Entries for June 2009
Posted on June 29, 2009 in General Interest
By Deb Shaw
Learn about the many applications this fast growing social network tool has in local
Am I the only person who doesn’t tweet?
Perhaps it’s my hesitancy to take on yet another social networking tool that’s heightened
my awareness factor but it seems like everywhere I turn the talk is all about Twitter.
Turn on the local news and the talking head is telling me I can follow the latest
and greatest on Twitter. Whoopi and Barbara were arguing over who had the larger
number of followers and Elizabeth chastised Ms. Walters for not tweeting enough.
Time magazine lobbed an in depth cover story into the mix, seemingly just to further
fuel my insecurity over this latest social networking player.
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Individual Giving Campaign Kicks Off and Pledges Are Urged
to learn more about the Foundation’s Giving Campaign
With the theme of “The Cause Is Personal...For All Of Us” the SNA Foundation (a
501(c)(3) charitable trust affiliated with SNA), has officially kicked off its’
individual giving campaign. All donations are tax deductible and the goal is to
raise $250,000 over the balance of the calendar year. Every penny raised will be
used to further the Foundation’s mission of helping suburban and community publishers
make the digital transition successfully. “We want to provide much needed research
and information to community publishers to help them develop successful business
models on the digital side so that our industry can continue to inform and engage
the local citizenry,” said SNA President Nancy Lane.
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By Deb Shaw
Ann Hoffman: “It would surprise me if there are many folks in our business who are still resisting using the web for breaking stories.”
“It would surprise me if there are many folks in our business who are still resisting
using the web for breaking stories,” says Publisher Ann Hoffman who runs The Daily
Advance in Elizabeth City, NC, as well as several non-daily newspapers in the region.
Yet, at a recent SNA Foundation-sponsored webinar (Topic:
Small Staff Can Make A Big Web Presence), one participant challenged the
notion of putting news on the web first, arguing that doing so would be a threat
to their single copy and subscription sales. No doubt, he is not alone in his concern.
Is there an approach that can combine these two perspectives for the benefit of
both mediums? You bet there is but hold on a minute... the approach can come with
a price. Daily Kingston (NY) Publisher Ira Fusfeld points out that posting an exclusive
story for the web gives your competitors a heads up, enabling them to match it on
line and in print. “That creates a tug of war here between the old thinking and
the new. On the one hand, we want our exclusive in print. On the other hand, we
want to be first with the story on the web,” comments Fusfeld.
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Nearly 300 Web sites have already signed up; all community newspaper Web sites are
invited to participate and benefit from volume pricing.
Livonia, Mich. and Traverse City, Mich., June 11, 2009: Community
newspaper Web sites will now have the opportunity to run manufacturers’ coupons
online via a new partnership between LocalPoint Media (LPM) and Valassis, one of
the nation’s leading media and marketing services companies. Manufacturer coupons
will be available to consumers through Valassis’ redplum.com Web site.
Under the terms of the program, newspaper Web sites will create a locally branded
coupon section of their site to house the grocery coupons. They will also be able
to sell local coupons and banner ads around the highly desirable grocery coupons.
The program provides a revenue share based on a “pay per print” model. LPM has negotiated
a volume-based revenue share that will provide newspaper Web sites with better terms
than they could negotiate on their own.
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Posted on June 8, 2009 in General Interest
By Deb Shaw
Mark Poss, CEO of Red Wing Publishing, shared insights about their web ad sales
blitzes at the 2009 SNA Spring Publishers' Conference held in Tampa.
We’ve all heard about the less is more concept. Perhaps you should consider following
the lead of the folks at Red Wing Publishing in Minnesota and apply the principle
to your website advertising. They did, and the results are impressive. So far, over
3 sales blitzes in the last 11 months, more than $225,000 in online ad commitments
have been inked.
‘Nascarnage’ is how Red Wing CEO Mark Poss describes the old look of advertising
on their sites. With a bunch of logos down the side, the original web advertising
model was jumbled, off-putting and looked like a Nascar racecar cramming in sponsor
logos. “It’s easy to spot newspapers which adhere to this dated model,” says Mike
Blinder of The Blinder Group. “You can simply go to their Web site and look for
a litany of small, boxed ads appearing one on top of the other, all the way down
the side of the Web page.”
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Posted on June 1, 2009 in General Interest
By Deb Shaw
Click to view live NewsView maps.
Like fancy silverware and crystal on a dining table, the NewsView feature on Metroland
Media Group Durham division’s websites adds pleasure to the experience of the sites
but it doesn’t stand alone as the only reason to visit. As with any compelling local
media site, content is king but a quick look at the feature will give you reason to understand why
judges in the just announced SNA Community Website Contest selected the team of
Ian Caldwell and Bryan Stokes as Innovators of The Year. They are the brains behind
the geo-coding based feature of their local sites that, at least in part, has helped
boost traffic and unique visitors since its’ debut last year.
The NewsView maps pinpoint local stories on their websites and are aimed at making
the local coverage in the seven communities that they serve even more hyper-local.
This unique online experience launched at the end of August ’08 as part of the ‘new’
newsdurhamregion.com and in September, their first full month with the new site,
they had page views that totaled 396,197 and total monthly unique visitors of 72,640.
That compares to 442,685 page views in April 2009 and total monthly unique visitors
of 97,204. Although no one can say exactly what impact the geo-coding by itself
has had, the trend indicates that the online experience they’re offering is definitely
attracting more views and visitors.
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