If I’ve learned anything from my work on NatesUpdates.com, it’s that there’s demand for local information which seems to not be covered elsewhere. This has led me to wonder if it’s time to broaden the scope of local online news and information. Maybe you’ve been thinking about this too. If so, take the two-question poll here: https://surveynuts.com/surveys/take?id=101599&c=1478875061TPTV
…and please send me a note!
First, let’s establish readership on NatesUpdates as a barometer of interest in alternative news and insights. If NatesUpdates can draw a crowd, it makes sense that more writers could draw more of a crowd.
So what kind of crowd can one person draw? Well, here are the NatesUpdates.com stats for the first 21 posts over a period of four months — including one month when I didn’t write anything:
- 5,607 visitors resulting in 7,532 views.
- Readers from 20 countries.
- One viral post, “Heroin Bust by Northfield’s Finest.”
- 198 visitors per post on average, not including the viral post mentioned above.
- Coverage of NatesUpdates on VPR.net: “A Selectman Blogger In Northfield Is Bringing Town Issues to the People.”
In the world of one-person startup blogs, these are pretty good numbers. And none of this could have been done without you. Consider yourself part of a movement among those who appreciate local news in a 21st-century medium.
But back to the question: “Is it time for a local alternative newspaper?”
NatesUpdates.com is great, but wouldn’t it be better to have a news source a little bit bigger than a one-man blog? Something like a Vermont Digger, but just for the greater Northfield area? More contributors? More points of view? More information?
You might ask, “Is there really enough going on to justify an alt-paper?”
Believe, me, there is. I’ve been asked to write on more subjects than I could possibly cover. And frankly, these are things readers would appreciate. For examples:
- How can a local business get 25 customers on a Thursday night?
- Did you know the Northfield Middle/High School has ranked in Vermont’s Top 10 schools according to US News & World Report — three years in a row?
- What are the best hiking trails in the area? What does the view look like from the top of Scragg Mountain?
- Did you know there’s a new connection between Northfield and TriBeCa’s The Flea Theater? Yea, that’s a super interesting story I can’t wait to get to.
And these are just the tip of the iceberg topics. There are lots of stories to tell! There are pictures and videos to share, surveys to take, and maps to show us where to go. You’ve seen it all here, all created by one guy with not enough time on his hands.
So let’s put the ball in your court.
If you’re a reader, what do you think about supporting an alternative news source? What if you could ask for a specific topic to be covered?
If you’re a business owner, what do you think about powerful, alternative promotional opportunities, like video, lots of photos, and an awesome story?
If you write or have a camera, what do you think about a new venue to share your creativity? What if an alternative paper could generate revenue so you could get paid for your work?
If you have publishing experience, what do you think about taking the reins of something really fun and awesome for our community?
And please, don’t be shy. This is your community. You contribute. Your ideas, thoughts and feelings matter. You care about Northfield and you’ve come to realize it’s time to join a larger effort to share in our important, day-to-day stories.
On my end of the equation, I’ll keep writing, knowing there’s a bigger picture about local goings-on than my personal views. My professional goal isn’t to write a vanity blog. I just want something more for Northfield — something we can get excited about.
So send me a note and click here to answer two simple questions: https://surveynuts.com/surveys/take?id=101599&c=1478875061TPTV
Let’s talk — alternative news can bring a breath of fresh air to Northfield. What do you think?