Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year!

Listeners of the World,

A new year is upon us with new expectations and goals. 2010 was a fun but bumpy ride filled with many high and low points. In this new year we will be pushing forward with many new adjustments and improvements to our site, staff, and overall view of!

List of what to expect:

Site errors and down time will be eliminated for good right after the first of the year!
- For the past few months OurTown has had a lot of down time due to server issues. We have been working non-stop to get these fixed and in the process delayed certain aspects of improving the site. In the beginning of January we will be moving our site to a new "Managed Cloud" that will have a team of Server Admins looking over it. We will also be contracting a team that specializes in Servers to move the site to make sure that we get it done right! After this is done we will be able to put all the errors and down time behind us!

Introducing a new ad platform that local editors will be able to use!

- During the 2010 year our sister company produced a brand new ad platform site ( which allows small and medium sized businesses to produce their own video ad. This will now be an option for all of our local editors to help in obtaining local advertising. We hope that with this new added advantage more local editors will start to sell even more ads and at a higher price!

Recruiting 5,000 new local editors!

- This past year was a good year for OurTown, but our local editor count did not increase at the rate we expected. Most of the reason is due to the fact that we had so much going on that we did not focus enough energy and resources to recruitment. This year we are putting this at the top of our list and no matter how crazy this year gets we will not lose focus on this goal!

Release of the new OurTown site!

- This past year we were set to release a new site with a brand new look and new features......but that didn't happen. We had many delays due to many unexpected issues that ranged from programming to servers! This year we are back on track will have the new site delivered!
Plus much more!

- With everything else listed above some may find it hard to believe that we have even more planned......but we do! Stay tuned and focus next year for we will have a boat load of surprises!

We here at OurTown would like to thank everyone for the great year and look forward to next year being even greater! HAPPY NEW YEAR

Your OurTown Superhero,


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How to write a local story!

Listeners of the World,

In the past only professional writers, and journalist were considered good at writing and telling stories.......well that has all changed! Now a days you see articles and stories coming from all kinds of talented people because of the overwhelming popularity of blogs, and hyper-local news sites. Many wonder what changed, or did this happen? Well with the continuing disappearance of local newspapers fewer people are choosing writing or journalism as careers, but as hobbies!

Now that we have more writers who are doing it because it's fun and not for just a paycheck I believe we are getting better stories, and a bigger variety! To help keep this passion alive I have put together a few helpful hints to help get some of the newer writers a kick-start.


1) When starting an article make sure to gather as much information as possible about the event or story you are covering!

2) Try to get a quote or reaction from either the focus of the story or from by-standers.

3) Give it a personal touch! Give it an opinion or put it into words that the reader would use.

4) Make sure to wrap the story up with the outcome or give it a follow up letting the readers follow the story until the end.

5) Don't be afraid that your article isn't formatted the same as a national story, or that is isn't professional enough. A lot people will find it easier to read than some of the stories they read about in major newspapers.

6) Always be on the lookout for a new story or topic to write about. The best stories come when you least except them.

These are just a few tips to keep in mind when you are starting to write your own articles and stories. These will help you at least in the beginning!

Your OurTown Superhero,


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Why the Need for Hyper Local News?

Listeners of the World,

Many ask why there is the need for smaller hyper-local new sites when we already have big media outlets all over the world, and the answer is simply they don't cover all the news. Yes they cover a lot of different stories, but the face of the matter is that there is no way to cover all the stories so they choice to cover what they deem important. There lies the problem, what if you have a different opinion of what is important?

Well over the past years with all the smaller newspapers going out of business this is occurring more and more with people. They want to know more about what is happening in their town and less about how one politician called another a name! They want to know more about the good things happening around their town instead of there was a fire, murder, and accident. Yes those are all very important news, but with the limited time and space they get for telling news they have to hit those while leaving out other news that might make you feel good.

I am not saying that hyper-local news is the complete answer, but a very important part of news. It goes hand-and-hand with national and state news. It allows you to find out about things that you normally wouldn't of know about. In the future you will hopefully see more hyper-local news along side national news to give you the whole story from the neighborhood to the country!

So why would we need hyper local news? Simply because it's news and without it we would be in dark of what's going on around us!

Your OurTown Superhero,


Thursday, December 2, 2010

End of the year.......

Listeners of the World,

It is now December and another year is almost by us with a new year on the horizon. We are very excited about the upcoming year and what it will bring for everyone at OurTown for this year has some big events lined up! Now we still have one more month left this year which will be mainly spent on fixing the servers, the continuation with the new site, and a few additions to the current site.

Some things to look out for next year -

- New OurTown site.
- New ad system with video ads included.
- New training schedule complete with webinars.
- New local editors and areas. (along with new community leaders)

Please make sure send us any questions or requests about the upcoming year at

Your OurTown Superhero,