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A new year’s resolution for The Sacramento Press

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In honor of a new year, we’ve decided to shake things up a bit here at The Sacramento Press. Our New Year’s resolution for 2013 is to get back to the heart of what drives this site: our community, our neighbors and their stories. That is to say, both contributors and our editorial staff will turn a keener eye to local issues that generate community discussion in an effort to achieve our overarching goal, which is to enrich the lives of local residents while making our city a better place to live.

We are eager to hear input from our readers and writers – what do you want to see and what do you want to share?

Which does not mean that the many awesome events going on in our area don’t have a place on The Sacramento Press. We will continue to encourage our contributors to write about local events from their own perspective. Hearing about your experience at a local event is great! The only problem is that when we hear about it after the fact, we get sad that we did not find out sooner and attend ourselves. Reviews are best when they have followed a preview.

Speaking of our contributors, The Sacramento Press would not be what it is without the help of our massive team of community contributors. They work hard to share their local perspectives, and those of their fellow residents, with readers on our site. That’s why we want to start doing a better job of giving credit where credit is due.

As our regular readers might know, The Sacramento Press denotes ranking and achievements on our site through a system of identity and merit badges. Identity badges are included beside the names of all writers, and merit badges are visible upon visiting a user’s profile. You can find more information on badges here. Until now, contributors have only been eligible for the verified contributor badge (description below).

The system is about to change. Starting on Jan. 1, all community contributors will be eligible for three potential identity badges. The new system’s purpose is two-fold: It is designed to make it easier for readers to assess a given contributor’s commitment to the site and coverage reliability, as well as show our appreciation for our most active and reliable contributors.

The new badge system will work as follows:

Tier 3: Verified Contributor

While we don’t require identity verification, we feel that owning your place in the community as well as your voice in our discussion is an important part of civic dialogue. We encourage anyone posting on the site to attend a workshop or set up an appointment with me, the community manager, to stop by the office and show your driver’s license, passport or other form of government-approved identification.

 

Tier 2: Top Contributor

Top Contributors are those verified individuals who post quality coverage on a monthly basis. They accept local story pitches from our Community Outreach Department, and all event reviews are accompanied by a preview. Top contributors frequently post community-themed pieces on local artists, businesses or neighborhood issues. They generate discussion amongst our readers that enriches our site and our city.

 

Tier 1: Elite Contributor

Elite Contributors are our soldiers on the street. They post multiple times per month and not only accept pitches from our Community Outreach Department, but regularly propose their own story ideas as well. Elite Contributors have their eyes on the community and their fingers on the pulse of our region. They don’t just generate discussion amongst our readers, they also engage in the comments section themselves, responding to questions and feedback to follow up on the issues they cover. Elite Contributors can be nominated by readers or other contributors by emailing feedback [at] sacramentopress.com. Editor Jared Goyette and I will assess nominations. Look forward to an upcoming announcement of The Sacramento Press’ Original Elites to be posted early in the new year.

Elite Contributors will be assessed quarterly and given seasonal merit badges that are visible upon viewing his or her profile (which will be permanent, as opposed to the identity badges which can be exchanged depending on the level of participation). This is to ensure that dedicated contributors are not forgotten if he or she falls off the radar for a month or two. Just because you were preoccupied over the summer does not mean we’ve do not still appreciate the hard work you put in during the months preceding.

We hope you’re as excited about these developments as we are. As always, we strongly encourage feedback, so questions, concerns and comments about the new system can be posted in the comments section or emailed to feedback [at] sacramentopress.com.

Bring it on, 2013! 

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