that News needs more break outs.

Ken Fink

Mon, Dec 27, 2010 : 9:22 a.m.

Every article that references a place should have a link to a map. Otherwise you're not really using the web version to it's full advantage.


Wed, Dec 15, 2010 : 3:56 p.m.

I am wondering if it is possible for you to add to the link of "Share this article". is a Chinese version of facebook. Many students and graduate students from China, Taiwan and Singapore are using it. It will make sharing an article from a lot easier if we can have the choice there. Thank you.


Wed, Dec 15, 2010 : 10:29 a.m.

I just spent a lot of time in the restaurant section... and have this comment... if you have any concerns about the appeal of this site and getting visitors to come back, speed up page loading! It is unacceptable to wait 5-10 seconds for a restaurant page to come up using a Comcast broadband connection. Painful.


Mon, Dec 6, 2010 : 12:01 p.m.

Could someone please, please do a write-up on where to get Christmas trees locally? We used to buy ours at Fresh Seasons but they are now closed. We're also wondering who/where we could get small potted trees etc. instead of a cut one, or even who has the nicest faux trees :O) *poke-poke*


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 3:20 p.m.

Nice generic, unbranded email Blast 3@3. I hope the future content remains this rich... lost parrots to stolen elephant paintings. Good stuff.


Wed, Nov 10, 2010 : 11:20 a.m.

The moderation on this site is ridiculous. Repeatedly, the mods here have allowed some here to attack folks w/labels like "hater" in the sports comments, but whenever a rebuttal is posted, regardless of how benign it is, they get yanked. I just had that happen, again, in the Danny Hope article. A couple of people there made direct comments regarding my comment. I'm a big boy, I can handle that. However, when I responded, it got pulled. My response was measured and never attacked the individual. I simply pointed out that IMO his opinion was wrong and said that. I also provided some information proving it, IMO. Yanking it was total BS.


Wed, Nov 3, 2010 : 6:30 p.m.

And while I'm in my "rant" mode; I want to yell at you about the so-called "complete election coverage" on this site. When one goes to that page, instead of the complete election outcomes expected, one finds a long but exceedingly incomplete list of links to individual races! Once again, how hard could it be to simply type, on a single web page, the outcomes of all the races/ballot issues within the Ann Arbor area? Or even the entire county? Of course, you might have had to first find out what those ballot issues were (see my previous rant!)


Wed, Nov 3, 2010 : 6:18 p.m.

I am seriously bothered by quality of research and/or reportage on this website! Before the Nov. 2nd elections, I tried to see a copy of the actual ballot to be used in Ann Arbor. Initially, I was delighted to find that was offering this. My delight changed to confusion when the site offered me a city choice between Ann Arbor and "Ann Arbor School District"! My confusion was furthered when, having printed out both ballots, I found them to be different in many ways. The AAPS version was longer by 4 pages (showing the contests for the AADL board seats, for instance), but left out the mayoral race, of all things! Neither version of the ballot even mentioned the district courts' elections, and neither mentioned any of the 3 proposals!!! How difficult would it have been to look at an actual (absentee would do) ballot first? A journalism student presenting such inadequate research for a simple assignment would never get a passing grade from me; surely you could have done better in the many months you had?

Terry Redding

Sun, Oct 31, 2010 : 3:19 p.m.

Tony, I've definitely grown tired of the viciousness of the site, especially concerning politics. My solution has been to only read posts from people with the integrity to post under their own name. If you want to denigrate someone and cast aspersions at least do so in a manner that you would be willing to talk with your mother or your neighbor, not like some coward in the night (or on the web.) When are we going to be able to actually filter those posters that we no longer want to read? Talk about a feature that would drive subscriptions! Another solution would be to go the way of the Wall Street Journal. When you read comments there you can filter on "Subscribers". While the subscribers can still use pseudonyms, at least you know they paid their money for the right.


Tue, Oct 12, 2010 : 6:38 p.m.

I'm not sure where I'm supposed to post this comment,so I hope this is okay. I am wondering what has happened to reporting about the Lincoln School Board Meetings. I used to check the education links every Tuesday after a meeting to see what happened. There has been nothing posted in many weeks. This is one of the few places left for us to read news about our community and now that is gone!

Some Guy in 734

Mon, Oct 11, 2010 : 2:17 p.m.

I'm not sure if this is the best place, however, I went to the "Contact Us" link on the footer, followed the link for "feedback on the site", and ended up here. If I've posted this in the wrong spot, please move it (and while you're at it, correct the link that got me here). Today there's a story about a tragic car crash that killed a pedestrian. When I followed the link in my 3 @ 3 email, the first thing I see in the story is a picture of the writer, smiling brightly back at me. I've noticed versions of this on the site before, and it just seems inappropriate to me. Sometimes there will be a story about a sex crime, and boom, there's that story's writer, beaming like crazy. Or, depending on which writer it is, the picture may be verging closer to a leer. Is there any way to take more somber pictures of the writers, and swap those in as necessary? I mean, even the Jenny Jones show was able to determine when it was appropriate to use their sad, tinkly-piano version of the theme tune going into commercial.

Snarf Oscar Boondoggle

Thu, Oct 7, 2010 : 6:38 p.m.

umm, my opoin piece was double-posted.. adn there seems no ways to change that. i did one preview and one post.. but it psoested twice by some auto-magic. email me directins ohow to delete one of them if i t should ever happen agian. and, plse delete one of tehem before ther are two sets of commenst. 'k, tnx.

Bob W

Sat, Oct 2, 2010 : 5:34 a.m.

Have you looked at the new eVersion of the Detroit News? Take a look, v-e-r-y nicely done. I wish my AA News were like it.. seriously. Easy navigation, a great blend of technology and familiar format of a newspaper.


Sat, Sep 25, 2010 : 2:06 p.m.

Wanted to read the story about Ypsilanti Township considers requiring pit bull owners to have their pets sterilized but get a message telling me I don't have permission to view the article.


Tue, Sep 14, 2010 : 6:01 a.m.

Folks, the "related articles" section at the bottom of each piece is a bit strange. It seems it picks up "related articles" through some kind of key word search, but the results often don't make sense and are, in some cases, distracting and confusing. An example today is the article about the new WISD school busing effort. The "related article" is a piece about the WISD aide accused of abusing a kid. Not really related to bussing in any manner. And, sometimes the "related article" is SO unrelated or ironic that the humor is distracting. The other problem I see is that, when the "related article" section includes some head shot of someone, folks might believe that's a picture of whoever the current article was about. Bottom line, this function might best be left to a person instead of a couple of lines of code.


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 9:01 p.m.

Does anybody know how to sort when searching for specific topics by date?

Duane Kirking

Mon, Sep 6, 2010 : 9:23 p.m.

I was disappointed to see that has fallen victim to the same temptation the television news programs have succumbed to: using a "grabber" to pull you in even though the item is hardly worthy of the "breaking news" or similar label it has received. While I am as pleased as anyone that the Michigan football team is confident and upbeat, I don't consider it BREAKING NEWS such that I need to quickly jump from my work to your website to see if there is some angle to this story that I need to know at this very moment.


Fri, Aug 27, 2010 : 8:57 a.m.

OK, I have a complaint to lodge. I understand that doesn't want to allow the comments section of their articles to degrade into the kind of free-for-all that is seen on many other websites, so some comments are removed because they violate a "code of conduct." This is all well and good, but as a news organization, you of all people should understand the importance of freedom of speech. I completely agree that any racist, inflammatory, or downright ridiculous comments should be removed, but I commented moments ago on the story of a mountain biker being injured in Dexter (, imploring the guilty party to turn himself in, and I see now that Stefanie Murray has removed my comment, citing: "Several off-topic comments and others violating our conversation guidelines were removed. Again, we don't allow commenters to blame the victim in serious accident stories such as this." My comment was not off-topic, and I didn't blame the victim. Removal of comments by your readers is a necessary evil, but I cannot stress enough how important it is to be judicious in its application. This is censorship after all, and even when it is for the greater good, that kind of power can easily be abused.

Carol Burgener

Tue, Aug 24, 2010 : 8:46 p.m.

The new 3@3 email is a great idea and I appreciate it. Are there still plans for a mobile site? It would be great for those who, like me, read all their news on a mobile device.


Wed, Aug 4, 2010 : 11:05 p.m.

Oh look, it's linking all of them. Great.


Wed, Aug 4, 2010 : 11:03 p.m.

I removed permissions for to access my facebook info (through facebook) - it would be nice if the one post I made while I had permission granted would stop linking to my facebook page with my picture. Are you storing the facebook picture and link to the profile on your own site? That's not very nice. If I had know that you would link it like that, I wouldn't have allowed it to access my info.


Wed, Aug 4, 2010 : 10:26 p.m.

I have tried, honesty tried, to adjust to the new way of reporting news, but after this election, I'm done. How many layers of old news do I have to sift through to get the current results of elections? I live in Northfield Township, but I'm still very in tune with Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. Who won the mayoral primary and by how much? There isn't even a lead article about elections! How about all the other issues facing various WASHTENAW county townships? is not updated frequently enough, is not edited by anyone with a true command of the written word or knowledge of the entire community. My next message will be to the Detroit Free Press and News to start covering Washtenaw County, since I'm not getting what I need from

Kristina Birk

Tue, Jun 29, 2010 : 4:09 p.m.

You should make it more obvious when an article has been revised, especially when it is a news item produced by an staff member (as opposed to community blogger). The only indication an article has been revised is UPDATED in the headline, and a comment from the author buried with all the reader comments on the story. A viewable version history would be nice, so you could compare the content change, but I see from an earlier comment that your CMS may not allow this. At the very least revising an article calls for a postscript at the end stating what has been corrected/revised since publication. I am certain that I have seen this on other news sites. The article that inspires this comment is Since yesterday, it was expanded by at least six paragraphs (the entire section quoting Phil Volk's response to Ryan Stanton). Stanton's comment with what was changed about the article is 40th in the list! It would be much easier on the readers to put that information in the body of the article instead of making us wade through comments. Totally unrelated, the contributor photos are a pet peeve of mine. While staff photos are professional looking head shots, some of the bloggers are using Facebook style casual photos and non-human avatars. To give your publication a harmonious look, there should be a uniform style for author pictures. I realize I don't have a picture, but I don't write for you (and at least I use my real name).


Sat, Jun 26, 2010 : 9:19 a.m.

I understand the desire to appear like nice, warm &amp; friendly folk when reporting stories but should reconsider changing the headshots to b&amp;w or stylized (like or perhaps even just pensive looks instead of happy smiles. When presented with an article of considerable tragedy (e.g. house fires, tornadoes, etc) its disconcerting to see the smiling happy reporter face next to the headline. Even though the smiling isn't about the topic you should consider something that can fits with a wide range of article reporting.

Rork Kuick

Thu, Jun 17, 2010 : 7:01 a.m.

I have difficulty finding environmental stories at this site. The Home+Outdoor heading really does not cover it.

Mike Hunt

Fri, May 14, 2010 : 11:37 p.m.

I just noticed that every single comment I've ever posted has disappeared. Is there a reason for that? Technical error or something more sinister?

Peter Nelson

Sun, May 9, 2010 : 3:04 p.m.

This is another reminder to please add author's names to the RSS feeds... (see my previous comments on this page in Nov 2009 and Jan 2010)


Sat, May 8, 2010 : 6:57 p.m.

There is an article: "Karl Rove takes aim at Barack Obama's University of Michigan speech," where commentary was ended. I do not think it is appropriate for a news source that should hold open speech as a valuable right to end civil discussion. I have no problem with you editing vulgar comments but if people are willing to continue a discussion they should be allowed to do so. I see nothing wrong with the posted comments that differ much from the story surrounding Dicken school and its principle. Seems like has freedom of expression values that do not match those who value open discussion.

dading dont delete me bro

Sun, May 2, 2010 : 7:55 p.m.

this link doesnt' work:

Paul the Malcontent

Fri, Apr 9, 2010 : 7:28 p.m.

Now that the "Vote" icon has apparently been removed (as previously discussed in the comments here), will you be implementing a new function allowing readers to 'favorite' or 'bookmark' stories? Also, I'd like to see ALL previously 'voted for' (or future 'favorited,' etc.) and 'commented on' stories remain on a reader's profile page; it currently appears these are deleted after some period of time.

Chrysta Cherrie

Tue, Mar 23, 2010 : 5:01 p.m.

An off-topic comment was removed and reposted to the relevant story:


Mon, Mar 22, 2010 : 12:23 p.m.

What is the significance of the "acorn" in the logo?


Tue, Mar 16, 2010 : 8:40 p.m.

Comment #1: Is there a reason we can't comment on advertisements? Comment #2: Have you considered eliminating anonymous comments? While the discourse on this site is nowhere near as bad as on Freep, it certainly is not close to the more respectful and insightful discussions on

Harold Baize

Sat, Mar 6, 2010 : 7:56 p.m.

Dear Ann I did a google search today and discovered that someone is using the login name of "Ghost of Harold Baize." I am very much alive and I don't think this should be allowed. Not just because someone might think I'm dead, but also because the opinons of this person, whomever it is, might be fasely attributed to me. Is there a way I can communicate with my "ghost?" I can't find one. Thank you, The still alive Harold Baize,


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 7:28 p.m.

Please, I don't need the tutorial... Don't make it so difficult to give feedback. When I do a search, I want to have multiple ways to sort the results. Mainly date, but others are possible.


Thu, Feb 25, 2010 : 12:29 p.m.

Text accompanying photo and headline for your top story right now: "Annie, now 11 months, sits in the family room of her new home in the Whitmore Lake.Art Aisner | For Tears well up in Jerry Nordbloms eyes when he thinks about how it could have ended. He imagines her hiding somewhere behind an abandoned park bench, amid the trash accumulated during a typical summer day last August. Bloodied, broken..." This is a jumble of caption, photo credit and lead. Half the time it's impossible to understand what a story is about because of this jumble, and makes it less likely for me to read it. After six or seven months of operations, why is this mistake still happening? Is there really no way to put the caption under the photo and have the lead be the first thing a reader sees?

Dan Rubenstein

Tue, Feb 16, 2010 : 5:31 p.m.

Thank you, Mr. Dearing. My reaction to your response is: Regarding "norms" at internet news sites, you know the saying, if so-and-so walked off a bridge, would you? You haven't provided a rationale beyond appeal to authority (or, here, norm). I can imagine the arguments pro and con; I simply believe there is no convincing pro side, and I have experience with several web news sites. I don't see why news organizations believe standards they applied to their print paper should suddenly no longer apply simply because the medium is electronic. In fact, abandoning former standards may even diminish your news stature and value in the market place and make you just another blog for blowhards. You still aspire to be a "newspaper," right? And bear in mind I didn't suggest pre-screening each post; it's the person's profile that would have to disclose their name and location. So I don't believe it's a workload issue. I agree what you say about staff comments. My question was whether there is a written policy. I can infer that your policy is that you "allow" them to post. My perception is they don't weigh in often enough with facts that can shut down unproductive discussion. I'd urge them to do so more. Finally, I believe you could do a better job enforcing your "anti-jerk" policy. Perhaps you could be less delicate about censoring snark. Thank you for your response and for consideration of my input. I hope becomes the kind of local news source I will frequent in the future. A2 needs all it can get.

Dan Rubenstein

Tue, Feb 16, 2010 : 9:27 a.m.

It appears this area focuses on IT issues, but I see some others are raised, too. I don't know where else to electronically (conveniently) raise my issues to you, so here they are: 1) I and many others are turned off by in large part because comments sections come off as places where a vocal (often anti-government) minority is permitted to dominate. Are you considering moderating discussions and screening posts, and, if not, why not? 2) Almost all of the most vocal, dominating posters use pseudonyms. I believe this emboldens both their rhetoric and frequency of posting, in essence enabling them to dominate. When A2 News was a print paper, it required letters to the editor to be accompanied by a real name, and addresses were verified. Are you considering implementing this policy for those who sign up to be posters (and having their posts then appear under their real names), and, if not, why not? (i.e., why one standard for print, one for the new "paper"?) 3) Staff weigh in on comments sections, but only sporadically. I and others believe this further emboldens dominating posters. Do you have guidelines for when staff should weigh in, and, if so, what are they? If you don't, why not? Staff clarifications could have a lot of weight in shutting down ad nauseum repeating of blatant factual errors which casual readers might otherwise believe. I recognize that I read and post by choice and this is your publication, not mine. As a sometime customer, however, I would like you to know that your current policies regarding comments, as well as your selection of stories and depth of coverage, which sometimes leave obvious, important questions unanswered, thus inviting more and more uninformed, anti-government, extremist posts, are creating a publication that is becoming more and more irrelevant to me and many people I know. The A2 Chronicle is offering far better, more professional coverage of local government issues. Perhaps such coverage just isn't in your marketing plan. But, if it is, I want you to know you could do so much better, starting with a few modest changes to your comments policy. I hope you do.

Adam Jaskiewicz

Thu, Feb 11, 2010 : 3:08 p.m.

It would be a fairly significant development project if it isn't already supported by some sort of module or plugin for your current CMS, but it isn't an unsolved problem as there are many other systems that support revision histories. I think it would be a rather novel feature in a news site, and would set you apart from other sites; certainly something you should consider. It still feels to me that is a newspaper trying to shoehorn itself into the web, which I don't think is what you want. A reasonable measure to take in the meantime or if you decide that it isn't feasible (it's certainly *possible*, but I'm not familiar with your system so I can't tell you how much effort would be involved) would be to note in stories what has changed. I.e., "Ann initially reported that..., which further investigation found to be incorrect. We have updated the article to reflect more current data."

Adam Jaskiewicz

Thu, Feb 11, 2010 : 1:46 p.m.

Here's a suggestion that I made on another article. This is probably a better place to post it, so I'll post it here too: I'd LOVE for you to do something along the lines of Wikipedia, where you can go back and look at the COMPLETE history of changes that have been made to an article and who made them. This includes new information, grammatical changes, fixed typos, etc., and provides a much-needed sense of transparency. The old versions, while they may contain incorrect information, become historically important as soon as people start reading them and writing responses. Each comment could even have a link to its contemporaneous revision. This would set you apart from most other news sites. As a computer programmer, we do this all the time with our source code. I can bring up a copy as it was several months ago, and even compare it side-by-side with the current code, with differences highlighted. This was prompted by seeing people criticized in comments for making "incorrect assumptions", while in fact they were discussing information that had been deleted from the article because it was incorrect (it was replaced with updated information). I don't think it should be possible to *remove* information from, even inappropriate/off-topic comments and incorrect facts. Hide them; don't display censored comments unless a user chooses to read them. Only show the most recent version of an article. But give us the option to read the old versions, and dig up the censored comments which may provide needed context to understand other comments.

Paul the Malcontent

Sat, Feb 6, 2010 : 4:43 p.m.

Would like to see some of the links to topics currently on the bottom of the homepage (e.g., Obituaries, Classifieds, Real Estate) plus those along the bottom of most pages on the site (Your Profile, About Us, Contact Us, Privacy Policy, Comment Moderation Guidelines, User Agreement, Manage Your Newspaper Subscription, Advertise With Us) ALSO available from the "All Topics &amp; Neighborhoods" drop-down menu at the top of each page.

AA Lady

Wed, Feb 3, 2010 : 12:30 p.m.

Sorry I hit the submit button when I meant to hit preview so I missed the typos in my post -- it should have read: One of the things I find particularly irritating about your site (among many things) is that when I click on a link to an external site, instead of opening a new browser window like most web sites do, it just takes me to the website from the same window, I then have to search through my browser history to get back to the page that I was originally on. Sometimes I'm so irritated that I just say forget it and don't even bother to go back and finish reading the news for the day. Today while reading one of your news stories I clicked on a link in a comment that took me to could take some lessons from that site. It is an impressive news/blog site that is very professional looking. When you click on an external link, it opens a new browser window, so my original window stays open to the story I was on and I can easily return to it.

AA Lady

Wed, Feb 3, 2010 : 12:06 p.m.

One of the things I find particularly irritating about your site (among many things) is that when I click on a link to an external site, instead opening a new browser window lime most web sites do, it just takes me to the website from the same window, I then have to search through my browser history to get back to the page that I was originally on. Sometimes I'm so irritated that I just say forget it and don't even bother to go back and finish reading the news for the day.


Mon, Feb 1, 2010 : 8:13 a.m.

Regarding the Deja Vu advertising - I went to this morning and the Deja Vu ad was front and center on the front page. If I recall correctly, this ad did not appear on the front page of the now defunct print version of the Ann Arbor News. This is something that could easily controlled. Obviously you have chosen to take the money at expense of your image. Is this a serious news organization or are we going the tabloid route?


Fri, Jan 29, 2010 : 4:11 p.m.

In the neighborhoods section it looks like most schools are associated with their neighbor except for Pittsfield. Pittsfield Elementary sits right in the middle of Pittsfield Village - a long established neighborhood on Ann Arbor's east side. How about if you want to discuss Pittsfield Township, perhaps you could create a section for surrounding areas and put news regarding those areas in a separately designated section. Pittsfield Village, and school are in Ann Arbor and deserve a spot of their own. Thanks for your attention!


Fri, Jan 29, 2010 : 11:12 a.m.

do we really need to accept adverti$ing for Dej Vu Ypsilanti's Showgirl Spectacular?


Thu, Jan 28, 2010 : 4:13 p.m.

It would be very nice to have the option to edit or at least delete my own posts when I realize I have made any sort of error. I understand that editting our own posts would make moderating more of a challenge (perhaps editted posts could be 'flagged' as new to you?) but even the option to delete our own posts would allow for a nice copy/paste edit. As I've seen suggested by others, and as is common practice on most online forums, I would love to see articles I have posted on be "bumped" up whenever there is a new post after mine on my Profile Page that shows all articles I have commented on.


Thu, Jan 28, 2010 : 12:47 p.m.

You may have missed my point. Wherever that link you provided takes me, in my opinion, that's not where it "should" be. Although I must admit, the dog reading certainly does have me intrigued.


Thu, Jan 28, 2010 : 11:36 a.m.

How is it possible that I click on today's date (Jan 28) in your events calendar at the top of the homepage and the Sundance movie doesn't even show up? Is there anything even remotely as big as that going on downtown tonight? How is it not at the top of the list? How are there 30 other things mentioned on that page, but not tonight's film? Pet first aid? Lego club? Game night at the comic book store? Twitter seminar? Dog reading? Ugh...

Peter Nelson

Mon, Jan 25, 2010 : 9:42 a.m.

As I posted back in November, can the author's name be added to the RSS feeds? This seems like a simple thing to do. Most other RSS feeds I follow (including the Ann Arbor Chronicle) show the author's name along with the title of the article. For reference, I'm using Google Reader, and I also noticed the same issue with Bloglines. I've noticed lately that some articles in the RSS feeds have the author's name written in the text of the article, but it's not consistent. As with any written publication, there are authors that I like to read, and authors that I don't. Adding the author' s name to the feed would really help.


Fri, Jan 22, 2010 : 7:14 p.m.

please, please add an igoogle gadget that permits people to "stream" headlines. most papers (local and national) have these. i'd be here a lot more if u did and i suspect others would as well.

Charles Wright

Tue, Jan 19, 2010 : 2:15 a.m.

items like phone numbers (like for AATA and A-Ride) can't be posted, can they? Like, let's say someone wants to know about the cab fare increase.


Fri, Jan 8, 2010 : 8:29 p.m.

Ok, I realize there is something stange about asking this on a comment page, but....I would really like to be able to turn off the information about comments, or to have a version of the site that had no comments. Sometimes they are interesting, and I have even commented a few times, but generally the comments take on a life of their own that detracts from the news. They leave a bad taste/bad impression of content and staff contributors. The comment feature is too prominent and inseparable from the "news"--it's hard to ignore: The selected quotes in large type on the front page, the list of hot topics, the tally of comments and popularity votes right after the leader (you don't even need to read it--just jump in the rant!),the fact that the comments automatically come up when you read an article, and so forth. I know people who don't read for this very reason. It's like having the opinion and letters to the editor page spread all over every article. It's democratic I guess, but still rather yucky. Have you considered a way to take it all out of front and center, or at least toning it down?

The Grinch

Thu, Jan 7, 2010 : 9:49 p.m.

You folks need to learn to distinguish between a personal attack and an attack on someone's opinion. In the discussion on the Saline Schools' considering moving math instruction to the DL mode, I called someone's opinion "absurd" and then laid out why it was an absurd opinion. The comment was deleted. I posted the comment a second time, replacing the word "absurd" with "brilliant" and closed with the word "Not". That got deleted. I tried posting a third time and it apparently got shortstopped before ever getting posted. The irony here is that the post that appeared immediately after mine (about the 98th comment in the string) says (in its entirety): "Scot Graden is a nice guy but he clearly lacks the ability to lead a school district. He should be kicked to the curb. However, he is a good old boy and a Saline insider. We're stuck with him cause the school board is in love with him. Those poor kids..." So am I to understand that it IS a personal attack to call a comment on your website "absurd" but that it is NOT a personal attack to say with absolutely no substantiation that someone is inacable of doing their job and should be kicked to the curb? This is, dare I say it, absurd!! You folks need to decide what you are doing where your posting standards are concerned. At a minimum, it seems your editors need to learn to distinguish between attacks on people and attacks on their opinions.


Thu, Jan 7, 2010 : 4:18 p.m.

I wish that the comments section were suppressed, so that you would have to actively click a link to see them (see, for example.) Providing a comments section was not a big step forward in public discourse. (Yes I can see the irony in my posting a comment here.)

Paul the Malcontent

Sat, Jan 2, 2010 : 7:40 p.m.

Perhaps just changing the "Vote" icon to indicate its purpose would solve the problem.


Wed, Dec 23, 2009 : 5:42 p.m.

The "Most Popular" button should be more prominently displayed. And I don't know what's going on with your experimental "Vote" button system, but it's clear after 6 months no one is using it. Time to pull the trigger on retiring it. Popularity of stories can easily be gauged by the number of comments made, not the vote button. For example, click on your Popular button now. Gun story has 162 comments and is 3rd 9 votes? Please. It's clear the data is scewing your database's analysis of what is popular Holiday puff piece gets 17 "votes" and 11 comments and you list that as the most popular? Makes absolutely no sense. People don't even know what that vote button does and obviously they are not using it. Show me a list of what's got people fired up the most in the last week or so. And put that list at the top of the home page with your top stories. Chances are, it will interest me and many others too. This is a no brainer.


Sat, Dec 12, 2009 : 9:41 a.m.

Damn I miss the Ann Arbor News.You wouldnt even know Michigan has a Hockey team with the non coverage it receives here.More people go to Yost in one night than the volleyball or lesser sports you write about draw in a year..Steve Burkett

Peter Nelson

Wed, Nov 11, 2009 : 3:22 p.m.

Can the author's name be added to the RSS feeds? I follow the main RSS feed in Google reader, and the author's name is never displayed. Most other RSS feeds I follow (i.e. Ann Arbor Chronicle) will also show the author's name.


Mon, Nov 9, 2009 : 1:07 p.m.

Can I make a suggestion to Could you make it so you could "subscribe" to a thread and then when you have a comment added to a thread that you have already commented on, you would get an email notification? I've found myself coming into my old posts a few times today to see if anyone has commented, and it would be easier if I just got an email when there was an actual post.

Sean Eldon

Wed, Nov 4, 2009 : 7:39 p.m.

To the Editors: Many of the comments that are posted on the site are disgusting. The degree to which many commentators cling to personal ideology while hiding behind screen names is disgusting. Much of the reasoned and intelligent discussion is lost in a haze of cynicism and narrow-mindedness. I don't understand why the Ann Arbor News insisted on having readers sign letters to the editor while AnnArbor,com allows people to hide. Please consider requiring commentators to post (at minimum) names and hometowns. Sincerely, Sean Eldon Ann Arbor


Sat, Oct 31, 2009 : 6:33 a.m.

when archiving comments, I noticed that the names of the writers and their comments weren't joined properly; for example, when I search for my comments it's got my name and then the comment following mine, not my own. maybe your tech person can change it so the right comment is with the actual writer and not the guy ahead of him/her.

Tony Dearing

Fri, Oct 23, 2009 : 12:22 p.m.

Jenifer, yes, that's a request we've gotten before, and it's on our list. We've been occupied with some major development issues, but we'll be getting to it soon, and hope to have it fixed in early to mid-November.


Fri, Oct 23, 2009 : 6:21 a.m.

This was suggested in a much earlier comment, but I'd like to make a request for a very simple change again. Please put some sort of padding on the paragraph tag for comments. Users can put in paragraph breaks, but they're barely visible since the paragraphs have no space between them. Makes it difficult to read longer comments.


Mon, Oct 19, 2009 : 2:29 p.m.

There are some very hotly discussed and actively commented-on pieces that go off the first page, to be replaced by fluff that no one responds to. Is there a way to have the first news page be ordered by hits or comments rather than strictly chronologically (First-in-first-out)?

Tony Dearing

Mon, Oct 12, 2009 : 8:25 a.m.

We appreciate this request, and we understand that mobile is an increasingly important way for people to get information. We launched the site on a very aggressive timetables, and we have an aggressive timetable for continuing to build it out through the remainder of this year. As we see through development projects that are in the pipeline right now, we're also looking at our next priorities, so now is a good time to be looking at mobile applications. I can't give you an exact timeframe for when we might introduce a mobile solution, but we understand the desire for it and will incorporate it as quickly as we can.


Fri, Oct 9, 2009 : 4:02 p.m.

Any news to report on the mobile version of your site? For me, it can't come soon enough. The lack of a mobile site means I seldom get my news from I use a computer all day at work (actually doing work, and not browsing the web), so I am typically not inclined to log on again when I get home (I used to look forward to the daily paper for that reason). I also travel extensively on business and spend long periods of time with no internet access. As a result, I rely on my mobile device to keep up on the news during the free moments between meetings, in airports, etc... Since the launch of, I have felt out of touch with the community and I'm sure there are others like me who feel the same way. Please make the mobile site launch a top priority. Thanks.

Tony Dearing

Wed, Sep 23, 2009 : 8:55 a.m.

Cash, there is a print function with each story. If you go to the bottom of the story, youll see something that says Share this post. Put your cursor over that, and it will give you several options, including the option to print the story. Just click on Print and youre all set.


Tue, Sep 22, 2009 : 1:35 p.m.

I wish you would add "print" functionality for those of us who want to send articles to people who do not have internet access.

Tony Dearing

Mon, Sep 21, 2009 : 3:46 p.m.

Arboriginal, we went back and forth on that issue. Some sites use most recent first, and some use most recent last, and I'm not sure there's a right answer. Some people like to see the progression of comments. On the other hand, particularly on very long conversation threads, some people prefer to see the most recent rather than wade all the way to the bottom. We're doing some usability testing in the near future, and that may be one of the things we test to see if we should change it or leave it the way it is.

Chrysta Cherrie

Wed, Sep 16, 2009 : 5:06 p.m.

The following comment was moved here from another thread because it was related to feedback about the site, from Arboriginal: How about having the most recent comments at the top? Seems to be the industry standard. Just saying.

Tony Dearing

Thu, Sep 10, 2009 : 2:48 p.m.

Ben, appreciate the feedback. The "river of news'' format we're using on the home page is definitely different, and that's by choice. We are trying some different things here, rather than seeking to be a traditional news site. That being said, our home page will evolve based on feedback, and we understand there are people who want more hierarchy and some element of "top headlines,'' and we're looking at some changes that will offer more of that. We'll be doing some fairly significant user testing in the coming weeks that will help us determine how we'll revise the home page. We also are interested in giving people the ability to customize their home page, although that's not something that's coming immediately. It's more of a long-term goal.


Thu, Sep 10, 2009 : 11:45 a.m.

I think the site would be far more useful &amp; inviting if the home page were changed to look a bit more like a traditional newspaper or something like the my Yahoo page. Rather than ongoing blog-type postings it would be great if you had 5 - 10 sections/headings on the home page which group the postings &amp; show 3-5, one-line headlines in each group. Users could then click on the headlines to go to stories of interest. For example, there could be a 'News' heading, a 'Sports' heading, a 'Business' heading, an 'Entertainment' heading... As new stories appear, the older links could scroll off the list but would still be available if the user went to the main 'Sports' page or 'News' page. In an even stronger version, users could pick what sections they want to appear when they come to the site &amp; the order in which they should appear.

Tony Dearing

Wed, Sep 9, 2009 : 9:06 a.m.

David, we've created a stylesheet for printing that will solve that. It's being tested right now, and should be in place before the end of the week. Thanks for asking.

David Cahill

Wed, Sep 9, 2009 : 8:39 a.m.

I have a question about printing. Whenever I try to print an article, I get nearly two pages of links prior to the start of the article. This behavior is non-standard. Can it be corrected?

Ruth Kraut

Sun, Sep 6, 2009 : 12:29 p.m.

I think you need more copy editors. Today's print version Sports section has--above the masthead--an article about EMU's football LOSS. Right next to the masthead, where it says "Log onto Ann to find out about x," it says that you should log on to read more about EMU's WIN.

Tony Dearing

Thu, Sep 3, 2009 : 3:56 p.m.

Interesting you raise that issue. The "river of news'' treatment on our home page has raised some concern from people who feel there's no hierarchy, and that major news stories are not easily distinguishable from more routine news, features or blogs. Our current format does allow us to give a somewhat bolder treatment to headlines of stories with photos that we want to stand out a little more. We're developing some options for even bolder treatment of major stories in the future. There's an interesting recent discussion about our home page treatment here:

David Cahill

Thu, Sep 3, 2009 : 3:29 p.m.

How come some stories on the home page have bold face headlines and others don't?

Tony Dearing

Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 8:44 a.m.

The favicon is coming, I promise. We have a whole array of little improvements to the site that will show up in the next couple of weeks.

John Remmers

Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 8:26 a.m.

Still no favicon?

Tony Dearing

Tue, Aug 25, 2009 : 4:45 p.m.

a2runner, getting this site up and running in the timeframe we had was a major undertaking, but now that we're launched, we're working on a variety of improvements. Mobile versions will be coming.


Tue, Aug 25, 2009 : 4:09 p.m.

Why is there no mobile version of your website for use on blackberries and other mobile phones?

Tony Dearing

Mon, Aug 24, 2009 : 5:18 p.m.

srm, we're in the process of adding a new place for people to give feedback on the site, and making it easier for people to find that way to give feedback. We've also heard from others who want the list of "Active Discussions'' to be more recent, and we're making that change as well. It should be in place in the next few days. The reaction to the "river of news'' format has been mixed. Some people like it; others want more of a traditional top-headlines format. Our home page is going to continue to evolve, and likely will look much different a year from now than it does today. I think the river of news is the direction the world is headed in, and that more news sites will move toward that format in the future, but time will tell, and we're not so wedded to that format, or any format, that we won't adjust over time based on what people are telling us they want.


Mon, Aug 24, 2009 : 12:59 p.m.

i recommend creating another space dedicated to site feedback other than this "how to use the site" thread. the only way i can find this thread is by looking at the most commented list on the front page, which brings me to my second suggestion: please update the most commented list to reflect the most commented stories from the day (or even from the week). right now, it's the most commented stories ever, which includes this thread which originated nearly a month ago. also i HIGHLY encourage you to rethink the site design and make it more traditional as far as online papers go. i know you were looking at voiceofsandiego as a potential model for this paper take a cue from them and consider adopting a similar site design.

Tony Dearing

Fri, Aug 21, 2009 : 1:47 p.m.

That's more of a philosophical matter than a technological one. In the blogosphere, the normal expectation is that what gets posted stays up permanently, as part of the history of that story and discussion. When we post a story, no matter what problems with it we may discover later, we don't take it down. We correct it, we update it, we follow up on it, but we don't delete it and pretend it never appeared on the site. We think the community has the same expectation of the conversation thread, and it's not our intention at this point to create a function that allows comments to be deleted. I welcome other thoughts on this issue.

Tony Dearing

Thu, Aug 20, 2009 : 7:41 a.m.

We've filled our writing positions, but there are freelance opportunities. For that you could contact Amalie Nash, our news director, at: We've gotten requests for a "How to contact us'' buttom, and that's being added to the site very soon.


Wed, Aug 19, 2009 : 8 p.m.

Wondering where to apply as a writer for Who should I contact? Definately need a "contact us" button.

Tony Dearing

Tue, Aug 18, 2009 : 12:20 p.m.

mpeterse, just to follow up on Renee's comments, I wanted to let you know that we're working to create an obvious "How to contact us'' link on every page, and should have that in the next week or so. We're also working to solve the problem that people are having with the printing of stories, and that also should be resolved in the next week or two. Thanks for your patience with us on these issues while we work to improve the site.


Mon, Aug 17, 2009 : 9:13 p.m.

I'm glad I finally read this posting and agree w/ some of the comments that this isn't really an obvious way to provide feedback to the site. However, thank you for taking all constructive comments so seriously. I have three comments: First, I agree that there needs to be a more obvious way to contact the paper rather than simply commenting to a story or post. I clicked on "About Us" and now know that Mr. Dearing is glad he took the high road (or something like that (-: ), but still don't see his or anyone else's e-mail address, at least not in any obvious place. Second, the "Print" a story function needs some work! I've now printed two different stories over the past month or so - the good old printed word is often still the easiest way to share something - and in addition to the actual story, the "Print" function included all kinds of junk - as in SIX (6) extra pages - that really didn't need to be printed. If you're going to include a "Print" function, and of course you should, then don't "bait and switch" by printing a lot of extra stuff along with the printed story. Lastly, please put the "Print" function button somewhere other than "Share this story" - it really needs to be called out on its own. Thank you for forging ahead with - if we can't have a paper, then we need this, and I appreciate your efforts to be comprehensive and responsive.

Tony Dearing

Sun, Aug 16, 2009 : 2:22 p.m.

A comment from Alan Benard is being moved to this post. Here's his comment: Am I correct in understanding that this article and another lifestyle blurb are the ONLY NEW CONTENT today? Sunday? The big paper day? Move this to wherever you need to, but I am serious -- why do I have no new content to read this morning? Here's my response: Alan, the Sunday paper is the major paper of the week, although since it is a morning paper, it is printed overnight, and all the stories for it are done the day and the evening before. Those stories are posted on our Web site during the course of the day on Saturday as they are completed, so people who want to read them online can read them on Saturday, or people who want to catch up on Sunday morning can read them then. If there's breaking news and community events on Sunday, we cover them on Sunday and post them, but Sunday tends to be relatively quiet, particularly in late summer, so it's not unusual for there not be much new posted on Sunday.

Tony Dearing

Sat, Aug 15, 2009 : 10:48 a.m.

Redeye, we fixed the problem on that particular story and we're looking to determine what caused the commenting to be turned off for that post. Not sure what the problem was, but we're working on it. We're also in the process of adding a "Contact Us'' element to each page that will make it easier for people to give us feedback on this site. Thanks for raising the issue.


Fri, Aug 14, 2009 : 10:41 a.m.

I guess this thread is the "feedback" or "contact us" feature. It would be nice to have something more formal with a link on every page. Anyway, some pages are missing their "Your Voice" comments field. Example: I'm logged in. I click "Comment now". I'm moved to the bottom of the article. But there's no comment field. Please fix this. Thanks.

Susan Montgomery

Tue, Aug 11, 2009 : 1:39 p.m.

Thanks for clarifying that votes don't influence what makes the print edition, as incorrectly stated by an earlier comment in the Food Gatherer's story. You might want to go back there and correct the person who made that comment. Also, any chance we can have a feedback area where we can have separate topics for each issue rather than have them all in the "how to use the tutorial" thread?

Tony Dearing

Tue, Aug 11, 2009 : 7:38 a.m.

Carrie, sorry about the problem you're having with your password. We'll work to get that fixed. And thanks for pointing out the discrepancy in posting times. We'll look into that as well.

Carrie Rheingans

Mon, Aug 10, 2009 : 8:04 p.m.

I also just noticed that on my profile, it shows my activities happening on the date/time the article was published, not on the date/time I actually left the comment or favorited an article. For example, I'm posting this comment at 9:04 pm EDT on 10 Aug 2009, but it will show on my profile that I left a comment on 27 July 2009

Carrie Rheingans

Mon, Aug 10, 2009 : 6:51 p.m.

just had to reset my password AGAIN, just like EVERY SINGLE TIME I want to log in. I always set my password to the same thing, and I still have to reset it. This has reduced my desire to interact... it's so annoying to have to go through three extra steps just to leave a freaking comment or vote for an article. I'm living in Lima, Peru right now and wanted to stay up to date about what's going on for when I return in September, but this is really trying my nerves. Please, if you want people to be active, tell me how to fix this. Please. Thank you.

Tony Dearing

Sun, Aug 9, 2009 : 11:53 a.m.

A number of them were bug fixes, but the ones more visible to users were these: We're working on additional upgrades that should be rolled out before the end of the month.

David Cahill

Sun, Aug 9, 2009 : 9:15 a.m.

Tony, you mentioned way-up-there that there was a set of upgrades being rolled out by August 6. Did this happen? What were the upgrades?

Tony Dearing

Sat, Aug 8, 2009 : 7:35 a.m.

Jean, that is a great suggestion. I'll follow up on it.


Fri, Aug 7, 2009 : 6:39 p.m.

Bob asked for suggestions regarding death notices/obits, in particular for seniors and one answer is to put them in one of the major tabs at the top of the page. Bigger, more central display would be even better. I found them last time I logged in a couple of weeks ago but couldn't find them this time because of all the many menus (top, bottom, right). This is a no brainer! Which brings me to the subject of planning. Ann Arbor is often cited as a good place for retirees because of quality of life. The absence of a newspaper reduces QOL and makes A2 a less desirable place for this population. should have put more effort in anticipating this easily foreseeable problem. One improvement would be to purchase time on CTA for the purpose of listing death notices periodically during the day. Many more seniors have Comcast than have computers. You could publicize this service in the print edition as well as directly to churches and community (senior and other) groups. This doesn't come up to the newspaper in effectiveness but my suggestions would beat the heck out of the status quo.

Sam Nead

Fri, Aug 7, 2009 : 4:01 p.m.

Ed, Thanks for taking the time to work through my questions. I was unaware of the 'getsatisfaction' web site! Is there a link to that somewhere at I'll take any of my future questions regarding over there. I'm not seeing the re-sizing widget using FireFox as my browser. I know what you are referring to, just not seeing it...anyone else? I'm off to explore your reference links. Thanks again.

Sam Nead

Fri, Aug 7, 2009 : 2 p.m.

Several suggestions that may or may not be on your to-do list: There are currently 106 comments here covering a large spectrum of feedback. Is it feasible to move this thread to a new, "Your Feedback/Site Improvements" forum? A "Welcome" page with instructions and supporting F.A.Q should serve simply as the resource it is and not be open for commenting. Now for some burning questions... ready? 1) Why did choose Moveable Type over Word Press as its publishing (blogging) platform? 2) Will RSS feeds for both articles and comments be implemented? (I have a feed set up, but it is returning *everything* published, including birthdays, anniversaries, obituaries etc.) 3) Likewise, will there be an option for email notification if someone I follow posts an article? 4) Threaded comments would be great - I've already mentioned this here. 5) We currently have the ability to 'vote' for a story. Will there ever be the opportunity to 'thumbs up' or 'thumbs down' an individual comment? Or the ability to 'follow' a favorite commenter? 6) Although we have the ability to Preview our comment, this comment box I'm typing in is only 4 lines tall. Very cramped. 7) How about posting a "what we're working on to improve page", where we can see your to-do list? Put a fork in me! I'm done. Thanks.

Tony Dearing

Thu, Aug 6, 2009 : 1:09 p.m.

Dagny, we agree that the "most comment'' stories goes back to far, and that what people want are stories that are being commented on most right now. We're making that change.


Wed, Aug 5, 2009 : 12:46 p.m.

interesting review of My guess this comment will never see the light of day.


Wed, Aug 5, 2009 : 11:34 a.m.

You guys need a "most active" list of stories, the ones getting the most comments in the last 24 hours. The list at the bottom of the main page lists three stories that got lots of comments several days ago. I want to know what people are talking about now. Thanks.

Carrie Rheingans

Tue, Aug 4, 2009 : 9:32 p.m.

every time I've signed in after originally creating my account, I have to reset my password. why is that?

Tony Dearing

Mon, Aug 3, 2009 : 4:46 p.m.

David: We have about 70 people writing for us, and they are contributing to a variety of topics, particularly Food &amp; Drink, The Deuce, Passions and Pursuits, parenting and books. We do have contributors for neighborhoods, but we've said all along that we were going to start small in our neighborhood efforts, focus on two neighborhoods (Burns Park and the Old West Side), and then based on what we learned there, expand our efforts out to other neighborhoods. If you didn't happen to see my recent explanation of this, you'll find it here: As for the reader poll, we need a better way to help people find that as it moves off the first page of the News feed, and we'll work on that. For now, if you want to vote on the poll, go to this story (the poll is embedded in the story):

David Cahill

Mon, Aug 3, 2009 : 1:55 p.m.

Oop - one more thing. In Sunday's print edition of, page A3, "OnlineReaderPoll", you folks say that to vote in a poll abou the city income tax, we should visit: "". I did this, and could not find an obvious place to vote. Where is it?

David Cahill

Mon, Aug 3, 2009 : 8:49 a.m.

Tony et al., I don't see much yet from the "citizen bloggers". I remember reading about a big training meeting that was held a while ago. There was supposed to be an emphasis on neighborhood reporting. However, when I checked my own neighborhood, the items there were mostly from the Chronicle. What's happening with this part of

Tony Dearing

Sat, Aug 1, 2009 : 11:52 a.m.

Bernie: We will be covering EMU sports. Here's a nice feature on EMU football that's featured on our home page right now:


Fri, Jul 31, 2009 : 5:53 p.m.

Any chance of the sports are being expanded to cover more than UM? I know EMU isn't as "sexy", but it is only 6 miles down the road from UM, and the EMU athletes are consistently at the top of the MAC conference in terms of scholar-athlete recognition!


Fri, Jul 31, 2009 : 3:16 p.m.

I'm not sure how I feel about "someone" deleting my comments. I know sometimes people post really awful stuff but I just posted something that was not bad and it was deleted.

Some Guy in 734

Fri, Jul 31, 2009 : 12:49 p.m.

Jim Knight said... "We'll have complete movie listings in our Thursday print edition in Spotlight. And we're working to create an easy-to-read version of that for here." Can I request an easy to read print edition of Spotlight? The one I got yesterday was riddled with typos. One of the pages had long columns of text, and the only marker that a new "paragraph" had started was a small indentation. I would have preferred every line to be flush left, with additional vertical space between paragraphs. What, you say? There wouldn't be enough room for that? I counter that I as a reader was deterred from attempting to read an impenetrable gray mass of text, so neither I nor you benefitted from that. Seems like you wouldn't have room to *not* make space. I've found a place to economize. In the events listings, if an event happened twice on the same day, each event would have a separate entry for each occurrence. A number of entries ended with "Details:." Couldn't you free up a fair amount of real estate by taking care of that? I find it very sad to think that this could have been released with nobody noticing. I find it sadder to think that someone could have seen this layout, signed off on it, and then collected a paycheck. The Ann Arbor News managed to do Spotlight fairly well. If you aren't able to use their templates, for technical or legal reasons, couldn't you at least emulate what they did right?


Thu, Jul 30, 2009 : 7:39 p.m.

How do I correct case I change my own comments? I see no toggle for this and feel the omission of a Delete function for my own comments is very serious, and will discourage people from posting if they know that it is locked in virtual concrete once they do.

Macabre Sunset

Thu, Jul 30, 2009 : 4:31 p.m.

It would be nice to have a place to suggest stories here. The Brighton Argus is reporting about a local member of the art guild being asked to remove her own works from an art guild display at the library. Brings up some interesting debate.


Thu, Jul 30, 2009 : 3:55 p.m.

Do these folks read the comments? I hope so. Death notices and obituaries must be more accessible. This is the information that senior citizens can no longer get anywhere but here and they are the ones who lose more friends and former co-workers than other age groups and who would be eager and able to attend funerals IF they know about them. At the same time their age group is the least internet savvy. The present near secrecy of death information is unacceptable.

Sunny Beach

Thu, Jul 30, 2009 : 12:13 p.m.

I don't mind the gray text and think it goes with the overall design. If you have decided to keep it as is, you should just say so. Changing the color of the body text is as simple as adding the css below in article.css..news_article.post_text{ color: #000000; } Another thought would be to allow users to tailor their view when logged in. You want blue and gold with black text -- go for it!

Tony Dearing

Thu, Jul 30, 2009 : 10:16 a.m.

David, we're wrestling with the issue of black body type. I'd prefer it, and it's not like it can't be done, but my technical people are telling me that it's not as easy to make that change as I might wish it was, and we've got bug fixes and site upgrades that are a higher priority. For now, I can only say that we have two phases of upgrades that will occur by Aug. 6 and by Aug. 27 and that a change in body type is not included in those.

David Cahill

Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 10:44 a.m.

Tony, what about the request of MjC and I have made for black body type? Do you plan to correct this? If so, when?


Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 9:58 a.m.

I am concerned over whether AA.Com will evidence any journalistic integrity. Twice, I tried to post concerns over AA.Com's reporting of the bicyclist fatality, in association with that story. Twice, AA.Com deleted my posts. My initial concerns were (1) that the links to more infomation about the story took me to U of M Football information and (2) that despite a wealth of apparent eyewitness information, the "reporter" could only gin-up about 74 words about this story. After the first and second deletions of my posts, I conversed with AA.Com personnel, and now have a third concern, which is that on two occasions, AA.Com deleted my comments which were factually accurate, and also constituted good-faith opinion about AA.Com's performance regarding the bicyclist story. So, in addition to concerns over erroneous links and skimpy reporting, I am now far more concerned over whether AA.Com will evidence journalistic integrity. In addition to AA.Com, I read this morning the Detroit Free Press (online) and the New York Times. Later today, I'll read the Wall Street Journal. I know what good reporting and journalistic integrity is. Let's hope that AA.Com improves its content and lightens-up in censorship of comments critical of AA.Com. I have learned that my honest critics improve my performance. I have little respect for myself on those occasions when I tune out my critics. I can't grow and improve that way.


Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 9:35 a.m.

you need a "letter to the editor" link. Then you wouldn't have to pull posts with legitimate concerns about journalistic integrity because they are "off topic". Journalists do the ground work on a story, interview witnesses and principals, find the facts of who/how/where/what/when. Right now this site is a glorified aggregator and community blog. I'd like a newspaper please....


Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 9:29 a.m.

This so called paper is a joke and very hard to read the daily news. I am not interested in news from two weeks ago. I sure hope you get it together SOON. Ma Bear

Duane Collicott

Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 8:14 a.m.

"The site is still very much in beta." Wasn't the official launch on Friday the 24th? I hope the printed version for which you're charging money isn't also "very much in beta." "When I vote for a story, it shows up on my profile as being 'favorited'. To me, 'voting' and 'favoriting' are two different concepts." I agree with Bob on this. These are two different concepts that is melding. I hit "Vote" on a story, but then I see that according to I had "Favorited" it. And why is a news outlet using a non-word like "favorited" anyway?

Bob Dively

Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 8:02 a.m.

Tony, thanks for the response. Now that you've pointed out the "Most Popular" link the function of voting seems totally obvious. Not sure why I didn't figure that out on my own.

Tony Dearing

Wed, Jul 29, 2009 : 7:45 a.m.

Bob, you raise a number of issues that we're hearing from others as well. Building and launching this site on the timetable we did, we had to use many standard features of the content management system this site is built on. Now that we're live, our goal is to improve the experience based on what our users our telling us. We'll be making a number of major improvements in the next two weeks, and continue to upgrade regularly beyond that. Many of the things you are asking for would improve the commenting experience and they're on our to-do list. As we prioritize features, we'll let people know what we're working on next. As for voting, our home page and each topic page has a tab for "Popular'' and the voting determines the order of stories ranked under the Popular tag. I agree that voting has a different connotation that favoriting, and we'll address that.

Bob Dively

Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 8:18 p.m.

To clarify my point #6 above: the record of the comment on my profile page is timestamped 5 hours ahead of when I made it.

Bob Dively

Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 7:05 p.m.

A few questions and observations: 1) Is there any specific place for meta-discussions? Or is it supposed to happen on an ad hoc basis like on this page? 2) Please figure out how to let commenters insert space between paragraphs. I can't overstate the importance of getting this right. I don't want my comments looking like a muddled mess as they currently do, and I'm going to be increasingly disinterested in participating the longer they do. 3) What is the purpose of "voting"? Voting features very prominently on each individual story page, so I'm surprised that I can't find any explanation of what it does. Does voting have some direct impact on the way stories are aged off the front page or is it just a simple tally of "x number of people voted for this" (whatever that means)? 4) When I vote for a story, it shows up on my profile as being "favorited". To me, "voting" and "favoriting" are two different concepts. "Voting" seems more publicly oriented - I want to call this story to the attention of others. "Favoriting" seems more privately oriented - I like this story and want to keep track of it for myself, and if others find that interesting and useful, great, but if not, I don't care. 6) When I make a comment, it's timestamped as being made 5 hours before I actually made it. 7) It looks like I cannot edit/delete my own comments. Is that true? Are there any plans to add this functionality? 9) The "Share this post" link at the bottom of every story has two different sets of links depending on whether you mouse-over the link or click on it, which seems confusing. Also, the box that pops up when you click on the link isn't fully rendered atop Flash objects like the embedded YouTube video on the tutorial page (at least in FireFox 3.5 on WinXP). 10) The textarea box for commenting is too small.


Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 9:30 a.m.

Are there any plans for more specific RSS feeds, to separate blog posts from news items? That would be really useful; as it is now, there's too many posts to wade through the feed.


Mon, Jul 27, 2009 : 4:54 p.m.

I hope you will cover all the townships and nearby cities


Mon, Jul 27, 2009 : 4:08 p.m.

Overall, I do not like this site...It has too much white space, too little content...the blog format means that things stay on the site for a long time. I suggest you look at any of the "newspaper" web sites (NY Times, WSJ, Washinton Post, even goggle news, etc. etc). They give far more info in far less space. Their architectures allow you to scan the headlines and dig deeper into stories when you want. Also, I find the interspersing of ads to be distracting. Put them all of to the side...As far as the print version, it was basically a rehash of the web site. Very little new content other than all the advertising. I would give your startup a D. I think your format is amateurish and over time will lose readers as they get frustrated with navigating around what are really a bunch of loosely connected blogs that aren't particularly well written... Just my $.02...The web implies a sense of urgency. To make this work you need to have staff on top of things. When more info becomes available, older stories need to be deleted. The set of stories about the guy who shot himself at the golf course is an example. Every time you reported new items, you should have deleted the old.


Mon, Jul 27, 2009 : 3:12 p.m.

And please allow commenters a chance to edit our errors (grammar/typos) after posting. Yahoo.answers allows this, so I know it's possible tech wise. :-)


Mon, Jul 27, 2009 : 3:09 p.m.

Definitely would prefer that the type font be in black as opposed to this depressing shadowy grey font color your using.

Matt Kaz

Mon, Jul 27, 2009 : 3:09 p.m.

Thanks for the reply Tony. I had no idea it was chalk... sure looked like spray paint :) glad to hear it wasn't/isn't.


Mon, Jul 27, 2009 : 2:20 p.m.

You just launched your product into production - yet you say "The site is still very much in beta." This from the head of the company. Wow.

Sam Nead

Mon, Jul 27, 2009 : 10:16 a.m.

I'd like to add myself to the 'too many cooks' request-a-thon, with an improvement to organize the comments section. Please add "Threaded comments". This will allow for secondary conversations to take place between readers. just revamped their commenting process which allows readers to follow other readers and also 'favorite' exceptional reader comments. This adds a deeper dimension to the overall conversation. /mytwocents

Matt Kaz

Mon, Jul 27, 2009 : 10:12 a.m.

Looking forward to being informed by the new media outlet... time have changed for sure. One question... why are your newspaper boxes and sign &amp; logo purple, but the site is blue? Seems like bad branding to me. Maybe the site should be purple too? And also, what's up with all the spray painted logos and littering of paper propaganda on the sidewalks of downtown? Seemed kind of 'trashy' to me and turned me off a bit.

Steven T. Gruber

Mon, Jul 27, 2009 : 8:42 a.m.

My wife and I have been Ann Arbor New subscribers for many years. We live in Lenawee County (Tecumseh) and would enjoy seeing more about our area. We read the first this Sunday morning and enjoyed it. We look forward to more enjoyable reading in the future. Steve and Tammy


Sun, Jul 26, 2009 : 10:05 a.m.

Please set it up so if you click on the logo it takes you back to the home page. Also, once you click to read an article, you have to go back to the home page to find another one, can you add some navigation after the jump? When I tried to manage my account online, it didn't seem to be operational. One would think that an online news organization would have the online account stuff working before they launched.

Pam Wilson

Sat, Jul 25, 2009 : 8:48 p.m.

I must say that the format is fairly user friendly and I am happy to see all of the attention to neighborhood and community news. However, I don't care for the acorn logo; Imuch rather see a grand old oak tree since we are the city of trees. I also would like it to have more of a newspaper appearance. I agree with several of the comments below that the ads are a bit distracting in between stories and would be better placed on the side bar.


Sat, Jul 25, 2009 : 3:38 p.m.

Trying to give this site the benefit of the doubt, but so far after two's been hard to do. I keep reading that this is a "beta" site. Why launch something in beta, when you have told the community that this would be the site of the future and ready to lauch? Beta to me, means it's still in a testing phase. Too much white space, too much scrolling, too much white background (which is not eco-friendly by the way), is this website ADA compliant..if I needed to listen to the website would it translate well? Anywhoo..just some thoughts and experience that I have had in developing a website for work. Also in doing a search for Ypsilanti, I see you are still sticking to the old Ann Arbor news thought of printing only crime..PLease please list other articles about Ypsi, let's use this tool to break the sterotype that has been so prominent all these years. Let's really do something new and to the future with that idea! Good luck, but I'm looking forward to the print version on Thursday and Sunday..where I can sit comfy in my couch, snuggled up with my kids, while they read books, or when I can lay the newspaper on the floor with my kids playing near me and we can talk while we do so, instead of me having to stare at a screen that is burning my retinas and taking all of my focus tring get information that should be easy to access. I could wait until after they are in bed, but by then the article I would like to see is so buried that finding the article by search takes up to much time. So far I see this site as something for reading while at work (which I'm probably not supposed to do :]), professionals with no children, college students with no children and non-seniors.

Meg Geddes

Sat, Jul 25, 2009 : 8:42 a.m.

I'm assuming the neighborhoods refer to school zones; it could be a little more intuitive. Also, the login / my account needs to be a little more prominent; so far I'm the only one in my (fairly internet savvy) family who could find it.


Sat, Jul 25, 2009 : 8:37 a.m.

So - I sign up to find out what's happening in the Mitchell (elementary) school neighborhood in Ann Arbor. What I get is a story about closing the Mitchell Middle School swimming pool in (ta da!) Mitchell, South Dakota. Not exactly what I was hoping for. Not throwing in the towel just yet, but it appears you have some tweaking to do


Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 10:10 p.m.

I'm sorry but it's just takes way to much searching and scrolling to be as comprehensive as the newspaper. I'm sure in time one might get used to it but honestly.. it's not worth the effort. Unfortunetly, I think believes first time users are going to give this more than a two minute investment of there time. If the main page can't quickely tell me what's going on - then I'm gone. i.e CNN gives me a snap shot (at any given moment) of what's going on nationaly. Why can't I see this locally?


Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 5:56 p.m.

First time visitor. I was right! Coming home from work and hving to sit with a computer on my lap is NOT my idea of decompressing after a long day/week at work. I could sit in my favorite chair, kick back and leasurely read the WHOLE paper. I could quickly scan all the ads. I could make a mental note a go to that retailer if any merchandise caught my eye. I was informed. First impression: THIS STINKS!!!!!!! My heart goes out to all of the seniors who read your paper---and everyone else who found it a relaxing way to end the day. Ann Arbor, one of the better cities? A good place to retire?? They can't even support a newspaper. Truly you lost sight of this crooss-section of the community. You let an outsider steal a vibrant, important part of your charm. You should be ashamed. You never asked WE THE PEOPLE! Oops, we don't matter. Shame, shame on you. My heart goes out to your ex-employees. You've been screwed---and so have your faithful readers as well as your advertisors. This is an abomination!


Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 3:54 p.m.

i agree wholeheartedly with smk, greg and kmb. there's way too much scrolling needed to see the newest stories. i'd like to see them at a glance "above the fold." on my laptop the way the site is set up now, i can see exactly one story on the homepage and alot of white space, logos and navigation tabs.

Kristina Birk

Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 2:40 p.m.

There is waaaay too much passive white space and scrolling required.

Greg Yates

Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 2:07 p.m.

I would just like to say that I think site seriously needs work. Drudge Report has a better layout and its about the most rudimentary site I could think of. Craigslist looks nicer. It's impossible to find any sort of headlines, its like a blog where nothing is more important than the other posts. You should be ashamed of yourself for launching with such a bad design. Regards, Greg.


Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 1:59 p.m.

The homepage and news page really needs some reworking. I have a huge monitor at a high resolution and yet I only see a maximum of 3 articles before having to scroll. For a news website, I need to be able to see more at a glance. Don't try to be so different than what really works (i.e. the major news websites). They are all very similar for a reason. Also, hierarchy of content. I don't want to see what has more stars or what is the latest, I want to see what is important! Who decides? Well of course the editors of the site! This is why we trust news sources, we trust them to inform us on what is important. An okay start, but I feel like this site should be still in 'beta'. I do web for a living and still haven't been able to really get into this site. It for sure isn't organized properly to be the news site for Ann Arbor. Keep working on it though, I think you can get there if you fall back a little to the way competition displays content.

Matt Hampel

Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 12:41 p.m. stories still don't list the real source &amp; content owner.

Al D

Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 11:59 a.m.

Will there be an 'Events' section of some kind? Or did I miss it?


Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 10:34 a.m.

Like Ypsichick, I was disappointed not to find Ypsilanti other neighboring communities in the Neighborhood options when I signed up for my user account. Please don't forget about us!

Ruth Kraut

Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 10:30 a.m.

I have commented *once* on this story. An hour later, I try to comment on a different story (to say that the tag of Yspilanti is misspelled) AND get this message: Your comment submission failed for the following reasons: Too many comments have been submitted from you in a short period of time. Please try again in a short while. Do you seriously mean that people cannot comment on several stories in a short period of time? If you want to encourage comments that doesn't seem to make sense since I generally expect that I will be looking at several articles at once, and then leaving the computer for a while. Or is this a glitch?

Tony Dearing

Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 10:18 a.m.

Srah, the following feature is still being built out. Right now, you can choose who you want to follow but the actual function of following will come in the next phase of our site development. We'll get there, but we're not there yet.


Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 10:01 a.m.

What's the purpose behind the "following" feature? Is it just meant as a shortcut to your favorite writers/commenters/friends's pages or will there, in the future, be the possibility of a feed that shows recent activity of the people you're following?

David Cahill

Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 9:52 a.m.

The body text of articles is gray, not black; hence, they are harder to read than if they were the more standard black. I mentioned this situation on the placeholder, and was told this was a glitch which would be fixed when the real webiste launched. It's still not fixed.


Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 9:50 a.m.

Please include area communities in your news coverage. I couldn't even choose "Ypsilanti" in the sign up list of "neighborhoods". I've always enjoyed reading about Saline, Dexter, Chelsea, Pittsfield and Ypsi as well as Ann Arbor. Please don't drop it.


Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 9:15 a.m.

I like the weather at the top of the page, and the ads are subtle enough in the comments. However, I was expecting more coverage during the opening day. No posts in over 12 hours? That's not quite what I was expecting.


Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 9:05 a.m.

I don't much appreciate the ads in the middle of reading news stories! They should be on a sidebar!


Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 8:20 a.m.

I have to say I like it. From an advertising standpoint the voting for placement is a bit little dirty, I would much rather pay for a priemium position as opposed to having staff friends and family sign up and vote, as really who votes for an ad? It does guarantee traffic and signups (by advertisors) though doesnt it.

Duane Collicott

Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 8:03 a.m.

Need comment editing (our own, not others, of course!)

Duane Collicott

Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 7:51 a.m.

@Spitfire - photo credits don't matter much when they have this (from the User Agreement): "Except as expressly provided otherwise in the Privacy Policy or in this Agreement, you agree that by posting messages, uploading text, graphics, photographs, images, video or audio files, inputting data, or engaging in any other form of communication with or through the Website, you grant us a royalty-free, perpetual, non-exclusive, unrestricted, worldwide license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, enhance, transmit, distribute, publicly perform, display, or sublicense any such communication (including your identity and information about you) in any medium (now in existence or hereinafter developed) and for any purpose, including commercial purposes, and to authorize others to do so."

Ruth Kraut

Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 7:51 a.m.

The flyout menu on All Topics needs some work--first of all it doesn't pull out all topics. Obituaries are not listed, even though you are planning an obituaries newsletter. And there is no way to drill down to the subtopics--i.e. Passions and Pursuits has several, comics and advice have at least two (comics, and advice--but maybe also crossword puzzle)? Also--it would be nice if you had a link to AP news, Reuters, NYT, BBC or something with national/international coverage. Or even MICHIGAN coverage. How can we find out about state government?


Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 7:48 a.m.

More on neighborhoods. I think the local communities (i.e. Dexter, Chelsea, Saline, Milan, Ypsi) should be represented. Don't agree so much with the township or high school "neighborhood" concept previously mentioned. I don't want to have to do a search to find stories referencing Dexter if I don't have to.

Sharon C.

Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 7:35 a.m.

Hey folks... quick suggestion: If you'll be having reporters talk to the camera often, mic them separately and then overlay the audio over the video. It's not terribly hard to do, and it removes the talking-in-a-tin-can effect and seems a bit more professional. Good luck!

Mary Remmers

Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 7:29 a.m.

Under a user's profile how about a field linking to a personal website?

Mary Remmers

Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 7:22 a.m.

Wow! Nice job, all. Navigation seems intuitive and the site has a nice, clean look.

Eric S Chernenkoff

Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 7:16 a.m.

Welcome Ann Love the layout. Clean, sleek, no clutter and quick to load. Well done. May you all prosper in this new age of digital news.


Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 7:04 a.m.

I like the clean look. And THANK YOU for no flashing/flashy ads. I might actually read them this way. Question: How can I tell if a post is written by an staff member, or a blogger, or a reader like me? I see that some of the authors have "" under their names. But others, like Geoff Larcom do not. Is he not a staff member? It's important to me to know if I'm reading something from a paid journalist vs a blogger (I value both, just want to know the difference). Thanks.

coffee dude

Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 7:03 a.m.

Movie Listings... theaters and times.... a basic of a local paper.

Jon Saalberg

Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 6:46 a.m.

I appreciate the simplicity of design. The possibility of in-depth local content, even by neighborhood, is very exciting. I have a few comments. The font is the same everywhere - maybe a different font or style could be used to add snap to headlines, sub-heads, etc. The inter-paragraph spacing seems pretty large. Maybe it will be less as the amount of content increases? The arrows under A2 Topics have to be clicked on to reveal their sub-menus. Those would be more user-friendly if the fly-out menus were revealed by mousing over them. Nit-pick: the phrase "Visit our Website" - as savvy web users, maybe Ann Arborites don't need the phrase, and it would eliminate the redundancy of the verbiage. Also, "Website" in "Visit our Webisite" variously appears as "Website", "website", and "web site".


Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 6:03 a.m.

Great pictures---please let us know who is taking them.

John Remmers

Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 5:57 a.m.

The site needs a favicon. Are there any plans to install one?

C. Kamm

Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 5:28 a.m.

Adding to the neighborhood discussion: please add Scio Twp. You may want to add the high schools as neighborhoods, too: Skyline, Huron, Pioneer. Would make it easy for those of us with kids at those schools to find items (sports, etc) where students from those schools are participating.

Matt Hampel

Thu, Jul 23, 2009 : 11:22 p.m.

Hey Ed, (a) Is there a Get Satisfaction page or some other visible tracking system I can use to submit suggestions? (b) Someone should add space between paragraph tags. margin-bottom? padding-bottom? border-bottom? br? Your choice, but something, please!


Thu, Jul 23, 2009 : 11:03 p.m.

RSS Feeds? I posted elsewhere, but now can't find that place. My Q - the RSS feed that you link to is *everything* - blog posts, wedding announcements, sports, news, entertainment, etc. How can I get an RSS feed that is merely News? Also, why is the top article in your current RSS feed a link to a blog post from July 4th about a single girls and her sex or lack thereof? And lastly, when you define a neighborhood that you live in, why are there a TON of A2 neighborhoods, and Pittsfield, but no Saline? I'd understand if Pittsfield wasn't in there, but if it is, why not the other local communities? Pformer Pfizer


Thu, Jul 23, 2009 : 10:35 p.m.

Strongly agree with Carrie: no flashing ads. Since the ads are local and likely to be of some interest, I'll probably scan them rather than ignore them (as I would usually do). But if they are annoying and flashing, I'll probably stop checking this page altogether or turn them off if I can.


Thu, Jul 23, 2009 : 9:35 p.m.

Some early notes: - Not a bad start! - Need a set of "contact us" entries. - Received this error: "An error occurred close Can't call method &amp;quot;id&amp;quot; on an undefined value " when trying to login after clicking the link in my email to confirm my account. - I appreciate the text ads. Please don't move to flash ads. I'll have to turn on my adblocker in that case. I'll put up with graphical ads, so long as they don't move or flash.

Carrie Rheingans

Thu, Jul 23, 2009 : 9:26 p.m.

Is there some sort of map to see where your boundaries of the neighborhoods are? I thought I'd be in SE area, but it appears to be mostly Ypsi... is it SE Wash county? Thanks.


Thu, Jul 23, 2009 : 9:20 p.m.

looks good to me. I like the mulitple places to change what you are viewing or change stories. Good job!


Thu, Jul 23, 2009 : 9:16 p.m.

The news section seriously needs some hierarchy.