Transparency report – June
A few weeks ago, I had an epiphany.
It occurred shortly after I spilled a big glass of water on the keyboard of my laptop. Long live the Toshiba, a bulky, loud machine purchased mere months after the inauguration of Barack Obama. It weighed about as much as a microwave. Fortunately, the Geek Squad at Best Buy managed to recover my precious data. Still, I had a nagging problem.
I had no computer to speak of (and no, a Chromebook does not count). Following this thought to its logical conclusion, I realized, “Holy hell. What if my camera breaks? Or my phone falls into a pool while I’m frolicking on a hot summer’s day?”
I should point out that I’m a journalist by training. Journalists, traditionally, have been shielded from the money-making side of the news business like children being diverted around the slaughterhouse on a farm tour.
This has the unintended consequence of instilling in us a hippie-like understanding of news economics. Journalists have always assumed that as long as we did our jobs, the sales departments would sort of figure it out.
Not long after the inauguration of Barack Obama, we all learned that that wasn’t really true either. We were as expendable as the fax machine.
So that’s a long-winded way of saying that learning the business side of the business has been a bit of a challenge for me. But something about having a broken computer jolted me into action. I revamped our media kit. I created new email accounts tied to our domain name: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, respectively. We also started using the Square invoicing system. Square makes PayPal look like the Chatroulette of online payment systems.
I also installed this new community calendar. I hope that it will start to take off once people get used to it. It’s a great way for businesses to advertise their daily deals and special menu items. It’s also good for promoting one-off events, like fundraisers and yard sales. Did I mention our rates are quite affordable? Because they are. Quite.
We’ve seen a healthy uptick in interested customers since we started polishing up the store-front side of the business. The main reason I do this transparency update is to keep you apprised of the donations I receive. I felt like that was something I needed to do if I was going to e-panhandle to get this thing up and running.
My plan is to remove the donation button and replace it with something else. Could be ad space. Could be a cat video. The possibilities are limited.
So for the month of June, we had $60 in donations, every dollar of which I sincerely appreciate.
Meanwhile, our traffic side of the business reached a new record. We had 182,000 page views and 71,260 unique visitors.
Here’s our month-to-month traffic since we relaunched in February:
I have absolutely no idea what was going on in March. I assumed the summer months would just be the dregs, but we’ve done pretty well thus far. That’s particularly good news for our advertisers, since it means there are thousands of more people looking at their ads each and every day.
If you’ve supported Decaturish in the past, I’d like to ask you to continue supporting us by supporting our advertisers. Shop at their stores and eat at their restaurants. They are the reason I can continue to provide journalism to our respective communities free of charge. Here are some other things you can do to help:
– Consider buying an ad. We encourage our readers to support businesses that advertise with us. We have an ad salesman, Jeff Cochran. If you’re a local business and you like what we do, you should call Jeff. He can be reached at 404-441-7389. You can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to our readers for another great month. This job is hard to do and I’m learning a lot.
We’ve got a good community here that’s interested in fair, timely and accurate news. I’m proud to be able to provide it.