With more than 300,000 unique users now coming to Palo Alto Online for news and information each month, it has become a phenomenally successful community resource. Now it's time to open up Palo Alto Online and encourage the concept that has become known as "citizen journalism" to flourish.
We want residents to turn to Town Square to ask their neighbors for everything from information on art classes to advice on good places to stay in Tuscany, and to express opinions on local, state, national and international issues.
Posting topics on Town Square is easy and requires no registration. Users must identify themselves as living in a specific neighborhood or school community and are encouraged but not required to use their full names.
Readers of the Weekly will be urged to respond to news stories, movie and restaurant reviews, editorials and opinion pieces by posting comments in Town Square. Results of high school sports competitions can be quickly posted by parents as soon as games are over.
In essence, Town Square turns everyone into potential publishers and makes it possible to communicate directly with other community members without depending on the newspaper. If we miss a news story, hopefully someone will post their own story in Town Square.
All postings to Town Square will be monitored by the staff of Palo Alto Online and must adhere to guidelines explained on the site. Users are asked to be respectful of others and to help create a thoughtful forum where divergent ideas and opinions are welcome.
Let us know what you think--and enjoy!