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Allow Me To Introduce Myself...

By Alan Warms

I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself to you as the new Publisher of RealClearPolitics.com, explain why I am here and how I got involved, and also to introduce a few of our new features in a bit more detail. I very much look forward to getting to know you all better in the next few years; and please don’t hesitate to email me at alan@realclearpolitics.com if you have any questions or comments.

My first exposure to RealClearPolitics.com was as a daily and avid reader and fan. In the aftermath of September 11th, my attention quickly shifted to what we as a country are doing, what are our alternatives, and how can I be as informed a citizen as possible. I found RealClearPolitics.com in early 2002 and it has been my first stop of the day, every day, as I continue to make sense of the world around us.

My professional involvement started taking shape last summer. I connected with John and Tom and it became quickly apparent we shared a joint vision for RCP. We truly believe that as the number of news sources, blogs, videoblogs, etc. continue to grow; the need for a “trusted filter” only becomes more important. And the most important thing we can do, day in and day out, is to ensure that the quality of that filter is 100% the best that it can be.

My role as Publisher is essentially to take all non-content related activities off of John and Tom's plate so they can focus on the quality of the site. Specifically, I manage the technology and web site; our commercial relationships with advertisers and partners, and also work with John and Tom to develop and launch new features for the site.

And to that end, we have launched a significant number of new features with the upgraded web site, as well as modified/expanded upon others. We view these new features as a start; we have many more ideas as to how we can improve the site that we hope to implement, with your input, on a regular basis in the coming years.

As for the new features launched today, I do want to take the time to explain them to you in a bit more detail:

New Design and Infrastructure: We worked with Dillon Thompson (www.dillonthompson.com) to come up with a brand new design that would maintain our above-the-fold convenience while giving us a lot more flexibility in terms of launching new products and features to meet your needs. As part and parcel of the new design, we also completely replaced our web infrastructure which, in addition to making web pages load faster and enabling new features, also allows us to track much more closely what articles and features you the readers think are important.

Morning/Evening Update: The core feature has been changed slightly; instead of the previous week’s content being available simply by scrolling down, we now enable you to simply click on a “day of the week” to view any days you might have missed. In addition to making the site better organized, this change helps decrease the size of the RCP front page which should result in faster downloads and improved performance.

Topics: This new feature, which can be accessed by clicking on Topics or “Click Here to View More Topics,” allows you as a user to quickly view all the articles and commentary we’ve added on a particular issue of interest to you. This is much superior to just a web search, as every article that is listed in this has been screened through our process. We also allow you to get a unique RSS feed for each topic; RSS is a technology that allows you to get feeds automatically sent to you on a regular basis.

Opinion Buzztracker: This feature provides readers with the stories of the day that are generating the most conversation within the blogosophere, along with links to the blogs commenting on the selected stories. Both the stories and blogs are selected by an algorithm developed by RCP’s editors that recognize the reliability and credibility of source articles and blogs. Another way to think about this feature is the Opinion Buzztracker is the blogosophere’s collective filter of the world.

ReaderArticles: In this section we invite you, the most informed political audience anywhere, to submit links to stories that you find important, interesting, or think deserve more attention. We publish those links in the Reader Articles page and then allow any reader to be able to vote on them. The five most popular stories, as determined by your votes, are then displayed on the RCP front page. This is the only feature in the site that requires registration. Another way to think about this feature is this becomes YOUR filter – the filter that represents the collective thoughts of the RCP audience.

Most Read: This feature, located on the left column of the home page, allows you to see what other RCP users are reading most over the past day and the past seven days.

We thank you for your time and loyalty over the past six years and hope to continue to serve you in the coming years. We will continue to focus on delivering the highest quality content we can every day as a top priority, and we are confident that our new site will provide you with more meaningful ways to become informed on the issues of the day.

Again, please do not hesitate to email me with any questions, comments, concerns, or business ideas at alan@realclearpolitics.com.

--Alan Warms


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