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Welcome to the New AlterNet

Dear AlterNet reader,

I'm very happy to announce that, beginning today, AlterNet has an exciting new look.

Over the past four years, AlterNet has grown in leaps and bounds. Huge events like the 2000 Supreme Court decision handing our country to George Bush, the horrible September 11th attacks, and the invasion of Iraq, have brought many new readers to AlterNet. And you have stayed. We currently average 1.8 million visitors per month, or more than 20 million in a year, more than a 300% increase.

Yet despite all the changes, the front-end design and back-end technology of our site have remained the same for four years ... until now.

Don't get nervous. We know most of you liked our old site, so the new one isn't that different. But we're now able to present more material with better graphics, have superior navigation and search capacity, and showcase our editorial strengths better. It was all designed in-house by Derek Powazek, our talented Online Director.

Behind the scenes, we changed the machines that bring you our site to powerful Linux servers running a new content management system built just for us. And as they say in the tech business, we're "scalable" for more growth and change in the future.

On the site, we made some very specific changes. We integrated our youth culture site, WireTap, into AlterNet. Wiretap recently won a 2004 Webby Award for best youth site. Our aim is to increase significantly the number of people who see the great material and important ideas that WireTap produces.

We've also created a home for the columnists that you rely on for the dirty truth, and a central page for our Content Files, now called Special Coverage, where we go deep. While we cover a wide array of topics in our daily coverage, we believe it's of utmost importance to focus in on the issues you care about most. Special Coverage is where you'll find all of our coverage on specific topics.

We are also expanding our coverage of the elections as the crucial November 2nd date gets closer. Keep your eyes on the Election 2004 Special Coverage area. We are also putting a new emphasis on independent publishing by regularly offering excerpts from a number of excellent new books that don't get the exposure they deserve in our current "blockbuster" society. And of course we'll continue our coverage of the War in Iraq, Rights & Liberties, the drug war, media, and the rest of the content that you have come to count on.

We want your feedback on the changes, so please contact us if you have feelings positive or negative. We'll take them to heart.

And finally what would a letter from me be without a fund-raising pitch? As a nonprofit, we depend on your support to get the job done. We've got some cool new T-shirts which are yours if you give us $30 bucks. Don't hesitate to show your support. We truly appreciate it.

Warm regards,
Don Hazen

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