Now Star shines 24/7

TODAY the Evening Star is much more than your local paper. Its sister website complements the printed paper and provides a 24-hour update on what's happening in Suffolk life, to far flung corners of the world.

TODAY the Evening Star is much more than your local paper. Its sister website complements the printed paper and provides a 24-hour update on what's happening in Suffolk life, to far flung corners of the world. Features editor TRACEY SPARLING tells what's new.

IT looks like an Evening Star.

It even sounds like an Evening Star, as you turn the page with a rustle. But this is the hot new version of your Evening Star called an e-edition.

This electronic version of the whole newspaper, has every story and advert included, and you turn each page with the click of the mouse. Available by subscription, it can be delivered direct to your computer screen and is the latest development in the rapidly changing face of local media.


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Web editor James Goffin said: “The e-edition is great for people who have moved away from east Suffolk so can't get the Evening Star from their newsagent. Many people want to stay in touch with what's happening in their home town. One subscriber emailed me to say he gets it in New York and really likes to know what's going on here.”

The Green 'Un football paper is also available as an e-edition, even before the printed paper hits the shops. So from 7pm on a Saturday people all over the world can see full coverage of how Ipswich Town fared in the day's match.

Most Read

As well as the launch of the e-edition, www.eveningstar.co.uk has steamed ahead in recent months.

Since it was relaunched with more content at the beginning of the year, visitor numbers are up 75per cent. There are now 52,000 visitors a month to www.eveningstar.co.uk, hitting 653,000 pages a month.

From bulletins about road accidents blocking your route, to jobs to apply for, shows to see, homes to buy, and of course breaking news stories as they happen, it is now a one-stop shop for Suffolk news.

Stories which wow the world can travel in seconds, and the Evening Star is read in places as far afield as Bosnia, Oman, Botswana, Antigua - in September there were 14 readers in Kazakstan.

James said: “Quirky and lighthearted stories seem to be the most popular, and you find other websites pick up on them and set up links to www.eveningstar.co.uk. Our Easter story of how hot cross buns were banned at an Ipswich school, was discussed on Jehovah's Witness forums all over the world.

Things like that can really spiral, and be quite surprising.”

As well as news and features, the other really popular section is travel. James said: “The travel section of the website is where you want to look if you're about to set off on a journey through Suffolk, and we also publish any big problems on roads in the surrounding region.”

Newspapers, television channels and other broadcasters are recognising that people want to have more interaction and input in to what they read and see.

Web assistant Michael Eustace said “When we launched the Walk to the Moon project in the newspaper and online, hundreds of people uploaded their weekly step count to the website, and it showed there were many people who wanted to be interactive, be part of a community. The forums on the website are also extremely popular, as are the web polls about topical issues which we do on a regular basis.

Finding Friends works online and is very popular, with updates in the paper, to reunite long lost family and friends.”

One highlight was the webcam which filmed buildings being demolished on the Waterfront earlier this year, made possible by a camera placed on the roof of the newspaper building in Lower Brook Street. You can still see the footage online. One woman emailed the Star web team to say she had seen a fly crawling across the lens. “She admitted she had been at a loose end at the time!” said James.

The website's Blogs -online diaries - from James, the editor Nigel Pickover and reporter Rebecca Lefort also generate comment. James said: “Rebecca's diet diary is very successful, it gets lots of comments from readers across the globe.

There are now special offers for online readers which you won't see in the newspaper, giving discounts of electrical goods, CDs and DVDs for example.

Archant, the company which owns the Evening Star has invested thousands of pounds in new Suffolk sites called Homes24, Jobs24 and Drive 24 which are currently being prepared for launch this autumn.

The innovations show that the evening Star is not just about the printed page any more.

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To see all the developments mentioned here, see www.eveningstar.co.uk.

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What would you like to see on the website? Email web@eveningstar.co.uk or write to Web Editor, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1AN.

www.eveningstar.co.uk is approaching its tenth anniversary. The domain was registered on September 26, 1997.

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