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Times unveils new Web site

Online readers got a bit of a surprise Monday morning when they snagged that first cup of coffee and sat down to browse the news on www.demopolistimes.com.

Web surfers found a brighter display and a more streamlined user interface. They also found more content available through the front page and section tabs.

Users can interface through the homepage, reading top stories from news, sports and Serendipity. Also featured on the top bar are viewpoints, obituaries and public records (arrests, incidents, divorces, marriages, deeds). Classifieds and special sections will be available soon.

A scrolling slideshow gives users access to three stories, while the top news is displayed near the middle of the page. Directly beneath the scrolling slideshow, more news stories can be found.

The Web site also features a quick poll feature, where readers can voice their opinion. The first question: How do you like the new site? So far, 65 percent of respondents liked the new site while 23 percent thought it was OK and 12 percent characterized it as “bad.”

The site offers readers a way to place comments on stories by logging in. Online readers may choose a name to post under, but they must provide a valid e-mail address to take part in community discussions. The privacy of those e-mail addresses will not be compromised by The Times.

Scrolling down, there are links to more news, as well as links to sports stories.

At the bottom of the page, Serendipity takes readers to feature stories from the community, while another table offers columnists and blogs. The final table in that row offers multimedia, a feature that will be added soon.

Finally, a quick search bar at the very bottom of the page lets readers search archives. However, complete archives of the paper are unavailable for the short term, due to technical difficulties with the previous site provider. Those archives will be added to the site as they become available.