Most likely you’re looking at the site right now and wondering what happened.
A short while ago I announced I would be making some radical changes to the site. You see when I decided to take a little break from social media this past Summer, it dawned on me that the increased amount of work being put into the site hadn’t really paid off in increased readership. So, rather than try to keep up with reporting pertinent daily news besides arrest reports and press releases, I decided to make some changes.
The one gem of this site in my opinion has been the Community Voices section, written by people from across the region. There’s been several times in the past where the idea to make that the featured section of this site and now seems like the perfect time to do so.
So we’re going to change format and make Community Voices and the forums, the two features that I think stand out in the local media market and simply can’t be beat.
Community Writers now moves to the forefront of the site, giving it the attention I believe it deserves.
The forums also will once again become a larger focus of the site. For several reasons, many of the sections will once again be returned to “Members Only”. Consumer surveys done this Summer indicate there’s a wider audience who visit the site often to read what everyone is saying but do not take the time to register an account.
I realize that may not be a popular move. But registering for an account is free and requires less information than many other sites. Plus, it’s only fair to those who take the time to contribute their thoughts to ask that others sign in at the very least. And if it encourages increased participation, all the better.
As for social media… You know, it’s funny, but five years ago as I was trying to build an audience on outlets like Facebook, the idea of backing away from it on the brink of a landmark number of followers would have struck me as insane. But frankly it’s not really that important to me anymore. Facebook likes and followers has not led to a similar amount of daily readers for this site. Certainly not enough to make it a priority. And honestly, I am tired of the rancor that has become so much a part of the social media experience. So the social media accounts will remain for the purpose of promoting our writers’ work as well as promoting community events as a public service. But that’s it. The focus will be here on the site.
So that’s why all the shifting and moving you see taking place. In closing, I want to thank the people who have contributed to this site and supported this endeavor from the day the “OPEN” sign turned on. Without you folks, there’s no way this site would exist and it’s because of you I continue to keep it going.