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In-House News

For the Café's archive of these updates, click on a link below:.

September 19, 2001
Beginning the Café's Second Century

As The Nearby Café enters the new millenium, we proudly announce that our traffic has grown tremendously. We'll log well over 800,000 hits for the year that'll end October 1, from a quarter of a million visitors during that period. We find that both astonishing and gratifying.

To kick off the Café's entry into the twenty-first century, we've undertaken our first redesign since mid-1998, and our first across-the-boards content enhancement since then as well. Under the supervision of webmaster John Alley, the entire site has begun to undergo a massive overhaul of its design, navigation system, and technical features, along with a thorough replenishment and enrichment of its images, texts, and other offerings. (We've chosen Adobe's GoLive! Cyberstudio as our site-management program; this software makes working on site a joy for me, who grew up on BBEdit and Fetch.)

The first fruits of these efforts you'll find in the new version of C: The Speed of Light, my own newsletter here and the Café's flagship production. In addition to its first major graphic-design makeover, we've added PDF files, audio files, mpeg movies, and other new options there. We'll slip in even more in the coming months.

We've rethought and redeveloped a long-planned submenu of which we're particularly proud, dedicated to Literature & Writing, and featuring three new sections:

  • The Sepoy Rebellion Online
  • WordWork™: Survival Strategies for the Professional Writer
  • Stubborn Pine: The Writings of Earl Coleman

We've also reconfigured the former New York Photography Calendar, repurposing it -- maybe temporarily, maybe for good -- as a History of Photography Calendar.

Keeping our word, we've lived up to the editorial policy we declared several years back: We now promise nothing, in regard to content, that we can't deliver. Though all of our various sections are always either undergoing or awaiting some tweaking, and new content gets added to them periodically, nothing at this Café is now or henceforth will be "under construction." Everything you see listed on our menu is already here -- if not in its final, polished form, then at least as a functional prototype with substantial content that we think merits your attention.

One previous feature of the site's Photography menu, En Foco Online, has recently left the nest. En Foco, Inc., a non-profit organization devoted to the work of minority photographers, has opted to establish its own autonomous site under its own domain name, We're pleased to have been able to serve as En Foco's launching pad into cyberspace, and wish them well in this new venture. With that move, En Foco joins The Photo Review, another worthy non-profit which also made its online debut under our auspices before setting up shop on its own several years ago.

While refining our offerings, we're once again thoroughly reconsidering our site organization, making all sections of it, we think, much easier to access, and the site as a whole simpler to navigate. At the same time, we're working to keep our design clean, and our various pages quick to download, since we know that many of our visitors are surfing with less than cutting-edge equipment and can't handle either huge files or unnecessary bells and whistles. However, we're beginning also to experiment with some of the multimedia options that the 'Net makes possible. We will try always to find means of making our content available to visitors regardless of the sophistication or simplicity of the hardware and software they're using to access our site.

Not only have we expanded our menu of offerings, but substantial new content -- imagistic, textual, and multimedia -- have been and/or will be added to all sections regularly from now on. We will enrich most of the separate component of the Café's menu at least quarterly, and in many cases more frequently than that. This enhancement will not happen all at once, or on any fixed schedule, so we suggest that you check back frequently to see what's new. As a rule, most of those additions are listed in our Blackboard Specials page, accessible from our main page. That's where you'll find information about the most recent updates and changes.

We also continue to make it a practice to archive the bulk of what we post in all sections, rather than merely replacing it with new material, since a number of you have emailed us in search of older content -- and also because this site is the only extant repository of its own past and present content. In addition to archiving most recent and current material, we will gradually fill in this archive so that all significant material posted since the Café's inception in the spring of 1995 eventually will be available and on the record here.

Here's a preview of what's upcoming imminently -- meaning over the fall and winter of 2001:

  • We'll open Love & Lust, the Café's submenu dedicated to matters amorous and libidinous, later this fall.

  • We'll add a number of new offerings to the Nearby Café Gallery, including portfolios by Barbara Jaffe and Barbara Nitke, and a multimedia collaboration between myself, Nina Sederholm, and Mikko Hassinen.

  • We'll continue the design and technical renovation of the site, on a section-by-section basis.

  • Finally, we're planning an online store with secure credit-card transaction capability.

Come back often, and let us know what you think of this next phase.

A. D. Coleman signature

-- A. D. Coleman
Executive Director

For In-house News about the Café's management, staff, friends and watchcats, click here.

For the Café's archive of these updates, click on a link below:.

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