Engaging the community in real and meaningful ways to become the go-to place for everything relevant.

GOALS

Become the go-to site: Aggregate the most relevant information, regardless of source. (this includes Patch and Gatehouse).

BUILD BLOG NETWORK for breaking news.

Accept it’s better journalism than can be produced on our own.

Geo-target content – deliver relevant hyperlocal information to attract local advertisers.

 

Embrace power of social media and crowd sourcing,  using Twitter, Facebook, four square, and other tools.

BENEFITS OF ENGAGEMENT

Improve news-gathering capacity – those living in the community know it better than we do.

On-the-spot reporting

Expansion of coverage area by building contributor network

Increased onsite contributions via feedback, comments, polls, etc.

STEPS

1. Build community network of bloggers

Research local bloggers and get good ones to join.
Put blog feed on sites, divided by category (Local plus special interests – biking, gardening, pets, etc.
Sell advertising for blogs and split revenue.
Link to them aggressively and put them in our geo-coded feeds – this exposed them to relevant audiences.
In-person meet-ups around the region to get to know local bloggers.
Office hours in the field for staffers to meet periodically with local bloggers.

2. Expand Your Town homepage

Post best stories of day
Include Blog roll and live Twitter feed
Live traffic feed of 95, 128, 495, 2
Use metrics to determine when traffic is heaviest and update page to coincide. The most important metric for hyperlocals is saturation in a community, which leads to ad sales.
Dropdown to particular sites.

3.  Minimize busywork

Ask all event-holders to post to EXTRA
Enoiucrage those who regularly send material for posts to create blogs (e.g. politicians) we can link to.

4. Build real Facebook pages updated by interns.

Examples:
 
5.
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