How do I get another Storyline?

All Sacramento Press community contributors are given four storylines when they first sign up for an account. Some users never go through all four storylines. Most active writers will use up their storylines quickly. To get more storylines, send an e-mail to support@sacramentopress.com. Here are instructions on how to create a new storyline: 1. Click on the "Write" button at the top of the Sacramento Press home page. 2.  This will take you to the screen that lists all of the stories you’ve written. Scroll down to the very bottom of this page.  3. You’ll see that you have remaining storylines. Click on the button that reads "Add New Storyline."  4. Name your storyline and add a description if you’d like. This is NOT where you paste your article. You paste your article in the next page. After you’ve named your storyline, click "Create Now!" 5. This will take you back to the page that lists all of your articles. To write an article using your new storyline, click "Write New Article." 6. Make sure you click on the box next to your newly created storyline.     7. Once you’ve selected the storyline, paste your story in the content box below and publish as you normally would.

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What should I write about?

OK, here’s a big question, one that stops everyone at some point, even veterans: What should I write about? What’s "interesting"? And there are other questions: Is this story too small? Too big? Not local enough? TOO local? We’re feeling our way on this one, but we’ve been very specific that this is about The Grid, the central city, midtown/downtown. (BTW, I’m not that keen on the midtown/downtown distinction, because they’re such vague areas. A map I once saw in the Bee had the line demarcating the two meandering all over the Grid, making hash of the distinction. So let’s just call it "downtown" or the Grid, eh? And don’t get me started on the whole "Handle District" or "SoCap" thing … that’s marketing, pure and simple.) We want reporting on what’s happening in this little 806 square block of heaven and hell known increasingly, if not universally, as the Grid. Because that’s what it is, a grid, and one of the great beauties of it is that it is so well-defined. Though I’ve heard people extend the Grid into East Sac, and past Broadway into the inner suburbs like Curtis and Land Parks, the Grid is very well defined. And that’s a good thing. We’ve got two freeways and two rivers hemming us in, and that gives us something to push up against. We should keep it well-defined, in the […]

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Editing a new kind of newspaper

As the Managing Editor of SacramentoPress.com, and a life-long journalist of more than 30 years, I thought I should start a storyline about what I’m trying to do here. My purpose is to get feedback, and to give you, the potential or current contributor, and above all, to give MYSELF, some idea of what’s going on with SacramentoPress.com. Despite my experience as a writer for The Sacramento Bee, Sacramento (and other) magazines, my own blog and with stints at radio, this is as new for me as it is for everyone else. Because this is NEW. The internet is not yet a generation old, blogging far newer. And journalism – well, what is that? Our Thursday, Dec. 18 workshop will answer that, in part, but let me try to demystify it a bit for you, especially in context of SacramentoPress.com. Because while we use the word "press," your laptop is the press. There are no big – and we’re talking BIG – presses like those that cost The Sacramento Bee so much money to run. There is no paper, though founders Ben and Geoff routinely refer to the press as "the paper." So what is this? It’s not a "paper"; that’s just a convenient metaphor. SacramentoPress.com is something new. It’s contributor-driven, amateur in the best sense of the word (for the love of doing it) and, […]

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Storylines sound like a fancy name for blogs. What is the difference?

There are three main differences. The first is not technical. Right now storylines are usually written by one author. He/she is the author for each article in the storyline just like most blogs. However, we ask each author to tell just one story over time rather than posting all sorts of interesting tidbits. While blogs can go all over the place, we ask our writers to stick to one story and cover it well. The second difference is technical. Our storylines are dynamic. Editors can combine any series of articles into a storyline. This kind of editorial control is really great. And because we built our system with this kind of flexibility in mind from the start, we have an amazing content manegement system. Third, intent is very important. Our intent is to enable the best stories and the the best conversations. We work very hard to elevate both along side each other. We believe that each are equally important. We use many tools that blogging platforms use. We use many tools that great forums use. We have created an outstanding layout system so that editors can make the whole site look just like a newspaper. We are using the very best tools from all over the web to build the very best site for Sacramento. While the tools bear some resemblance, the most important […]

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What is a storyline?

Ben, the cofounder of the Sacramento Press gets asked this question about 20 times a day, so below is the answer that he gave for this question: Let me start with a different question: what is an article? In printed newspapers articles are the basic unit of content, it is how a newspaper tells a story. An article can only be a certain length because there is only so much room on the page. And if a writer wants to post a history of the topic covered, link to older news items, or follow up the progress of the story? Well, tough luck. Traditional papers are constrained by space and time and try to tell the whole story in any given article. So if you want to start an online newspaper, you could start with that same basic unit, the article. But when we first designed The Sacramento Press, Geoff and I wanted to start from scratch. We wanted to enable writers to tell stories without the constraints of space or time. We wanted to establish a conversation with readers. So we came up with a new basic unit, the storyline. We ask our writers to cover a topic and follow the progress of the story. We ask writers to find the history of the story, and cover developments over time. Each post can be […]

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