It’s a redesign! If you’re reading this, we’re live on the new Oakland Local site–all new, all redesigned, all Word Press.  We moved 47,000 files between servers, migrated 300+ stories, and created an archive of older content at, where you can go and find stories from an earlier time.

You’re going to find the new site much faster to use, easier to comment on and contribute to, and MUCH more visual. We’ll be doing more photo and video-driven stories and have more places to showcase new content than on the old site.

Why did we switch?
1. Platform issues: We wanted a more agile responsive theme.  Our theme, Urban News, is clean, light–and looks GREAT on a tablet and a smart phone.

2. Publishing issues: We wanted to move away from publishing a daily front page.  News happens ALL THE TIME, so shifting the system so Oakland Local can more easily update and publish new stories 24/7 is the way we wanted to go.

3. Advertising issues: The new site has larger ad banners and the same affordable 150 X 180 badges local merchants get great click-through with–but over the next few weeks, we’ll be adding some newer ad units as well–ones that will be great for events, merchandise, and local branding.

Who made this happen?
Biggest thanks of all go to Oakland Local’s super-talented and long-time developer, maki interi, who built the first Oakland Local in Drupal in 2009–and who has kept OL going, fighting spammers, DNS attacks and inept hosting companies–pretty tirelessly.  maiki’s vision, creativity and ability to get things done have contributed enormously to Oakland Local over the years, and he deserves the biggest applause and thank you for this new site.

Thanks also go to a team of people who did solid, consistent work to cheerlead the design and/or help migrate content.  Mike Enslow (Mr Machine) and Anca Mosoiu (Tech Liminal) were very helpful coaches and supporters as we planned out our work.  Kenny Katzgrau (Broadstreet Ads) was responsive and helpful as we switched ad platforms not once, but twice, and Kelly Baker, Meg Bertoni, Alisen Boada, Jon Leckie, Juan Martinez and Laura McCamy were patient and tireless when it came to moving and checking stories.  Operations manager Linda Kheinau was brilliant when it came time to manage the ads and advertisers, and ME Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig was her usual unflappable self, editing the current site as others made the new site happen. Margaret Lucas, Mary Fuller, CB Smith-Dahl  Abraham Hyatt and Debi Mason were strong supporters.

Of course, this is iterative, so we’ll be adding and fixing for a while longer, and also migrating more content over to the new site from the new. If you see anything broken or strange, please let us know at

As always, thanks for being connected to Oakland Local!
Hope you read the new about page, the new staff page and the new updated trainings page to learn more about current programs.

And, of course, if this new look inspires you to want to contribute to Oakland Local–get in touch! We have regular meetings,  we welcome new contributors and community volunteers and we’re interested in what you have to say, show us and share.

About The Author

Susan Mernit is editor & publisher of Oakland Local ( a news & community hub for Oakland, CA. A former VP at AOL & Netscape, & former! Yahoo Senior Director, Mernit was consulting program manager for The Knight News Challenge, 2008-09; was a 2012 Stanford Carlos McClatchy Fellow; and is a board adviser to The Center for Health Reporting at USC, Annenberg School of Journalism. She has consulted with many non-profit organizations on strategy, product development and social media/engagement, including, TechSoup Global, Public Radio International and the Institute for Policy Studies/Economic Hardship Reporting Project, led by Barbara Ehrenreich.

5 Responses

  1. Dan

    Like the change. Thought about implementing Disqus? I like the upvote/downvote ability and ease of use. Seems to encourage more people to be actice

    • maiki

      We had considered it. We were actually using the Jetpack comments until about 3am, when we found it is broken on the live site. ^_^

      OL is ever changing, so if we find something that hits all our needs we will definitely set it up. And I plan on opening up our development to the larger community. I hope that folks will help us grow!


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