Letters From The Editors: Habs, we have a problem (or two)


Justin Curto and Jena Smith

Welcome back to Letters From The Editors. This week, we had not one, but two major web happenings. And, of course, they occurred when we finally had more than enough events to cover.

It all started Saturday night, when J-Curt made a realization. As he was clicking through one of his concert photo galleries, he saw that his vertical photos didn’t look nearly as good as they did on the camera screen. After further research, he found out the JAG and JagWire staffs had been cropping their web photos 300 pixels too small for at least the past 2 ½ years, and he told Jena right away. To put this into perspective, the vertical photos we had been posting should have been 1 ½ times as wide as they were, so they were being stretched to make up for the size discrepancy.

After the stresses of finishing this issue of the newspaper were over, we told Habs about our discovery, who then passed on the information to the JAG staff. (JagWire staff members, if you’re reading this … surprise.) A few staff members started cropping their galleries to the proper size for their coverage this past week, and, once we get all our photogs on board with our new photo dimensions, hopefully our galleries will look even better.

Later on in the week, while Jena was home sick on Thursday, the website crashed. In the past, after alerting our good friend Jason Wallestad, the website usually came back within an hour. This time, we weren’t so lucky. SNO was moving our site over to a different server, so it took more than an hour to revive itself. We postponed posting Thursday’s coverage until Friday morning, and thankfully, when we woke up Friday morning, the site was back.

It’s great to identify problems that need solutions, but finding the solutions and fixing them isn’t the fun part — especially when it changes tradition or is entirely out of your control. Nevertheless, we’re glad we found and solved these problems to make our site even better for you.

Check it out: This week was Wish Week, a spirit week in place of our usual Winter Homecoming fun. JAG and JagWire staffers teamed up to cover the spirit days (pajama day, tacky tourist day, Disney day, jersey day, and blue out day), as well as other fun Wish Week happenings, like an open mic night on Monday and a pep assembly on Friday. We’re proud of our staff’s coverage this week, and you should definitely check all of it out.

Lessons of the week:

J-Curt: Doing the same stuff all the time gets boring. So, when completing the spread I designed for the newspaper this past week, I decided to try something new, without knowing how well it would turn out. I made some graphics for secondary coverage on the spread, to make it more interesting than just placing some big numbers on the pages. I’m proud of how the graphics (which you can check out online as well) turned out, but, more importantly, I’m glad I took a slight risk and made them in the first place. Though it may be scary to try something new without a guarantee that it’ll work out, it’s something that’s important to do every now and again, or else life gets pretty boring.

Jena: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Whether you’re a busy bee or a couch potato, it’s so important to take care of yourself, especially when you’re sick. As much as I wanted to push through this week and ignore my oncoming symptoms, I finally had to stay home and take it easy on Thursday. Thankfully, by Friday, (just like the website), I was back and ready to take on the last day of Wish Week and the evening’s Winter Homecoming festivities. As hard as it can be to do, I learned for the hundredth time that it’s OK to be sick and take a day for yourself.

That’s all … for now.

Seniors Justin “J-Curt” Curto and Jena Smith are the editors-in-chief of Mill Valley News online. They appreciate captioned photos, categorized and tagged stories, staff members who don’t text about web assignments at 11 p.m., teachers and students who talk about things they read on Mill Valley News and all things multimedia.

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