Our award-winning voters' guide was designed differently this year, as we first built our online package and then developed a print version that you'll find in next Sunday's paper.
Placing stories and projects onto the Web first and into print second speaks to the immediacy readers want from The Advertiser.
In this case, the online version of the general election voters' guide debuts today at www.honoluluadvertiser.com/votersguide more than two weeks before the election, because we know about 40 percent of voters have requested absentee ballots.
Other online features are the expanded amount of information submitted by the candidates from questionnaires we've developed. Voters can customize their own Web pages that allow them to easily compare candidates and their positions. They also can select areas in which they live and find the candidates and issues appearing on their ballots.
The online voters' guide allows readers to create a customized "My Ballot" page that features the candidates and their issues that can be saved for future reference and links to the candidates' Web pages.
Voters' guide editor Andy Yamaguchi, along with digital editor Andreas Arvman and programmer Tyson Oshiro, came up with the improvements. Oshiro, in particular, spent more than 100 hours designing the system that made it possible for readers to compare candidates' positions, find the issues pertinent to their districts and personalize candidate pages.
Yamaguchi was in charge of e-mailing all the candidates a link to our Web questionnaire, getting their information and photos back for editing and then posting everything online. The online content was then published in our print voters' guide.
"While a few candidates balked at doing it online (some do not own computers), the great majority embraced the chance to send us their information via an online form," Yamaguchi said. "So this guide was an online product first and then reverse-published to print. The online voters' guide is now the flagship product."
That being said, we know the primary and general election print guides are still popular with many readers, so like the primary guide, the general election tabloid will appear next Sunday, nine days before the election. Plenty of time to study the issues and get to the polls Nov. 4.
Mark Platte is senior vice president/editor of The Advertiser. Reach him at 525-8080.