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A new year – and a ‘new’ Forward Kentucky!

Welcome to 2023 – and a redesigned Forward Kentucky with many new features and a new look!

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Photo by Nick Fewings / Unsplash

Happy New Year! The coming year promises to be chock-full of politics: the legislative session, various court cases to watch, and of course the 2023 election. And as part of celebrating the new year, we at Forward Kentucky are also celebrating a whole raft of new features, changes, and improvements to the site, and to our work.

Below is a list you can use to find and understand what’s up. Open the site in a new tab in your browser and check out the items below. And to make this story easier to use, we’ve included a table of contents at the top.

Okay, enough introduction – let’s dive right in!


Table of Contents

New and changed features on the site

The Index
Two new story sections
The Atlas
A whole new look
Other changes to the site

Changes to our work

Killed off the Significant Articles newsletter
Left TikTok and deactivated Instagram
Joined Mastodon and Post


New and changed features on the site

Most of these are easy to find, but you might want to spend a few minutes scanning the front page, including the menu, to see them in action.

The Index

This is exactly what it says – an index to content on the site. It includes a custom search, a section listing the types of content on the site, and a section listing the topics on the site.

We haven’t done topic tags before, so we’re having to go back and add them to all 2,000+ previous posts. So, you might want to check this page once in a while, as the Topics list will grow over time as we tag more stories.

Two new story sections

Every tag (type and topic) automatically generates a page with stories under that tag. You can click on any of the tags on the Index page to see that.

But to start the new year, we are putting two topic tags right on the top menu: KYGA23, for the upcoming General Assembly; and Election23, for the 2023 election this November. If you especially want to follow those two topics, you might want to bookmark those pages.

The Atlas

Some people think of Forward Kentucky as “just a blog.” In case you can’t tell, we take that as a mild insult. With multiple outlets for the content, and a large list of contributors, we are not “just a blog” – we are a media operation

The Atlas is where you can find all the ways our content gets into the world, and how to find us on various platforms. Like a regular atlas, it’s a guide to help you find things.

A whole new look

We’re really pleased with the new look for the site. It uses the screen space more effectively, it has more features, and it just looks good.

Here’s a rundown of what’s in the new design:

  • At the top, you've got three “featured” stories at the top and left, and the latest non-featured stories on the right
  • If you click on the “Latest” heading at the top of those stories on the right, you’ll go to a special page listing all published content on the site, in chronological order
  • Front page sections for News, Commentary, Policy, and Editor’s Picks
  • An option for light or dark mode, which you access by clicking the sun/moon icon at the top left. I really like the dark mode!
  • There are now two ways to access your account: using the profile button in the lower right, like always, and a new "Account" link in the upper right

Other changes to the site

In addition to the new stuff, there are a few changes to the site as well. Here’s a quick list:

  • Most older posts have been added to the site. Forward Kentucky started in 2016, but there are stories from its predecessors going back to 2005. We finally got most of those moved to this site, and we're in the process of cleaning and tagging them.
  • Note, though, that older posts that were very time-specific — announcements of events, for example — have been removed from the archives.
  • And speaking of old stories, the two archives — one for newsletters, and one for everything else — have been moved to the bottom menu. Still have to fix the color scheme for these pages under dark mode.

Changes to our work

A new newsletter

We’ve added a newsletter called the Daily Story List. It is just that: an simple weekday email listing all the content published that day. Some readers have asked for it as an alternative to checking the site itself. If that is something you want to try, turn it on in your profile.

And for those who are unaware of all the newsletters we publish, we’ve added a page listing them all, with explanations.

Killed off the Significant Articles newsletter

This newsletter always struck me as problematic – who’s to say one story is more significant than another? So, I got rid of it.

Left TikTok, and deactivated Instagram

We tried putting the News and Notes on TikTok as a short video, as well as posting one commentary as a video. None of these got very much traction (although the editorial one got 87 views). And, with the growing security concerns over TikTok, I just felt it was time to end that experiment.

As for Instagram, the jury is still out. For now, I’ve deactivated the account. Perhaps at some point we can add staff member (paid or volunteer) who can give us a strong presence on Instagram.

Joined Mastodon and Post

Twitter is still a useful tool for us in terms of both following the news and posting our stories, but we all know that may not continue to be the case. So, in order to be proactive, ForwardKY is now on both Mastodon and Post. Use The Atlas to see how to follow us there.

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As you can see, it’s been a busy time over the holidays, putting all this in place. We’re excited about it, and hope it makes the site and our work even better.

Got comments, feedback, suggestions? Share them by sending an email to Bruce@ForwardKY.com. I’d love to hear what you think!

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