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New features on Crosscut

Crosscut week in review: There are new ways for readers to interact with one another and Crosscut editors.

There are two new features on Crosscut's site, designed for greater reader participation and involvement. 

On the bottom line of the Clicker section (that's what we called the headlines from other publications near the top of the home page), there is a new place for suggesting stories that should be part of the roundup. The headlines bring together some of the best, most thought-provoking stories from the region and beyond, so we are very interested to see what readers will suggest from elsewhere for other Crosscut visitors.

You have to be signed in as a registered Crosscut user (the login and registration feature is at the very upper right corner of the home page) in order to make use of the feature. If you click on "Suggest a story" at the bottom of the Clicker section, you will be sent to a page where you can suggest a story from another publication and choose whether or not you want to be identified as the person making the suggestion.

An editor will then review the suggestion and, if the story is selected, write a headline and brief description. By the way, the Clicker items are often scheduled some hours in advance, so even if a suggested story doesn't appear quickly, it likely will be shared with the entire Crosscut readership later in the day or the following day.

Each of the items in our Clicker section now includes an option for readers to leave a comment here for their fellow Crosscut readers. Although we had regarded this as unnecessary, on the thought that people can always make comments on other sites, it's a change that had been requested by some readers.

We don't have any estimate on how many people will want to use this option. But it was clear that, at least occasionally, some readers would like to communicate with other people using this site rather than, say, posting a comment for the entire New York Times readership.

In addition, our computer expert Jon Sayer has also redesigned the appearance of Clicker to make it clearer when we are posting a related story from Crosscut along with the other publication's item. The Crosscut items, which used to be denoted only with a bullet icon, will now have a small version of Crosscut's logo.

With this day being the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, we have run several items related to the current controversies around memorializing the human losses. By any measure, it's a solemn time for Americans.

If you're taking a moment to catch up with some of the local coverage, here are a few of the most-read and commented stories:

"Vance report: GOP tide could swamp the state's D.C. races, and Olympia too," by Chris Vance.

"Income tax measure: Is it about trust?" by Daniel Jack Chasan.

Execution: State's history offers some hope of ending barbarity," by Pete Jackson.

"How the Erie Canal and Hoover Dam hold lessons for today's hard times," by Michael Godfried.

Thanks for dropping by. We look forward to your suggestions of stories to share with other readers.

Joe Copeland is political editor for Crosscut. You can reach him at Joe.Copeland@crosscut.com.


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