To start off this entry, I would like to provide a useful quote for you to ponder: The only way to succeed is going up. All other directions are pointless. For almost five years, the Flensburg Files has provided readers with some interesting topics from the writer’s point of view, ranging from German-American issues, to cultural differences, to celebrities being honored (or dishonored), to providing some interesting places for people to visit. All of the entries have been on the blog level, operated by areavoices, a subsidiary of Forum Communications based in Fargo, North Dakota
That is until today, that is.
For the first time ever, the Files now has its own website, powered by WordPress. The address is similar to the areavoices web address but only shorter.
However, even though some finishing touches are being made at the time of this entry, some new features and changes that are found here include the following:
1. There will be more opportunities to interact with other readers, responding to articles and questions posted by the author. This includes having a questionnaire available in an article posted where necessary as well as more platform space for people to post their opinions about the topic.
2. No more bureaucracy regarding contacting the author. You can use the contact form provided in the website to contact the author directly, without dealing with typing errors, rejections, etc.
3. More opportunities to access news stories in both languages: Apart from the articles on themes posted by the author, the Files is available on facebook and twitter, where you can like and follow respectively. Yet the difference is the Twitter page will have mainly articles from German (-speaking) newspapers on a regional and national level. The facebook pages features a wide array of articles dealing with German-American, cultural issues and other interesting facts, much of which are useful for expatriates living in Germany and Europe. All of them are in the English language.
4. Wider array of topics to be covered here: Apart from the usual contents featured in the Files- touring places of interest, German-American Multicultural topics, and other news projects (including the current one focusing on Germany’s 25 years), the Files will include some topics pertaining to the German-English language, looking at the not-so-easy-to-explain facts and many creative ways of garnering interest in the language. A couple more categories are in the works and will be presented later in the year.
5. More photos: Thanks to more storage space, more photos will be posted in the Files, pending on the topic presented. This despite finding additional ones on the Files’ facebook and flickr pages, which the readers will be directed to in case it is necessary.
6. Better access to other online blogs and websites. The Files will have a page of links available for people get more direct access to the websites they are going. Like in the blog, the links have to do with German news in English, foreign language and culture.
7. More ways to follow. Apart from facebook and twitter, you can also follow the Files via wordpress, RSS feedburner, and other social newtwork pages, as well as subscribe via e-mail, and you can get better access on your Smartphone. This way you can get access to the Files at any time.
These are only a few of the many new features the Files’ new website has, some of the which was not seen in the blog. Although the areavoices blog page will be kept as readers have been accessing it through the Forum newspapers, plus the articles written solely for that blog will remain as is, they will be directed to the website as the blog will feature an abbreviated version of the article that will be available in this website. This will apply for long articles but not those that have questions for the audience.
Keeping this in mind, there is a list of themes to cover in the coming days and weeks; so without further ado, it is time to start writing and for the readers to start following. Happy reading and looking forward to your comments.