Martine Rolls: Always room for more news

You may have noticed that we have recently stepped up a gear or two online.

You will now find even more local stories and real-time news on  and there are even more photo galleries as well as some great video footage.

This week, we are predominantly focusing on the NZCT AIMS Games.

Our photographers will be snapping away at as many AIMS Games events they can possibly fit into a day.

We already have a gallery of the opening ceremony and others that capture the action of the hockey competition, cross country, basketball and netball.

More photo galleries will be loaded today and every day until the prize giving and medal ceremonies have taken place.

I think the AIMS Games are a fantastic event, with six thousand intermediate schoolchildren from all over New Zealand and even some from Australia participating, no doubt all dreaming of becoming Olympians.

I'm sure my two boys will become keen competitors as soon as they are old enough.

The good thing about running a news website is that there is always room for more online.

The pages of a newspaper or magazine fill up quickly but on the website, we have an endless amount of free space.

We can add a range of pictures, maps, graphics and sounds when available, as they makes the news even more dynamic.

Many people have a smartphone now, and those come with a pretty good camera and video functionality.

Plenty of people love to play with those. Why else do you think YouTube became so popular?

We had a really great video sent to us by one of our readers late last week, of a rather spectacular car fire at Mount Maunganui.

We were more than happy to give this a prominent spot on our website, with a credit to the sender of course.

Our reporters and photographers work hard and are out and about at all hours, but that doesn't mean we can be absolutely everywhere all the time.

So the next time you see something happening in the Western Bay, or if you are attending an event that you would like to see featured on our site and in our paper, don't hesitate to take some shots or a video and send it in.

Even if you have a video or photos that you'd like to share with us and our online audience now, feel free to upload them via our website.

Just look for stories that are tagged with the "contribute" sign.

We are also approaching our social media pages with invigorated attention.

On Facebook we post around four or five of the most interesting stories of the day. we also use it for breaking news and live updates.

Together with Twitter it's a great tool to alert people when there are road closures, crashes, weather warnings, and other need-to-know things.

Facebook has hosted some of our most thought-provoking discussions.

This week, we've covered plenty of topics that people have strong opinions about.

I'm sure you'll have something to say about shocking Tauranga drivers, Kiwi men not wearing sunscreen, or perhaps on this week's hot topic: parking tickets and finding a spot to park in the CBD. You can still join these discussions.

Also join the new ones that start each day, by "liking" us.

On our website, it was the story about parking that was the most popular for debate, but the article about local drivers who have shown to be really bad at stopping at controlled intersections got plenty of comments, too.

We've had some crackers of discussions online lately, and those make my job even more interesting and exciting.

Personally, I'm not scared of a bit of controversy. You can rest assured that I will fire things up whenever I get the chance and as always, your input is welcome and appreciated.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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