With this issue of Halifax Magazine, we’re launching a new website. This is the part where I’m supposed to tell you about all its amazing new features and revolutionary design. I’m required to use words like “immersive” and “experience” a lot. And maybe throw in a promise that our new site will forever change the way you see our magazine, the Internet, the world, and indeed life.

But really, I don’t believe any of that. I believe if we’ve done our job correctly (and I think we have; it’s a good team), you won’t notice our changes at all. At most, you’ll have a vague sense that things are arranged with a bit more common sense, that it’s easier to move between stories and discover content beyond what you came looking for.

But if you notice the design of the site more than what it contains, we’ve missed our mark.

Halifax Magazine focuses on people and their stories. Our new site reflects that. It’s not a clearinghouse of gadgets and the Top 10 Latest Trends (#6 Will Blow Your Mind!). Like the print edition, the website spotlights quality original journalism by talented local writers.

Some local magazines write stories about their advertisers, to keep them spending money; what’s best for readers is secondary to wooing advertisers. But we believe serving readers is our most important job, so we publish stories because we think they have journalistic merit and you’ll benefit from reading them. Our new website is clean, functional, and easy to navigate, reflecting that philosophy: sharing the stories of the people who make Halifax special.

In this issue, writer Priya Sam is back with the story of Maritime Bhangra. This Indian dance group became YouTube stars with a video of their joyous dancing on Nova Scotia’s Atlantic coast. But as they explain in the story “Punjab to Peggy’s Cove,” they’re not in it for fame or fortune.

I’m also happy to have Halifax Magazine regular Lois Legge returning in this issue. You’ve probably heard lots of activists lecturing people about the need to protect forests and fight urban sprawl. They’re messages we hear so much they’ve become background noise. In “Cathedrals of calm,” Lois cuts through the clutter with a clean, simple, warm, and deeply personal explanation of why spots like Blue Mountain Birch Coves Lakes are worth the fight.

And first-time Halifax Magazine contributor Rachel Collier shares the story of Tristan Glen. A long-distance bicyclist, he’s had amazing (and at times, perilous) adventures biking through South America and across the Australian desert. When he’s not trekking, he works as a bike mechanic in Halifax. He talks about what it takes to go on his sort of quest and how you can get started on your own adventure.

As always, I want to hear what you think of these stories, and everything else in Halifax Magazine. Email tadams@metroguide.ca to share a letter to the editor. Letters may be published in an upcoming issue and should be a maximum of 250 words; we edit letters for length and clarity.