Online features receive special promotion

Regular readers of The Western Producer might notice some new items in these pages, most notably on Page 2, where we showcase What’s happening@Producer.com.

In this segment, we point to extra features that our website offers readers, such as poll questions that are included with stories. These offer readers a chance to have your say on stories by answering quick questions. While not scientific, of course, they help take the measure of opinions on various topics.

Other features highlighted on Page 2 include photo galleries and videos that supplement stories.

This accompanies a feature I discussed a few weeks ago called Producer Online. Written by our online staff, Paul Yanko and Robin Booker, this column takes snippets of discussion from stories on our website and presents them in context for readers to take in.

We invite readers to weigh in with comments. Unlike many newspaper sites that let their comment sections run rogue, The Western Producer’s website is moderated, so debate is kept civil and respectful. It does mean that posts aren’t instantly online, but we believe the tradeoff for fruitful and cordial discussion is something our readers prefer. Let us know what you think. Would you prefer that we open up to free posting, moderated after readers report comments?

You might also notice that we sometimes have quick quizzes in our online stories. We invite readers to participate in these short quizzes, often just a few questions, to test your knowledge on the subject. For example, if you read Karen Morrison’s story, Keeping kids safe on the farm, which was posted March 12, you’ll find a quick quiz that tests what you know about safety. These quizzes aren’t meant to be time consuming, nor are they full tests of your knowledge; rather, they’re meant to be teasers to encourage readers to recall information that we may assume we know but might also be surprised when we don’t.

You can also join the discussion at The Western Producer on our Twitter site, @WesternProducer, and our Facebook site, where we occasionally post online extras that readers might find interesting from around the web.

All of this is intended to invite you into our house — the house of The Western Producer, that is — for engaging conversation about farming.

We hope you’ll join us.

brian.macleod@producer.com

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