Confession. I don’t know what I’m doing. (Warning – this post is part whine and part lecture and part asking for help!)
I know news! I could write it all day everyday. Everything is a story. Everyone has a story! The list of stories to dig into about our neighbors and our town is long, and doesn’t scratch the surface of what some of you know about our history, our traditions, our struggles and our future.
But news gathering is also work. It takes time. It takes phone calls, emails and looking up information and listening to back stories and waiting for return calls. And math! There are audits to read, expenditures to add up, interpreting audits and agendas and looking up records of everything from criminal histories to lawsuits to reviewing the Open Meetings Law (again). And attending meetings. To prepare, there’s agendas to scour, consent agendas to peruse and tough questions to ask (worst part). That’s all before stringing any words together to write articles that make sense and are spelled correctly, and include hyperlinks here and there. I love it. But there’s pressure and responsibility to get it right and fair, while also frankly, getting people to actually read.
I finally joined LinkedIn. I’m late to the party on that one. Before The Luther Register, I spent a lot of years doing low-key jobs under the radar and didn’t really care about being networked professionally like on LinkedIn. Now I need it to make connections, and find new ways to raise support for this little venture of an online newspaper. LinkedIn has been pretty fun, especially when I reconnected with one of my mentors.
A former news executive herself, she inboxed me asking (using lots of question marks), “did you start a newspaper??????”
She said she has dreamed about doing the same – “starting a little newsy thing where she’d gather all of the news at the coffee shop and write folksy columns.”
Come to think of it, that’s what I thought I’d do too.
But there’s so much more. Namely, generating advertising and getting sponsorships. Have I mentioned also learning how to do all of this online. No big deal for lots of people. An old dog can learn new tricks.
One of the earliest readers of The Luther Register sent me a check this week. Other readers (and friends) have done the same through the PayPal button. It humbles me, and keeps me going. You know who you are – and please know I’m grateful. If you let me, I’ll name drop my thanks!
We all know the “business” of news is changing. It is going to be up to news consumers ultimately to pitch in to help pay for the news they want (sort of like supporting public radio or TV). I promise not to do any pledge drives! But if you want local news about your community, and you know you do, this is it!
Back to not knowing what I’m doing. The Business Directory. I think I charged too much! Did I? I put out there with fanfare the introduction of the directory at what I thought was a decent rate of $100 for a year ($9 a month). Had to start somewhere. Let’s just say I had some great initial response (you know who you are), but not the torrent I expected.
So the Business Directory is on sale. Let’s try it with a $25 donation to start. Here’s the link to the page.
The Business Directory will be its own page on this website. Sure we can inquire on FB when looking for a plumber or an honest and affordable AC service (like Patrick from Providential) or a veterinarian who comes out to your farm, but The Luther Business Directory will be a clearinghouse for that info. There is value for customers and businesses. Because we are all neighbors.
Load us up. Input your business into the form on this page.
Meantime, I’m learning more and more how to make online ads. Thank you Nurture You in Wellston. Seriously, go visit Tammy for a massage or a facial (after you join the Business Directory or share this link with your favorite local businesses).