Well, we must admit, version 3.0 upgrade has been the most criticised upgrade we have ever done. Since the day we rolled it out, based on the feedback we got, we have been tweaking and trying to make it incorporate as many features of version 2.0. as possible. Case in point is the threaded comments that we discontinued.
Having said that, the constant upgrade in any software based operation is a must. We can’t keeping standing and enjoying the experience while the ground underneath us is shifting at such a fast pace. The situation is compounded further by the attention of attacks and hacks we get from all sorts of bots on the INTERNET. Being one of Zambia’s top sites comes with problems. We are easily visible to attackers and it is a lot of fun for some people to bring down a top site.
The new upgrade was necessary and has given us the opportunity to carry out day to day maintenance without subjecting the site to long spells of disruptions. Since the day we did the upgrade we have put in a lot of plumbing work, chopping and changing of things in the background without disrupting access to the site.
Just a number of issues we want to update you on:-
All the content we have ever published from day one is still on the site. Our policy is never to delete any content because it is connected to people’s comments. If we discover that the content was wrongly published, what we do is just add a note and an explanation to that particular post. You can access all the content if you go to the archives link on the top most menu links next to comments policy.
We have seen claims in the posts that the site is dishing out viruses. This is totally untrue. As every astute computer user would know, the best way to beat viruses on the client side is by using a not so common operating system. We follow the same policy on the server side of things with Lusakatimes. We use the least popular web server and don’t use the common and popular version of Linux on the server side. Lusakatimes is not even hosted in a shared environment. It has its own dedicated server. Sites virus are largely transmitted using .htaccess and Lusakatimes does not run any .htaccess which is largely responsible for redirecting users to virus sites. For in house testing purposes we have Linux, Mac, Ipod, Iphone and three versions of windows. We have not experienced the viruses issue.
The Chat is still experimental and we have noticed that the latency is just too high and makes it unusable really as a chat. We are still actively looking for a solution that we feel will deliver true chat experience. People online does not necessary mean number of people in the chat room. It simply means the number of people who have landed on the first page of Lusakatimes.
Well, as we said in the about us, our content comes from established media houses in Zambia and a few individuals. Why do we do that, well we feel we have a small market gap to cover. And the gap we cover is the provision of an opportunity to Zambians to know what their fellow Zambians think about the current issues. Its that discussion platform that gives us that unique addition to the excellent work the other media houses are doing. Why don’t we publish stories from the Post Newspaper? Simple. The post runs a subscription model and sells their content. We believe those subscription sales are important to the Post and it is very important for us that the Post remains profitable, sustainable and operational for two reasons. First, they get into places nobody can and the rest of us are able to feed on the crumbs that fall off the table when they bring out big issues to the table. As LT we value that. Secondly, they provide everybody in this gane the best competition you can get on the Zambia scene. This helps to keep our team awake and innovative.
Are we Shushushus?
Looks like this debate is ragging at neck breaking speed in some of the online forums. Well, we wish we were. Then we could do with some GRZ money and get rid of all the adverts on the site and never worry about profitability. And we could reclaim our old dispatch.co.zm domain without fear of thinking we could get shutdown. 90% of the comments on this site are anti-establishment. Why the establishment would want to run such a site still beats us. We shall leave that debate to father time who will ,undoubtedly, reveal the truth in his own time. We shall continue doing what we are good at-providing a platform that provides a true freedom of speech experience for many Zambians around the globe.
LT is blocking my comments
No we don’t, actually. We have filters that block certain words that we feel are inappropriate. Why do we have filters? Well, once in a while we get new people who get too excited with the freedom of speech and think they can post all the unprintable things that run through their heads. We need filters to take care of such cases.The filter list has been developed over the years with the help of people who visit this site. Yes, sometimes our filters get it wrong and wrongly puts the comments in moderation which sometimes can take time for us to attend to. All in all, We all agree that we need to create the forum where decency in comments prevails. This is vital if your comments are to be taken seriously by the people you address. And please familiarize yourself with our comments policy. We have the capacity to outrightly ban anybody who goes against our policy or just drop their comments.
Twitter Twitter Twitter
Finally, we have been doing some work on the social networking front lately. We are now on twitter. http://twitter.com/lusakatimes. Looks like everybody is going there. What in the world is twitter, anyway? According to Wikipedia:,
Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read other users’ updates known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length which are displayed on the user’s profile page and delivered to other users who have subscribed to them (known as followers). Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow anybody to access them. Users can send and receive tweets via the Twitter website, Short Message Service (SMS) or external applications.
What does this mean in English? It simply means that if you follow lusakatimes on twitter, every time we post a new story, you will be immediately notified. Twitter also enables you to post your comments or tweets using sms from your cell phone. Currently, we are working on integrating all tweets into our comments on the website. This will open up the comments system to people using the cell phones as well. So, stay tuned and be on the look out for these features.