Monday, October 3, 2011

New site design

Between the Bars has been busy in the last six months:
  • We now have over 300 writers, and are regularly receiving 100 letters per week
  • We've published over 1500 blog posts and profiles.
  • We now have a paid part-time staff person, thanks to the Center for Civic Media's support, to help us with operations
  • We've accrued a wait-list of over 500 additional writers in prison who want to blog - and we're working on growing our capacity to publish them as well.
This is still a far cry from the 2.3 million people in prison right now.  So clearly, we have our work cut out for us!

So it is with this in mind that we're delighted to announce some major changes to the Between the Bars website!  View them here:  http://betweenthebars.org

In addition to a fresh new look, we're sporting some great new features. You can now subscribe to particular authors' blogs, or to categories of posts, via email.  You can also get notifications when authors respond to your comments.  We also have a new "featured posts" section on the front page, which is part of our growing initiative to start making the amazing corpus of letters that we add to each week more accessible.

But more importantly, we're very excited by the back-end changes to the site which will greatly increase our capacity to publish more work.  In addition to making the workflow of turning letters into blog posts more efficient, we're now better set up to take on additional volunteer help from friends, family members and supporters of people in prison - anyone with a computer will be able to help.  Over the next few months we will be working hard to get more people involved in publishing.

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