Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Personal content’

This is the 16th and final part of the personal content section of the Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection.

Obituaries are not a one-day story. They are the final account of a person’s life. Whether the newspaper writes its own obituary or publishes one submitted by the family or funeral home, that should be just the start. The Complete Community Connection needs to provide opportunities for deeper personal content.

The dearly departed should get her own memorial page (linked to the page on our site that she had in life, if she had one), where family members can add remembrances, photos and videos. (more…)

Read Full Post »

This is the 15th part of the personal content section of the Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection. 

Holiday shopping has always been big business for newspapers and television. The Complete Community Connection can make it bigger. (more…)

Read Full Post »

This is the 14th part of the personal content section of the Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection.

Reunions are another event that’s big news in small circles that the Complete Community Connection needs to pursue.

Families, graduating classes, military units, fraternities, sororities and other groups need to get web pages or social networks to keep members posted on reunions and other events. When they register an event, prompts will guide them in sending automated emails to members (sponsored by local businesses interested in reaching the kind of group that’s gathering), booking and mapping the venue(s), offering members blocks of room and reservation opportunities. (more…)

Read Full Post »

This is the 13th part of the personal content section of the Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection. 

Retirement may not be a fertile market with today’s retirees, who tend to prefer print and broadcast to digital communication. But Baby Boomers are starting to retire and the Complete Community Connection should develop personal-content platforms to serve them.  (more…)

Read Full Post »

This is the 12th part of the personal content section of the Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection.

Another life stage where the Complete Community Connection can provide rich content and pursue new revenue opportunities is the empty nest.

We can help empty nesters build maps showing where the children have scattered, so you can click and open windows for each offspring, with information and photos of in-laws, grandchildren, etc. Another map could track the empty nesters’ travels. They could compile wish lists of things to do before they retire, with gift registries so family and friends can use birthdays, holidays and anniversaries to help their dreams come true. When they register, they would fill out their interests, so we can email advice and advertising to help with health, travel, hobbies and financial planning.

Continue reading the Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection with Personal content opportunities: Retirement.

Read Full Post »

This is the 11th part of the personal content section of the Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection. 

As I wrote a couple of months ago, illness was a staple of the small-town newspaper where I started in this business. It also is an opportunity for the Complete Community Connection.

When someone is hospitalized or at home recovering from an illness or homebound with an extended or terminal illness, we need to give them a web page (or a part of their existing page) to keep people posted on how they’re doing. They could enter their hospital and the page would automatically post visiting hours. (more…)

Read Full Post »

This is the 10th part of the personal content section of the Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection.

The Complete Community Connection should not limit its personal content to the stages of life. We should develop personal content in areas that cross many different ages and stages.

In the community content section, I discussed the possibilities of developing sites used daily (or at least frequently) by drivers and home-owners, as vehicles to strengthen the traditional verticals of homes and cars. The jobs vertical may be harder to develop such a site, but we could present advice and discussion threads on work issues and career planning, a database of average salaries and wages for various jobs in our community, a cost-of-living comparison calculator for relocating workers, etc.

We could start other verticals along the same model, such as health, pets, hobbies and food. These topics can have some general community-type content, such as the current food sections of The Gazette and GazetteOnline. But they need to be personal as well, with people exchanging family recipes (and the personal stories behing them), pet photos and so on.

Continue reading the Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection with Personal content opportunities: Illness.

Read Full Post »

 This is the ninth part of the personal content section of the Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection.

Divorce is a life stage that obviously isn’t an opportunity for a celebration site, similar to weddings or graduations.

But it’s a big change when people have lots of jobs to be done and lots of new situations for which local businesses will want to connect with them. We should offer a site providing links (with opportunities for the business or organization to buy enhanced links) to counselors, lawyers, support groups, singles groups, churches, credit counselors.

We also can offer discussion opportunities for people experiencing divorce. We can offer multiple layers, with general content and services for anyone going through divorce and specialized content by gender and circumstances (custodial, non-custodial and joint-custody parents, hostile or amicable divorces, first-timers and multiple divorces).

In addition to the targeted advertising opportunities, this aspect of community connection may provide some lead-generation opportunities for the businesses listed above as well as real estate agents, landlords, car dealers and possibly other businesses who serve people who are starting anew. We might have some email opportunities — a template the divorcing person can use to send the news, along with new contact information, details and whatever, to family, friends and creditors.

Of course, the circumstances of divorce present some situations that might lead to malicious comments online, so in this format, we might reverse our trend to encourage or require identification and encourage or require use of fictitious screen names in discussion forums.

Continue reading the Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection with Personal content opportunities: Jobs, health, pets, food interests.

Read Full Post »

This is the eighth part of the personal content section of the Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection.

One of the best successes of newspaper companies in developing niche products has been web sites (and sometimes related publications) targeting mothers.

Gannett led the way with local “Moms” sites that evolved into the national site, MomsLikeMe. Other companies, including Cox and McClatchy, launched their own local sites. The Newspaper Next 2.0 report profiled the Cox projects focusing on moms in Ohio and Rich Gordon of Northwestern University wrote a case study of the IndyMoms project that launched Gannett’s effort. Because this topic has been examined thoroughly, I won’t elaborate on it much here, though I affirm that media companies need to target moms in their efforts to become the Complete Community Connection. 

Two points I would emphasize:

  • We need to sell products directly to moms for business customers. We need to register kids directly for activities.
  • We should consider whether we could draw the same sort of audiences with dads, again with content and revenue working together.

Continue reading the Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection with Personal content opportunities: Divorce.

Read Full Post »

This is the seventh part of the personal content section of the Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection.

Weddings are an excellent example of how newspapers’ sense of news is way out of whack with the people in the community and how we miss out on big news and revenue opportunities because of the blinders of our current business model.

The blinders hurt us on both the content and revenue sides. Weddings, engagements and anniversaries aren’t big news for newspapers because they happen so many times each year in the life of the community. If we make a big deal of one, we’ll have to make a big deal out of them all, so we bury them inside the paper and handle them by format. Well, they all are big deals and each is unique and memorable. Each wedding is one of the biggest news stories of the year in the circle of people attending. And we can make each of them a big deal in our network.

Each wedding in the community deserves its own multi-level web site. We need to start seizing this content (and its revenue opportunities).

St. Louis Best Bridal provides a good starting model but we need to go further. Iowa Bridal Planner barely begins to touch the possibilities for networking and commerce related to weddings. In addition to events and printed bridal planning guides, we need to become a place where people share their experiences: a mix of features and advice about weddings and user-generated content such as romantic moments, wedding disasters, funny moments, cute-kid stories from weddings, worst-bridesmaid-dress contests and how-to discussions.

We should offer a directory of businesses that help with the jobs to be done around weddings. This would be a multi-level directory, connecting with the iGuide. Just to have useful content, we should list basic information (address, phone, hours, web site, map) for every florist, dress shop, etc. in the community. We should offer the businesses an opportunity to pay for enhanced listings on multiple levels, including preferred placement and lead generation.

We need to offer web sites for each couple, linked to from the main wedding page and easily searchable. The couple’s site includes not just the engagement announcement, but lots of opportunities for user-generated content: how the couple met, their song, a quiz about the couple, information about the event.

We need to offer direct help with some of the logistical details about the wedding. For instance, the couple should be able to reserve a block of rooms at a local hotel directly from our web site (with opportunities for guests to reserve and confirm rooms directly). We need a more interactive and helpful online wedding planner, where brides can check out venues using virtual reality photography, choose their tuxes, preview dresses (of course, they’ll need to go out and try them on, but they can do some online shopping to narrow the list of shops they want to try in person).

When couples start their wedding page, they would agree in the registration process that we can provide information about them to vendors (we might give them multiple levels, so they can choose which types of vendors they want to hear from). This is a powerful lead-generation opportunity for an event on which couples spend tons of money. We can provide a gift registry from which family and friends (many of them people from outside the community who wouldn’t spend money here unless we give them the opportunity) can buy gifts online for direct delivery to the couple.

We also might collect contact information from the buyers and email them before the first anniversary, offering a new chance to buy gifts. We could offer the couple a newspaper and/or a DVD about the couple’s childhood, adolescence and courtship, using photos and stories posted at their web site.

As with many areas of personal content, we need to extend these services through multiple products: Iowa Bridal Planner, of course, but also The Gazette’s Milestones section as well as events and special sections or magazines. We also need to look for opportunities to provide solutions for services such as reservations and gift registries directly ourselves and where we need to partner with businesses already providing those solutions. For instance, we could get paid on a click-through basis when family or friends click into a department store’s gift registry from our site. But we could develop our own registry tool for smaller community-based shops and there we collect the money for the sale and collect a larger fee from the vendor.

Continue reading the Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection with Personal content opportunities: Parenthood.

Read Full Post »

This is the sixth part of the personal content section of the Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection.

When National Guard and Reserve units from our communities are deployed, the Complete Community Connection should provide personal pages telling the stories of the units and the troops.

In addition, we can provide the hometown link for Iowa troops who are scattered to various bases here and abroad. We start the page with the basic information: name, rank, unit, hometown. And we invite the sevicemember and his or her family and friends to fill in the rest: photos, videos, stories, personal interests, etc.

As with other areas of personal content, we have commercial opportunities, especially when people are deployed. Family, friends, supportive individuals and congregations and civic groups in the community can contribute to buy care packages from local businesses, which will ship them overseas. We should report when people are returning on leave or when deployments are ending and family, friends and community members can buy all or parts of rest-and-recreation gift packages — weekend at a local hotel or resort, spa or golf package, dinner gift certificate, etc.

We need to develop a lead-generation model for veterans’ organizations, alerting them to military people whose hitches are ending, so they can advertise on the page or contact the person directly.

When local service members become casualties — injured, missing or killed — coverage from the news site would be posted on their pages (unless the family chooses to exclude news coverage). The page becomes a place for distant relatives, friends and supporters to keep updated on a soldier’s recovery or express their grief at a family’s loss.

Continue reading the Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection with Personal content opportunities: Weddings.

Read Full Post »

This is the fifth part of the personal content section of the Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection.

College life may be one of the biggest challenges for a media company to develop personal content as part of a Complete Community Connection approach.

Lots of other sites are already providing college students opportunities for their own pages, whether on MySpace, Facebook or personal blogs. But we shouldn’t concede this group. Swocol provides a model for starting to connect college students in the communities or regions where they are attending school.

As mentioned in the graduation section, we can develop advertising and lead-generation possibilities with college bookstores and other merchants around campuses. These opportunities continue throughout college. Students can have standing and special-occasion gift registries, where parents can buy gift certificates, care packages and finals-week treats.

As mentioned in the section on assumptions, don’t assume that this is something we would do in competition with college media organizations. This might provide a perfect opportunity for partnerships, internships and a new model for cooperation. We should also explore the possibilites of working with, rather than competing with, Facebook. Whether we use Facebook groups, use Facebook Connect on our own sites or help local businesses connect with students on Facebook, the right approach might be using the platform where college students already spend much of their time.

Continue reading the Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection with Personal content opportunities: Military service.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,965 other followers