Thursday, December 29, 2011

Year End - OurTown.com

We only have a few more days until the new year and I wanted to wrap up this year with a look back at OurTown over the course of 2011 and our focus on the future!

This year was a rapid year of change for OurTown.com!  We have added many features, many local editors, expanded our reach (to the UK!), had many site changes and so on.  I just want to highlight the major changes, additions, and departures.

New Features:

Over the course of the year we added and changed many features to keep our local editors with the best possible features to help them produce great content.  Below is a short highlight list of some of these changes:

- New "upload" feature which allows our local editors to upload PDF's, PowerPoint's, and any other type of document that would not be considered a news article.

- New "Comment Counter" to help show our local editors and viewers which stories were popular and held a great conversation.

- New "Manage Islands" feature that allowed our local editors to curate their pages faster and easier.

- We changed our video feature from a "YouTube Insert" option to a "in-house" build full video feature that allows our local editors (and viewers who submit video) to upload many different types of video and to properly SEO tag every individual video.

- New "Social Media Bar" which allows our users and local editors to connect their stories and content to many different social media sites including - Facebook / Twitter / and Google+.

- Also, we added a new "Language Converter" which allowed our users to select from many different languages across the world to view our site with!

Site Changes:

Also, during the course of this year we made some major changes to the structure of OurTown and how it operated.  Below is a short highlight list of these changes:

- OurTown expanded its reach and area listings to the United Kingdom!  We have sites now in Seaford, Newhaven, Peacehaven, and Lewes within East Sussex. We plan on continuing to put our main focus on the expansion of sites within the United States, but will also concentrate on building our presence in the United Kingdom!

- OurTown also went back to its business plan of an 80/20 split of the local ads between the local editors and OurTown Media.  We had talked about many different plans that would help build a true revenue stream (to help sustain a hyper local network, unlike Patch.com), and we felt that this split would be the easiest and most fair to everyone involved.

- Also, at the end of 2010 we were building a completely new site for OurTown, which took a lot more time than expected and ran into a lot of "road blocks".  We still plan on putting out a new design in the new year and also to continuous work on feature and site changes that will benefit OurTown, the local editors, and the viewers!


People Changes:

I also just wanted to briefly touch on the fact that we have added many new local editors, but also had some departures do to many reasons.  Our goal during 2011 was to figure out the true definition of the person who can run their own OurTown site.  We focused on keeping our good local editors who built and maintained their sites within our guidelines and who also shared the same goals.  As for the rest we slowly deactivated their sites and returned to recruitment to add local editors who would help the site! 

The Future:

OurTown.com has come a long way since we put the site live at the end of 2007 and we have learned many things throughout our journey.  This coming year will be no different!  We have much to do and to learn and plan on introducing new changes to the site within the first couple of months in 2012.  Are only hope is that you join us through our adventure in 2012 and we believe that it is going to be a great year!

We hope everyone had a good Holiday and hope that everyone has a great New Year!

Thank you!


From Everyone at OurTown.com !

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Building Your Own Community Site!

You are a passionate community member who keeps involved and up to date with everything going on in and with your community.  The only problem is that most people are unaware of a lot of things happening because your local news / community source is missing those events or doesn't have the time to cover it.  So how do you fix this problem and get the community updates and news to the people who want it?  That is when someone needs to step up and create their own community news site!  In the past most people would have thought this type of ideal to be impossible, but now with all the new innovations it is very possible!  The first thing you have to do is figure out what is needed to start this type of news outlet and how you will approach and run the news outlet.

More people than you think run into the above situation and get to the final questions of what and how on building a local news outlet, but get stuck there and stop.  Most people think that it is just going to be too much work, or that they will put all this time into the outlet and get nothing in return. This could be the case if you don't know the right answers to those vital questions - what is needed to start / how are you going to run it.  This is where I come in....to answer the questions and give all of those people the hope and assurance that it can be done and they can do it!

What is Needed?

1) First you need to figure out what platform you will use to distribute your news.  Most likely you will choose an online platform since print is slowly dying out and the costs keep going up.  So once you figure out that you want to be an online community news source you must figure out if you are going to pay someone to build you a custom website, are you going to just use one of the blogging platforms, are you going to use one of the social platforms, or are you going to join an existing network.

2) Once you pick which online source you are going to use then you need to figure out if you are going to create and maintain this outlet alone or are you going to enlist some help from friends, business partners, or fellow community members.  Figuring this out in the beginning will really help in the planning of maintaining the site.

3)  Now that you have your platform and team members you are going to need to figure out if you are going to run this site out of the goodness of your heart or would you like to benefit financially as well.  This will also help determine if you picked the right platform as some are more inclined to making revenue.  You will also need to decide how much revenue you need to either make it worth your time or keep the site going.

4)  Next you need to make sure you have the equipment needed to cover and report on certain happenings and events.  Mostly you will need some way to take pictures (possibly video) and a way to get notes and/or write a story on location.  Most of these are very low cost and easy to come by.

5) The last major "Need" on my list is motivation!  A lot of people think it is a great idea to do this or go in very strong, but over time stop producing.  You need to make sure that you have the motivation to get things started strong and to keep up with your outlet and to put the hardship in to make a good news source.  Now in the beginning you will have more work, but as time passes it becomes less work and comes easier to manage.


How to Run / Manage your News Outlet .

1)  First you need to figure out the winning combination to reach your full audience potential.  This can be done by a combination of using your own site / social media / newsletters / connecting to bigger sites and so on.  I would recommend to start out by building and promoting your own site and then pushing those stories out to different social media sites.   Make sure to try out different combinations, because different outlets work better for different communities.

2)  Next you will want to make a plan!  Figure out how many hours a week you want to dedicate to your news site and what type of events / happenings you would like to cover.  This is important because if you don't set up a plan you can start spending too much time or too little time working on your news site and both have effects on your viewers and you as a person.

3)  Make sure to have a revenue plan in place and execute on a monthly basis.  In the beginning you will want to build up your content / viewership / networking / and promoting.  Once you have a good readership built then obtaining advertising / sponsorships /  paid classifieds and so on will not be that difficult.  Make sure to set sales goals and set a revenue number you want to hit monthly to make sure it stays worth it!

Now there are many things to do when setting up your own local news outlet / site and many more to carry out while running and managing the site.  Above I have listed many important points and tips that will help out a lot in the beginning.  If you are looking for more help / tips make sure to check out OurTown.com or email us at Support@OurTown.com.


Your OurTown Hero,

Chris


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Future of News !

Listeners of the World,

Today I woke up and immediately opened up my laptop to find out our voting results on the many issues and candidates up for election in my state.  Then I proceeded to grab my iPad2 and BlackBerry to head into work.  On the way in I continued to check the morning news on my BlackBerry to find out the what was going on in my city besides the local elections.  Once at work I opened up my iPad2 to check out my daily alerts to see what was going on in the Tech community and to see if there was anything really neat happening.  Then I turned to my computer and sent a friend a link about the voting results.  To say the least things in the news and information industry have changes a whole lot over the past decade.  The real question now is how are they going to change over the next decade!

Many people have projected and predicted how the news industry will evolve - Newspapers will die out, news will go hyper-local, news will become more social, online video will rule the day.....but, what will come true, and what will just been seen as a fade when we look back.  I would like to think some of the predictions are not too hard to figure out if they will come true or not.  Newspapers have seen a steady decline over the past decade and have been scrambling for years to come up with new ways to compete, but I think everyone (even me) can see the end of Newspapers is near.  More and more people are preaching social this and social that and it seems like everyone belongs to a social network, so why not have news become more social?  Also, online video is huge and not to mention everywhere, so why wouldn't news become more online video centric?

All and all it seems the future of news is moving more online, social, and video centric everyday.  With more online news sites popping up, and with YouTube and Facebook being two of the biggest sites on the web, I think that we will soon see an online video social news movement!  Only time will tell if this is all true or if the these notions are just silly.  I for one believe that news will have to become more social and video centric and that is why at least with our online news site we are moving in this direction.  The fun part of actually seeing the next step with news is yet to come, and I for one cannot wait!

Your OurTown Hero,

Chris

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Right Person for the Job !

Listeners of the World,

Online news, hyper - local news, social news.....what do you think of when you hear these words?  Most people will say - websites, breaking news, news at your finger tips, and so on, but nobody ever thinks about the person behind the site!  Now I am not talking about the big sites like CNN, but the smaller truly hyper local sites that bring the ground breaking community news to their sites.

These are the people that have to be more than just a journalist, they have to be a small newsroom in one or two people!  They write the stories, take the photos, shoot the video, curate the sites, respond to the comments, and so on.  These are people that work hard and will never stop because of how important it is to them.  Now many may ask what type of person would be able to do such an (at times) overwhelming job, and that is the answer that a lot of larger news networks are trying to figure out as well.

I have talked with many experts, editors, journalist, community members, and businessmen across the nation and they all seem to have different opinions on what qualifications make the perfect candidate for the job.  Here at OurTown we have seen over 1,000 different applications from people with many different backgrounds and experience and are still working on the description of the perfect candidate.  We feel that in the end there will not be one perfect description, but a base of qualifications to work off of to find people who can and will get the job done.

We have found that just looking at journalist and editors is the wrong way to go when you are trying to find the right people to run their own online news site.....you must think outside of this box.  You need to think of a person who can handle many different aspects of creating and maintaining the site, along with managing their time, and promotion skills.  Now these are not the only skills needed, but they are a few that get overlooked when someone is trying to find that "right" person to run their own news site.

Everyday we working on finding this mysterious person who can do the job right, sometimes we find them and sometimes we don't.  But, we believe that enough of these people exists and we will always keep trying to define and fine them!

Your OurTown Hero,

Chris


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Will Hyper-Local News Work?!?


Listeners of the World,

OurTown, Patch, Topix, Everyblock, Placeblogger, The Loop, Outside.in, and the list goes on and on and on........these are "Hyper-Local News" and "Local News Aggregation" sites that have been founded in the last 5 years. Many different people and large corporations have been trying to fill the huge "white space" on the web that is hyper-local news, and in my opinion nobody has figured out the special recipe just yet!

There are many different factors to take in when starting a hyper local news site, some that just leave many scratching their heads. You need to create a model that will allow your contributors (or local editors) to make money giving them an incentive to contribute in the first place, while keeping in mind that you need a way to turn a profit as well to be able to keep the network alive! This I have found is the main problems with bigger networks (Patch, Topix, etc.). They create this network, but do not build in enough ways to generate revenue to actually let them make a profit......I mean from reports it looks like the most successful network is Patch with its 22 Million in revenue, but then you look at its spent which is 160 million!! That does not add up very friendly for the folks over at AOL.

Another main problem is figuring out the right workload for the individual editor / contributor. Many of the bigger networks have found that hiring someone within the actual area is the best way to go (which is the same for us here at OurTown), but then the question comes of how much to we expect out of this person? Many put the person in charge of all the content that goes on the site, where others put then in charge of the entire site, and others put them in charge of every aspect of the site. It becomes very hard to judge what a person can and cannot handle and with most of the sites just adding more and more work to each editor one begins to wonder how is all of the work going to get done?

Next problem is finding the right people for the job! There are many people out their that love to write, but you have to find someone with a "hyper-local news mindset" - meaning someone who is willing to work hard, write stories, curate an entire site, answer questions, be out in the community, become a self-promoter, plus more! It is not enough to just love writing to become an editor in most cases, which makes it a lot harder on the company to get enough of the right people in the door. Let's take two of the biggest networks in Patch and Topix.....It took Patch 160 million to get under 1000 local editors (that should get you a lot more) and then Topix got to around 3000 contributors, but then it turned into childish commentary and scandals instead of news that matters for the community. So in any case it is very hard to get a good amount of the same minded people who will make it work!

The last big problem I will mention here is getting the right viewership for these sites. There are many choices for news across the board (Newspaper / TV / Radio / Magazine / Internet) and some people (hard to believe, but true) just don't care about what is happening locally. They care more about world and national events, which is fine, but not the focus of a hyper local news site. You need the people who care about what is going on in the community, and people who care about the little story (little by national sites standards). You need to be able to reach out and touch the community, get the conversation started on YOUR SITE. That is the key!

Now with all of these problems, questions, and issues from above....one may ask - why even try? Well the reason is simple and that is because it's important and people really do care about that type of news. We have changed OurTown a lot since the site first went live, and I am sure we will be changing it a lot more in the future. We feel that we are really close to getting the "right recipe" and hopefully one of will get it!

Your OurTown Superhero,

Chris

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Some New Features !

Listeners of the World,

As you know here at OurTown Media we believe that the best sites are the forever evolving sites that keep up with new trends, technology, new widgets, and so much more. That is why we have developers working every day not only on fixes, but on new features that for the most part have been suggested from our Local Editors! Over the past month we have added some new very cool features (that I am sure some have seen around), and I wanted to go over each one.

New Color Schemes :

- As you have noticed OurTown's colors have changed and not all the sites have the same color anymore. Well that is because we have brought back the ability to change your color scheme. You are able to change this by going to "Home" within your admin and going to the "Color Scheme" section. We have several new schemes that you can preview right from that page, and if you don't find one that is perfect then let us know! We are able to add in different color schemes at will!

New Text Editor :

- We have also enhanced our local article section by upgrading to a brand new text editor complete with many new features. This editor is up-to-date with the latest features and functionality that every journalism, blogger, or OurTown Local Editor could want! You will now be able to do even more when writing a new article.



New Language Converter :


- OurTown.com can now be ready in any of the major languages from around the world! In the footer of each page is a new Google Translator that will allow you to pick a language and then instantly the entire site is translated to that specific language. This has been a great new feature for many local editors trying to reach everyone in their community. Not only does it help reach those who can not speak English, but also allows community members that may have English has their second language to read more comfortably in their native language.

New Comment Counter :

- We have many requests from local editors and viewers to have an easy way to see what stories were getting comments and where the main conversation is on the site. So we created the new comment counter which allows local editors and users to see which articles are being commented on right from the main pages of the site. We hope that this increases conversation and helps local editors see which of their stories are appealing more to their community!


Towns to Check Out
:

- Now we know that this is not a new feature and you have been able to see this section on the OurTown Home Page for a while, but we have now upgraded the feature. The list has now been extended to 10 towns (instead of 5) and those towns are based off of site traffic. The site with the most traffic receives the number 1 spot and so on down the list. We believe this helps give local editors a new goal and some friendly competition!

That is it for now, but be sure that we are still currently working on new features that will be added to OurTown very shortly. Just as a teaser one of them will be a new Groupon feature for all those daily deal users out there!

Your OurTown Superhero,

Chris

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

OurTown Update!

Listeners of the World,

It’s OurTown “news time” again! We are making more changes to the site that will allow OurTown to continue to enhance and add new features while also improving our overall local editor support. These changes are not as exciting or flashy as our usual changes / enhances / or new features, but they are just as important when you think of OurTown.com as a whole.

We are going to an 80/20 percent split on all local ads entered into the ad-bot system starting September 1st, 2011. This change will not affect any current ads that were added under the 100/0 split era, and this change will also not cause any delays to the new ads being shown on the sites. The new ad-bot system will still have the regular pages you love and know with the addition of a few new steps that will allow the split to take place. These new steps are straight forward and easy, plus we will be standing by to answer any questions, issues, or comments!

Now along with this change is a new licensing change which will not affect current local editors who are grandfathered in with their sites. This change is due to OurTown coming out of Beta and starting to live up to its original plan (thanks in part to all of our current local editors which is why they are grandfathered in). Starting on September 1st, 2011 we will begin charging a monthly fee to all new local editors who will be given a free 90 day license to get their site up and running. After the 90 days the local editors will be asked to choose from one of our licensing packages ranging from a Free limited license to either a $29.95 or $49.95 monthly package. Now along with this we will be offering current local editors a 10% referral payout for any new local editors you refer who stay on after their first 90 days. This means if you refer someone and then after their 90s days they pick the $49.95 package you get 10% of that for each month that they continue their licensing agreement!

These changes are very important and will allow OurTown to continue to grow, improve and to compete with other local news sites. This will also enhance your ability to sell more ads at higher prices, because along with these changes are new features, enhanced support, and better metrics.

Now I know that there will be questions, concerns, and comments and we here at OurTown Media are happy to answer and address all of them. Please either email Chris Burnett – Cburnett@OurTown.com, our support line – Support@OurTown.com, or call 513-381-0777.


Your OurTown Superhero,

Chris

Friday, July 15, 2011

New Features


Listeners of the World,

Technology is always evolving, and with this comes new ideas, features, tools, apps, and more that can be integrated into your favorite sites. Here at OurTown Media we believe that because of this evolution we must always be looking towards the future with constant updates, and adding new tools / features to our site. Today we are rolling out two brand new features:

OurTown Video - We have always had the capability to display YouTube videos on OurTown via our "YouTube" island, by coping a certain part of the video URL. Now we have enhance this feature to now being able to copy any video URL from any of the top online video sites (YouTube, Hulu, Dailymotion, etc.) and pasting it into our video section. We have also enhanced the section so that you are able to enter in a title, description, keywords, and have the ability to see a preview before you place it on the page. This allows our local editors to keep a library of videos on their sites, without worry of losing the videos once they delete the specific island (video widget).

As well as the addition of the new video section is the addition of Video Pages to each of the local OurTown sites. Each individual site will now have a main video page that users can access to browse through all the videos that are on that site! This will allow for a much better video experience on OurTown! We will also be rolling out a Main Video Page for the entire OurTown site which will be able to be access from our Homepage and show all the videos across the entire site!

New OurTown Page Layouts - We have also rolled out new layouts for our local editors to be able to explore different set ups and curating options. This will allow for more visual stimulating and pleasing layouts that will give a much better reading experience to our users. We previously had 9 layouts and have now added 5 more. We will continue to improve and enhance our layouts over time and will eventually get to the point where if you can think it up, you can lay your page out like it!

We are always updating and adding features to the site and still have many more features coming in the near future. If there is a feature that you would to see on the site, let us know by contacting our team at Support@OurTown.com.

Your OurTown Superhero,

Chris

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

OUR TOWN GOES TO THE UK

Our Town Media has announced the creation of its first Ourtown.com site outside of the United States. The www.ourtown.com/seafordeastsussex/ site serves a population of approximately 23,000 residents in the town located on the southern coast of England. Our Town Local Editor, Dennis Lewendon, a Seaford resident, will be bringing local news of Seaford Town to its residents and visitors.

"Whether in the U.S. or elsewhere around the world, people are essentially the same. They all want to know what is going on in their town, or village. OurTown will fill that gap left by other news sources as we expand our reach across the United States and through Europe during 2012," said Carol Meinhardt, OurTown COO.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Patch.com expanding...but at what cost?


Listeners of the World,

Traditional news had transformed over the past decade from local and national newspapers / magazines to online / hyper local and global news sites! With this transition local newspapers are dying out while the national papers are making huge cut backs and scrambling to get their news online. This has lead to many different online news sources that take a different approach to local news. Many are taking a hyper local approach to give their viewers true local news that won’t be covered by the bigger news sources. Because of this, sites like OurTown, Topix, Americantowns, Everyblock, and others have become very popular and are now trying to take over the whole hyper local space which most experts value in the billions!

Since there are so many different online news options in today’s world I decided to look over many of the sites to see how they are planning to take over the space, and one stood out from the rest…….Patch.com. Patch is an up incoming hyper local website that is now in about 24 states covering over 100 cites which seems very impressive, but how did they manage to accomplish this? Well from what I have read and research about Patch it is a interesting and bumpy ride…..so hang on!

Patch started as a small hyper local news start up in California founded by Tim Armstrong (Now CEO of AOL) which was sold to AOL in June of 2009 for $7M. Of course this was after Mr. Armstrong became the CEO of AOL (which gave him a nice early payday I might add). After the purchase AOL then decided to pour $50M into Patch that same year.

Then AOL went on a “buying spree” of online news sources like Techcrunch, and HuffingtonPost trying to strengthen their online news site – Patch.com. Once they purchased these sites they started having their articles appear on patch and then made Arianna Huffington the in charge to oversee Patch.com.

Now will all this money / purchases being poured and combined into Patch it is hard to say how one competes with them in this space, but you also have to ask – how long can they keep this up? The amount of money they are spending eclipses almost all of the other hyper local sites budgets combined! Many experts and Ex-Patch employees say the business model isn’t sustainable and that as of right now they can’t understand how they will recoup all this money they are pouring into it.

Patch boasts about their sales force of over 100 people to help sell advertising on their sites, but when you go to a Patch site…..you don’t see too much advertising on it! Also they boast about their great updated business directory that in reality leaves out a lot of newer small business and is obtained in a “not so upfront” way. I have talked many business owners and ex-directory employees from Patch and have learned about many unsavory techniques that they use to get the business information and pictures! I have also talked some individuals about their local editors and journalism staff who they call ruthless and disrespectful when it comes to not wanting to cooperate with giving them information on a story (which a lot of their articles aren’t news at all).

Overall Patch.com has a good strong base of local sites and viewers, but at the cost of over $100M! They don’t seem to be generating a lot of local ad sales and their stories are becoming less and less news breaking. Patch is in the lead for obtaining the online hyper local space, but at what cost…….

Your OurTown Superhero,

Chris

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Everything Video......


Listeners of the World,

We have begin making steps toward our new goal of making OurTown.com more video based! The first step was to make our HTML island "News Worthy" meaning our local editors now have a way to embed videos and have them be seen on our homepage and in our RSS feed. This will help increase the visibility of these videos to search engines.

Our second step is creating a Video Island that will allow our local editors to show any type of video! Right now we have a YouTube island that allows our local editors to show YouTube videos, which will be replaced by our new Video Island. This island is currently underdevelopment and should be released soon.

Our third step is the creation of our OurTown Video pages. We are currently working on this and once it is finished we will have a main OurTown Video page which will have all the videos playing on OurTown.com. Plus each individual OurTown page will have its own Video Page that will show only the videos from that town. This should help increase the SEO on each of our town pages including OurTown.com as a whole!

We are also in the process of introducing editors to our new video creation tool (provided by vADz) which will help them create their very own news clips and video ads! Please check back for more updates about our progress with increasing video in all aspects of OurTown.

Your OurTown Superhero,

Chris

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

OurTown VideoAnchor!


Listeners of the World,

There are two main focuses out there right now and that is Video and Local! Many companies and people are focusing in on hyper local news and targeting smaller local markets. At the same time online video is on about everyone's mind. Here at OurTown.com we have combined hyper local news and video!

We are beginning a new program with some of our local editors which will involve them being able to create their own videos covering their local news! We are introducing them to a new video editing system that will allow our local editors to create unique videos about different events and topics in their town. This addition will help bring more compelling video to hyper local events and news that regularly wouldn't have been covered.

We plan on introducing these new videos across the entire site in the upcoming months as well as video ads that will help bring relevant advertising to each individual OurTown site. Video and Local are the waves of the future and OurTown is gearing up now!

Your OurTown Hero,

Chris

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New Post!


Listeners of the World,

Wow.....it has been over a month since the last post for the OurTown blog! A lot has been going on around OurTown with the new site development, process of adding video to the site (vADz Video), process of adding towns in the UK, and more! We have been very busy and wanted to update everyone on OurTown and it's progress.

- The new site is taking a lot longer than planned due to many of the changes, the development of our new ad system and process. We are still focused on getting this site up ASAP and to make sure that it will do and have everything that our local editors need. We have our new look completed and will also have our new training material and schedule when the site is ready!

- We are now encouraging video on the site in a few different ways. We have always had a YouTube feature on the site to be able to add videos, and now we are in the process of adding another solution which will help you create your own teaser videos.......vADz Videos. This will allow our local editors to add their own videos that they created. Now that is just the first part, the second part is with the addition of video ads! We are making it so that you can use the vADz Video system to create video ads for your local businesses. This will create more interest in your page and also help with the local ad sales.

- We have been adding a lot of new great local editors as of late, but one that we will be adding is a little different from the rest! Starting this week we will be adding some towns for the UK to the OurTown site. We have seen the need to be able to expand to other countries and have been working on making the site ready to handle this change. We soon hope to have many towns not only in the US, but also in the UK!

These are just a few of the many projects, additions, and changes that are keeping us busier than ever! We will start having weekly and bi-weekly updates again to help keep everyone updated with everything OurTown, Hpyer local news, Online News, and Social News!

Your OurTown Superhero,

Chris

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Listeners of the World,

What is news? What do you consider important? The below link is to an article written by Bill Keller who has great insights about aggregation compared to reporting. I believe anyone who is in the hyper-local arena should read this! Please enjoy and let me know what you think in the comments!

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/13/magazine/mag-13lede-t.html?_r=1&ref=magazine

Your OurTown Superhero,

Chris

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Video Ads and OurTown!


Listeners of the World,

It has been stated over and over again that this is the year of video and that video will help increase your engagement, conversation, and sales. Well OurTown is listening and working to make sure that our local editors get in on the action! OurTown.com already has video capabilities for articles/stories, but now we are starting to offer video capabilities for their local advertisements as well.

We have a great advantage since we are associated with vADz.com which is a cost effective video ad solution for small and medium sized businesses. We are able to offer to our local editors something that most sites or news organizations can't..........video ads that they can create and price themselves! vADz is an easy to use system where you mix and combine images, videos, text, transitions, and audio to create 15 to 60 second ads. They will have the ability to also add coupons, maps, and other attachments ( ex. car-fax, menu, catalog, etc.).

We have started to introduce this to many of our local editors and for now they can create video ads on the vADz main site, but soon this will be a built in feature! They have the ability to embed the video on the site, include a link in a story or in a rich text ad.

Video is everywhere and will be everywhere on OurTown.com! This is only one of the main new additions to OurTown that will make it better than the rest!

Your OurTown Superhero,

Chris