CNS website updated

| 02/01/2015 | 47 Comments

(CNS): Cayman News Service launched the news site that changed the face of news in the Cayman Islands six and a half years ago. It was designed by David Wahler, a young Caymanian who was still at college at the time, and it has worked beautifully. However, the platform that it is built on is now out of date and while we are upgrading, we have taken the opportunity to redesign the site and add some new features.

The comment section that has proved very popular has had some technical difficulties recently. For the new site we have incorporated the Disqus comment system, which is used on millions of sites worldwide, including Cayman 27, The Jamaica Gleaner and The Telegraph. And, for those readers who are worried about their identity being revealed, it has one billion unique users per month. You’ll be lost in the crowd!

Readers who want to comment on CNS can create an identity with Disqus that they can use on any website that has their comment system installed. However, people can still comment anonymously and without logging into Disqus by checking the “guest” box in the dropdown menu and inventing a username (‘Anonymous’ if you like). It will ask for an email address but it does not check to see if it’s real.

CNS will continue to moderate the comments as before and the same rules apply.

The main advantage for CNS is that Disqus takes care of all the IT issues, and such a huge business will have teams of people working on it full time. Plus, the comments appear on our site but they are hosted on disqus.com. This is a huge benefit, mainly because it eliminates the need for any readers to log into our site and therefore greatly reduces the risk of spam. This is not a problem that readers would be aware of but there have been times when the site was in danger of crashing due to computer generated spam comments, as well as computer generated abuse complaints.

For more information on Disqus, check out their website.

The new site will have up to six featured articles rotating at the top, and some of them may be illustrated or accompanied by a video, which can be watched on the home page (keep your curser on the article) or by clicking onto that article. Alert readers who previously sent us pictures taken with a phone or camera can now also send audio or video clips to admin@caymannewsservice.com (short clips only, please!) or links to videos on platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo.

For advertisers, the ads are now considerably larger and some of them can be video ads rather than just graphic ads. For more information, email info@caymannewsservice.com.

The new site is on WordPress and uses a template created by Solostream. Comments or suggestions can be emailed to admin@caymannewservice.com or in the comment section below.

All the old articles and comments can be found here: archive.caymannewsservice.com

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Category: Local News

Comments (47)

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  1. Anonymouse says:

    CNS – Have the voting buttons been removed completely from comments or it is just me (IE 11, Win 8.1)? – Cheers

    CNS: Temporarily. I’m adding things in stages so if there are problems I know what to blame. Apologies!

  2. tourist says:

    I was banned on day 1 for my opinions because I did not live on island. I read this site every day and even if I do not live there my opinions used to get some of the highest ratings. I usually post on tourism articles, crime and education and am sad not to be a small part of this site. Trying again today. BTW…just returned back yesterday from GC. Am I being banned because of spam and if so, how do I change that? Would love to add my two cents.

    CNS: If you notice it continuing, email admin@caymannewsservice.com and I’ll try to sort it out.

  3. Another brick in da wall says:

    I guess you have already figured by the lack of comments that the new site is not working. My view is that its just not user friendly. Just list the articles in order they are posted – that way we know what we have read and have not, this rolling header and having to click on all different headlines is not working. plus, some things are listed under more than one header – so why have headers – just list them in date order and take away the signing in thing for commenting. Fair enough if its a one time thing – but every comment?? Come on – that’s a bit much. I hope this is taken as constructive critisiscm as it is intended as I love my CNS

    CNS: The comments now work exactly the same way as they did before. The blocks to fill out your name and email address were always there on the old site but if you ignored them, you just posted as “Anonymous”. Try it. However, we are listening to feedback and appreciate it from our loyal readers. As a result, we’ve cut down the rotating featured stories to two because apart from the fact that people found them confusing, it slowed down the site. We’ll see how that goes. The reason why the articles have different headers is to help people find articles and topics, but the stories are still posted in reverse order – as they were before.

    • Dan says:

      CNS: I believe part of the problem is that the comments do not load for people at work. When home it works fine…but at work (when most people read/comment) it does not work as there seems to be security issues with your site. Check with the site developer to ensure they have proper security measures in place.

      CNS: Is this still a problem? This is why we are trying the WordPress comments instead of Disqus (which may have been blocked by firewalls keeping out social media). Can we get feedback on this?

      • Anonymous says:

        What do reading and commenting while at work actually have to do with your work for which you presumably get paid, Dan? I hope you are not a civil servant………..

      • Dan says:

        Sorry CNS – the comments seem to be loading from work now. Apologies!

        CNS: Really appreciate the feedback. At least I now know that I correctly identified the problem.

  4. Anonymous says:

    It doesn’t work – all the anonymous comments I have left recently with fictitious emails have been removed since I posted them – and they weren’t even controversial!

    CNS: As had always been the case, comments are moderated and some are deleted. You may not have seen them as controversial but clearly there were deleted for some reason.

    • stupid@stupido.com says:

      Wow, that was a reasoned reply. Please CNS, none of my posts were controversial in any way, they were perfectly reasonable, civil and non-hating! I was merely (1) encouraging witnesses to come forward over the killings and saying those who remain silent enabled the violence to continue and may as well be holding the gun; (2) commenting on the article about the government forcing us to return surveys by suggesting the sort out the postal service first and (3) on the article about the woman being attacked by Pit Bulls I suggested more stringent dog controls to put people off having pets if they weren’t going to be responsible with them. I am known for sitting on the fence and being reasonable, and always polite and objective. With all due respect if my posts have been deleted, your current moderator is not being objective and appears to be taking a very selective and draconian approach.

      CNS: They certainly don’t seem like comments I would have deleted. Have another look at the articles and see if the comments are there – perhaps you checked before I had moderated. Another possibility is that they were wrongly picked up by the anti-spam software. (Spam comments are a nightmare.) Next time you post a comment and it doesn’t appear, can you let me know so I can see if I can find out what happened to it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Too busy, too complicated. Sorry, does not work for me. Nothing wrong with the old. Should have left it alone.

  6. If you hover over the top right hand side of the comment, you’ll see an abuse flag appear. It’s not as prominent as before but it is still there.

  7. Natasha Williams says:

    I like it. Great job with the upgrade.

  8. Guest says:

    Where are the thumbs down views?

    • WillYaListen! says:

      Look right below your comment. To the left of Reply.

      With that question you probably don’t need to know.

  9. Long time CNS fan says:

    As someone who was having problems with the comments on the old site, I’m really glad for the change. Take no notice, CNS, everyone will bitch and moan for a while and then they’ll get used to it and love it. I think the new site looks great – very clean and professional.

  10. MeNoLikeItAtAll says:

    What a dog’s dinner. The revamp is a terrible step backwards. Hard to see what the stories are and the top scrolling is weird and wastes time. The voting buttons are pointless since guests can thumbs up but only logged in people can thumbs down. So the votes are skewed and will remain so. Shame, but I can’t me sticking with the site much now.

  11. Gotta life says:

    If you really have nothing better to do then you go ahead. Whatever makes you happy.

  12. Recent Posts says:

    Need to have a way to see what are the recent posts. That was one of the best features of the old site.

    • If you mean the recent comments, i’ve put them on the right hand side under the Sticks and Stones ad and in the footer to see where it works best. Feedback would be welcome.

      • Recent Posts says:

        Excellent. Thanks

      • Worried says:

        I used to be able to check the list of recent posts and see if I had already viewed them the recent posts no just take you to the article and not the individual post. It is not as user friendly. Also too much work to post anonymously.

        I do like the look of the layout but I do feel we are losing the vehicle for easy commenting of our thoughts that we had with the old site.
        If this is true you will lose commenters and readers. Which in turn will mean advertisers.
        My biggest fear is the lose of the CNS that makes a difference in the country. If that pans out you might as well have sold out to Dart and become an online compass.

  13. me says:

    The articles seem smaller and the ads larger. I’ve had to increase my zoom to read the articles, which then makes other sites to large.

  14. Nothingstandsstill says:

    Not many like change. However they deal with it and in time come to like it. Look at the Esterly Tibbets highway, outrage prior to opening and not a peep now…

  15. Gilliejessie says:

    Don’t like the new layout sorry. Need the chrono articles back!!,

  16. CaymansList says:

    Looks good, However I think it would be beneficial to just get rid of the Anonymous posts all together. It is easier to take someone’s comments seriously when there’s a name placed on it even if it’s an Alias. It would also cut down on all the BS posts..

    • Gordon Barlow says:

      No, that’s no good. It would, in effect, ban comment by all Work Permit migrants as well as all employers who rely on Work Permits. None of those people would be willing to risk upsetting The Authorities by criticising any government politician or senior Civil Servant or public policy. Just imagine how few comments there would have been on the Ozzie Bodden fiasco if everybody had to give his or her name! (Snort!)

      • CaymansList says:

        People would still be able to use aliases if they don’t want to use their real names. The advantage would be that people would start recognizing the alias which will lead to more beneficial conversations. Pissed Expat or Fed Up Business Owner can be aliases used by people. This will also keep other people from posting a reply acting like it came from someone else..

    • The Other One says:

      It would definately cut down on posts. Because the point is that I don’t care enough about una to remember my nom de plume from month to month. Though on the flip side I do sometimes rotate through a few, or a few similar names since I dont’ always remember who I started a thread as, depending on what I’m commenting on.

  17. bob says:

    I would also prefer to just see the headlines in chronological order.

  18. Unison says:

    Another suggestion, you can color the background one color for the news stories or the advertisements. That will help differentiate between them.

    • geiser says:

      I think you are right, Unison. A colored background may help differentiate the advertisements and not be so distractive. To me, something is so distractive on the right of the page while trying to read and ads are flipping. Maybe I am old?

  19. SeldomBrown says:

    I haven’t recovered from the changes to CNN, the Ted Turner version, yet.

  20. Unison says:

    Good Morning. I love the Disqus change. I would like to see CayCompass follow suit. However I do find that your advertisements are so merge together with your stories, that from a distance I find it a bit timely to differentiate between what is a story and what is an ad. You may want to make a visible border or coloring to separate them from each other. I like the old layout – before you had the stories at the center of your page and the ads were placed on both sides… And I agree with the previous commenter, let us stick with chronological order. Regards

  21. tired says:

    Too many things flashing off to the right while trying to read an article. No “lol” button- that was my favorite! No thumbs down unless you log on. This site now takes effort instead of an easy way to get the news. On the plus side – you can still post annonymous comments.

  22. guest says:

    I don’t mind the general layout but I don’t like the headlines being in the rotator, I’ve seen this on other sites and I don’t find it works well. I prefer to just see the headlines in chronological order. Nothing was wrong with the old layout :).

  23. You can click on the thumbnails above the featured articles to go to that article. you don’t have to wait until the articles rotate.

    • Unison says:

      If you had them in chronological, a person would have to scroll down and see the advertisements next to them. But since they are rotating, a person will likely not scroll down to read the other news stories. Just a thought. 🙂

    • The Other Me says:

      I know and I do click but since at a glance all you get is a picture or, with a mouse-over, a few words, I don’t click through very often. Since it rearly catches my attention the wya the full block of opening text does.

  24. Naya Boy says:

    It is and update CNS and its going to take some people a little time to navigate the page but once that happens and they get the hang of it i think it will be great! Old Proverb about change You Block change it will run you over You run from change it follows and still runs you over and keeps going. You accept and embrace and ride change to see where it takes you?

  25. Gordon Barlow says:

    All very trendy, I’m sure, Nicky – but speaking as a senior citizen! – I think the layout is inferior. Sorry!

  26. I have a lot more faith in our senior citizens than you do. If one billion users a month can work out how to comment using Disqus, then I have every confidence that people in Cayman can too.

    There are like arrows up and down below each comment but sadly it is not customizable so I can’t add the Troll and LOL buttons. RIP Troll Button

    • Unison says:

      I’m happy you got rid of the troll button. I think it was being misused for any disagreed comment. … I would also like to see all comments arranged at the highest rated ones on top.

      • One of the advantages of Disqus is that readers have the option of arranging the comments as “best”, “newest” or “oldest”. You don’t have to be logged in to do this. The option tab is right under the number of comments.

  27. guest says:

    I agree with the first post. I am not liking this new style. Too busy. Too complicated. Hard to read articles. Seems slow to find articles also. Miss the like, dislike, troll and lol. Plus, as posting as a guest I am going to have to make up an e-mail every time I post?? ugh.
    Struggling to read the articles this morning. 🙁 Thumbs down for me!

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