MWR redesigns website, offers digital subscription

Mar 31, 2014 by and

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Mennonite World Review has redesigned its website to better serve a growing online readership.

Digital issues will be available to download or view on devices every other Wednesday.

Digital issues will be available to download or view on devices every other Wednesday.

With nearly 14,000 unique visitors a month, the mennoworld.org website plays a key role in MWR’s Anabaptist news ministry.

The site now features a digital subscription option, easier-to-use navigation tools and an improved commenting system.

Digital subscription

For the first time, MWR is offering a digital subscription. The $36 yearly rate is one-third off the print edition’s price.

The digital edition is a PDF (portable document format) version of MWR’s pages, exactly as they appear in print.

Subscribers can download or read the digital edition online on the Wednesday before MWR’s every-other-Monday publication date.

The digital edition is free to print subscribers. If you already subscribe to the print newspaper, you can create an account at mennoworld.org/subscribe to access the digital edition at no additional cost.

Start a subscription to the digital edition only at mennoworld.org/subscribe, too.

The digital edition responds to a growing preference for paperless and device-friendly reading options.

For readers whose postal delivery is slow, the digital edition offers quick access to the latest issue. For international readers, the digital edition will be much cheaper and faster.

The MWR website remains free to all. It offers about half of the newspaper’s content.

A free website enables MWR to draw the widest possible audience while also encouraging online readers to become subscribers, whose financial support is essential.

Navigation

The World Together Blog has steadily grown in popularity and now accounts for 25 percent of MWR’s web traffic. It now has its own logo, designed by Rachel Lapp Whitt, chair of the MWR Inc. board of directors. The blog is featured more prominently on the MWR homepage.

A growing number of readers come to the site from the social media networks Facebook and Twitter, in addition to Google News and MWR’s Weekly Update emails. The new design includes lists with popular and shared stories on each page to guide readers toward content others are finding useful.

A wider variety of social media sharing buttons are more prominently located on each article.

On the new homepage, readers can easily sign up for the Weekly Update featuring new and recent stories, some of which have not yet appeared in print, and the week’s most visited content.

Commenting

Readers’ comments online have become an important part of the dialogue about MWR’s content. A new comments policy and an upgraded commenting system promote constructive dialogue and raise the standards of credibility and accountability among those who join the online discussions.

Mennoworld.org now uses the popular commenting system Disqus.

  • To comment on a blog or article, readers are asked to sign in, using a social media account or email address so that comments can be shared easily and connected to one identity.
  • Users can reply directly to a specific comment, and the reply is then marked as such.
  • After signing in, readers can vote other comments up or down. Comments with the most votes rise to the top.
  • Comments are monitored before they are posted. Editors select the comments that appear, just as with letters in the print edition. Anonymous comments, and those with false or incomplete names, are not accepted.

Selected online comments, or portions of comments, will be published in print, in the same format as letters to the editor.

Comments made before the redesign will remain intact on the archived site. Readers are welcome to repost recent comments to the new site. Use the search function to find old articles.

Other things to know

  • The redesign offers more options for advertisers, improving the website’s financial sustainability. Ad space is newly available at the top of the homepage, as well as on the blog. Advertisers can see more specific information about the website’s audience demographics and reach at mennoworld.org/advertise.
  •  The search function is now easily found in the upper right-hand corner of every web page.
  • Content published online before 2014 will remain accessible at mennoworld.org/archived.

More improvements are possible as readers respond to the redesign. We welcome your comments.

Upgrading the website reflects the importance of multiple formats during a time of media transition — “From Gutenberg to Google,” as board member John Longhurst put it in his presentation at the recent Mennonite World Review Inc. annual corporation meeting. Both the print and digital versions give life to MWR’s ministry of independent Anabaptist journalism.


Comments Policy

Mennonite World Review invites readers’ comments on articles. To promote constructive dialogue, editors select the comments that appear, just as we do with letters to the editor in print. These decisions are final. Writers must sign their first and last names; anonymous comments are not accepted. Comments do not appear until approved and are posted during business hours. Comments may be reproduced in print, and may be edited if selected for print.

  • John M. Miller

    Another step improving the two-way communication potential of MWR as a hub for Anabaptist constituency around the world. I appreciate your valiant effort to keep vital information flowing and judicious selection of key issues and voices from the plethora in our world today.

  • Elaine Fehr

    It’s great to have that “edit” button – thank you! :o)

  • I deplore the fact that all comments on the website will now be moderated. I realize that under previous policy comments were occasionally removed (unacceptably so in some instances known to me), but I am concerned that this latest “progress” and redesign will allow even greater editorial control over what is an “acceptable” thought to share on an article or comment thereon. It is good to have forums in which readers can speak frankly and even provocatively at points. In the spirit of mutuality and openness to hear what all are saying and thinking — even if that musing is at odds with what are “sacred cows” to church and government analogous to those that our forebears named — I hope I am wrong about this change in direction.

  • Herbert Reed

    I applaud the decision to have moderated comments and to require first and last names of those commenting. This brings the MWR comments more in line with protocol for letters to the editor and makes it less likely that a few people with specific agendas will dominate the conversation which was happening to some extent with the previous system. I trust that the moderators will not screen out unpopular views but will remove comments which are uncivil and attack or stereotype individuals rather than debating ideas. It might be a good idea to have a brief statement of the rules for commenting prominently displayed along with a link for more detailed comments policy and to provide some kind of feedback in an email when posts are rejected with reasons for rejecting provided.

    –Herbert Reed

  • James Regier

    I noticed the changes before seeing this article. I am very well impressed. I am also excited about the e-subscription option. Exciting times.

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