Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Taking a break, and a TucsonCitizen.com update

I have use-it-or-lose-it vacation time, and have been instructed to use it rather than lose it by the end of the year.

I will try.

This is not so easy to do when you’ve been a one-man crew since September, when TucsonCitizen.com administrator Mark Evans left to head up Inside Tucson Business. In addition to my usual duties covering University of Arizona athletics, I’ve been handling the site’s basic admin responsibilities.

Simply hanging a Gone Fishin’ sign on the site for more than a week doesn’t sound like a winning option to me, so I will be checking in to update the home page’s top posts, answer a few key e-mails, etc. And I have more than a few Arizona football stories/interviews in the bank, so I will be rolling those out, too, in advance of the team’s appearance in the AdvoCare V100 Bowl in Shreveport, La., on Dec. 31.

(I also will be posting bowl stories from our Gannett partner, The Shreveport Times.)

Let me use this forum to provide an update on TucsonCitizen.com:

The most pressing issue, as many of you have noticed with increasing frustration, is that the site has a random and persistent glitch. Sometimes, when clicking on a link, you get a RSS comments page or a page filled with code. I’m told this has to do with a problem between the WordPress caching plug-in and our server software.

I’m also told that any fix is too time-consuming right now for the local help we get from the continuing partnership between the owners of the Arizona Daily Star (Lee Enterprises) and TucsonCitizen.com (Gannett).

The long-term solution is a site redesign and moving away from a situation in which we rely on help from the Star’s digital staff. Such a project has long been in the works but was put on hold by Gannett when Mark left.

This will get sorted out ASAP in 2014.

The short-term workaround when you encounter the glitch, especially if you’re using Firefox, is to use the browser’s “reload current page” button. That usually brings up the correct content.

The month of May will mark the fifth year since the closure of the Tucson Citizen print edition. At the time, Mark was put in charge of a two-person crew to continue the “editorial voice” of the Citizen, a legal requirement from the Department of Justice to dissolve the joint operating agreement between Gannett and Lee.

It was Mark’s vision, and subsequent energy, to turn the site into a community blogging platform. Since then, about 150 citizen journalists and bloggers have signed up, unpaid, to write at TucsonCitizen.com, some more determined and enduring than others.

A few of those include Andy Morales on high school sports, Carolyn Classen on community events and Karyn Zoldan on animal charities and pet resources.

Thanks to all the bloggers, who inform, enlighten and sometimes just stir the pot.

See you in 2014.

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