Dear Gentle Reader,
Welcome to the rebirth of The Nicaragua Dispatch, the region’s first crowdsourced news site.
Those of you who are regular readers will notice that the new website, at first blush, looks similar to the old Nicaragua Dispatch. That’s partly due to vanity (natural beauty shouldn’t be tinkered with violently), but also utility. We want you, kindly reader, to feel comfortable on the new site; so make yourself at home, put your feet up on the coffee table and start sharing your stories and photos of Nicaragua.
The new Nicaragua Dispatch is two sites that work as one. The top half of the main site will continue to provide curated news content, with top stories and Nicaragua news briefs. The bottom half of the homepage is the trailhead into wilds of the crowdsource conversation — and that’s where the new part of our journey begins.
The gray boxes labeled “Blogs/Opinion” and “Community News” are the featured stories from the read-submitted community site — a preview of new posts on our crowdsource homepage.
The Nicaragua Dispatch’s sister community site (community.nicaraguadispatch.com) is where you, our prolific readers, are in control of the conversation. On that site you will see all the latest blogs, forums and calendar events posted by our growing community of online bloggers. (The site is accessible always through the “Community” button at the top of the main Nicaragua Dispatch site).
Anyone who has something to say about Nicaragua can participate in this project. First-time contributors must register to create an account. Once you have a username and password, you must create an online bio and upload a picture, and then you are good to go. (Click here for full instructions on how to register and contribute content).
Those who want to participate in the conversation without creating an account can post photos to the site via Instagram (by using #nicadispatch) or contribute to the conversation via Twitter (using @nicadispatch).
Community contributors who register for a full account can post blogs, forum topics and calendar events.
The Nicaragua Dispatch is a big-tent project. The main site will offer curated news content, while the community site — our sandbox — will offer readers the raw conversation on Nicaragua. We want to be a place for ideas, criticism and questions; a place where people can network, express themselves and join in a dynamic conversation from a vibrant part of the world.
This is an effort to challenge old media conventions and stale narratives about the country. The Nicaragua Dispatch is offering a new media model in a country that has always celebrated big ideas. We are going to hold up a mirror to Nicaragua so she can see what she looks like without her makeup.
All we ask is that contributors are tolerant of others, respectful of the site, and honest to the mission of what we are trying to provide. Slanderous attack pieces, vulgarity, shameless sales pitches, and the such nonsense not be permitted. Those who want to partake in that type of stuff can go elsewhere on the Internet.
Everyone else — nicaphiles of all walks of life and persuasions; those who speak English y los que hablan y escriben en español — are welcome to join in the conversation, in English or Spanish.
To all the loyal readers who have been with us since the olden days of 2011, and to those who donated to our Kickstarter campaign and helped fund our redesign, thanks for sticking with us! I hope you’ll participate in the next generation of Nicaragua Dispatch.
To those who are joining us for the first time, welcome! I look forward to seeing what you have to say.
Thanks for reading — and writing, and participating.