New Citizen Journo Project Launches

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Source Title:
Muncie Free Press, a Declaration of Independence 7/4/5
Story Text:

Our own kpaul has launched a citizen journalism project called Muncie Free Press - i've no idea what muncie means, but i'm sure he'll fill us in....

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heh. it's the name of the town.

It's actually kinda famous in a sociological sense. the Lynds conducted the Middletown Studies here in the 1920s. It seems Muncie is a great example of the typical American Midwest town, commonly used as a test market.

David Letterman went to college here. Jim Davis (Garfield) is from here. The city has been mentioned in X-Files, The Gilmore Girls and the movie Hudsucker Proxy. (all three favorites of mine ;)

I'm not originally from here (cleveland, OH), but I think it's the perfect 'non-coast' place in the US to try an experiment like this. My position at the local newspaper was recently eliminated for cost savings. So, I'm gonna make a go of it, combining my newspaper experience, my journalism classes, a hobby knowledge of SEO, and my ability to tinker with code.

I'm going to try to give myself at least six months.

For the sake of American media, wish me luck. ;)

good luck :)

good luck :)

Good Luck kpaul

Kinda doing the same thing myself but not as nice. Now getting 14-1800 visits on weekdays after 3 months.

Promotion?

kpaul - what are you doing to promote / advertise this? I can't imagine the local newspaper being too hot to run an article about it. (Though I suspect they might be willing to overlook the competition angle and let you buy some ad space.)

guerrilla marketing / gonzo marketing...

i'm hitting all the local forums and bloggers.

on july 4th, while out shooting pics, i handed out a couple hundred 'flag fliers'.

there's going to be SE traffic too, eventually.

and i haven't tried buying an ad from them yet. i'm trying to do this as cheaply as possible. ;)

i think being visible in the public 'real world' (at meetings, etc.) is going to help a lot.

any other ideas?

muscle car four speed manual transmissions

It's also the name of the heavy duty four speed manual transmission used in GM muscle cars like the Chevrolet Chevelle SS, Chevrolet Nova SS, Chevrolet Camaro SS, Chevrolet Camaro Z28, Pontiac Firebird Formula 400, Pontiac Firebird Transam, Pontiac GTO, Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 and Buick Skylark GS. The variants are the Muncie M-21 and Muncie M-22. The one with the straight cut gears was called the Muncie Rockcrusher. If my memory is correct, they were manufactured in Muncie, IN.

Did I forget any key words? I drove these cars when they were new, so alzheimers is a factor :)

pick a cause

and co-ordinate the campaign. There must be something that small town America wants to complain about?

yeah, actually...

there's one group in a nearby small town like that. i fear, though, that they're maybe a little intimidated by the whole 'interactive' thing. they participate on the newspaper forums (which are simple) but not a flood of submissions yet.

i'm thinking about doing screenshot tutorials or something to break it down. they definitely have stories to tell, it's just going to be a matter of helping them tell the stories.

i meet with the group again this Friday. i'll see how it goes.

One thing that worked....

I went to a group where I knew there were people even more mouthy than me - (yes, it's possible). In my case I picked the Scottish Socialst Youth. I posted in their group "you should see what this idiot over at ...DotCom is doing - what a waste of time, what a wanker".

It was amazing how much traffic and repeat traffic that got the site in the earlier days. All the people posting that it wasn't bad after all etc.... It was really funny. Saw all this traffic coming in not only from the post but from yahoo emails etc.

In DaveN's world this may be considered High Risk.

definitely gonzo-ish ;)

i'm thinking time in the real world face to face is going to be important in the beginning too...

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