New digital ‘Advocate’ coming soon

1/22/2009

By the Advocate

In a world where technology seems to change as quickly as the Mississippi weather, the Mississippi United Methodist Advocate is taking the next step in service to its readers.

Beginning with this edition of the Advocate, the newspaper will be available in digital format on the internet.

“We’re very excited about this up-to-date version of the Advocate,” said Editor Woody Woodrick. “I think this option will appeal to those who like their news from the internet but also like the ‘feel’ of a newspaper.”

Readers will follow a link from the conference Web site to the digital Advocate. There, they will see an image that looks just like the front page of the printed edition. By clicking to the left or right of the image, pages will turn just as they would in a printed newspaper.

“Research done by the Arkansas Conference found that readers like on-line news sources, but they also like turning the pages of a newspaper. This gives us the best of both worlds,” Woodrick said.

The Advocate page on the conference Web site will continue to offer individual stories from each edition in “web page” format along with a permanent document file (pdf).

The new digital service is part of a series of innovations by the Message and Media Team including ministry podcasts, vPistles and social utility pages such as Facebook, in order to more consistently and effectively communicate the message of the Mississippi Annual Conference to the world.

“We have a very dedicated staff,” said Shane Stanford, team leader for conference Message and Media. “Along with the great work of Woody, Ryan and Brenda, we have partnered with the United Methodist Hour to develop our podcasts and vPistles and to provide 10 30 second promo ads for conference ministries over the next six months.”

The first of these ads, about the conference camping ministries, aired last week on The United Methodist Hour.

“We want to provide the best means possible for communicating the great work of our local churches and ministries throughout the state,” Stanford said. “The digital version of the Advocate is a wonderful, new part to this process”

To use the new Advocate format, readers will need to have Adobe Flash Player installed on their computers. Those using Microsoft Internet Explorers as their Web browser will be prompted to download the program free when they attempt to open the digital Advocate. The program is also available free at http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/.