Changes

By  | April 25, 2011 | 16 Comments | Filed under: Editorial, Uncategorized

“If you are a regular visitor here to The Citizen you’ll know there have been some major changes going on, and there are more to come.
When we started this little adventure last year James and I knew that social media was here to stay. We just had to determine first of all, whether our ideas had a place there, and second of all, just where the heck that place was!
With your help, we have found a nice little niche where people can come and find out what’s going on in Cambridge, and talk about it in a mostly rational manner. We can showcase local artists and unique businesses, and most importantly, have a few laughs while we do.
Our page views are climbing steadily, and very quickly thanks to the election, and we are attracting a lot of new readers.
Now that we have found our place, we have to dig in, and give everyone a reason to keep coming back.. We have registered as a business and we own the domain cambridgecitizen.ca. We will be printing a quarterly magazine to showcase some of the great material here. The magazine will be distributed free through local businesses, festivals etc. (We may have a very big announcement regarding this)
The first issue is almost ready, we just need to sell enough advertising to print.
We now have two people working on this. Paulet is a local real estate agent, and Clayton has done ad sales for Synergy Corp. in Toronto for the last ten years, and they are confident we will have the money in no time.
All ads are both online and print, and are very reasonable. For more info contact [email protected]

Changes at the site
We have provided RSS Feeds to the local media on the left. We’ll leave writing to the journalists there, and we’ll talk about it here. We don’t want to copy stories that some hard working writer busted his ass to get. We’ll quote a story, and link out to the original source.
The donate button on the right is self explanatory. It costs money to run a site, upgrade widgets etc.
This also gives our advertisers the ability to pay online through PayPal or any major credit card, and we can invoice right away.
A future use we foresee for this is we will be able to sell books or CDs, for example, for local artists, directly here at the site. We will be able to embed a buy button directly in the story.
Event Calendar will be running in a few days.
Ad Rotators are working, I’m fine tuning it so the ads are linked to the business website and the titles are fixed.
New Cartoonist John Harvey is fitting in quite well, and feel free to offer him your ideas. (but be careful what you ask for, ask Hags!)
New Column Dr. Louise Langlais Dr. Langlais, a local veterinarian, will be answering questions for readers of The Citizen about their pets well being.

There’s a lot more but that’s enough for right now, I have a date in Lamebridge with Mr. Harper. Please leave your comments, ideas, suggestions etc. below.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLPlATKEdtM

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16 Responses to Changes

  1. Laureen Housley April 6, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Putting a lot on your plate there, but hopefully you can pull it all off. I have been following this site for just a few months now but enjoy it immensely as i find the opinions on here are varied on each subject but you tend to respect each others views and that is nice to read. Both your cartoonist are funny and dead on the spot most times.Sometimes though i am not sure which story’s are real and which are fake, the Childrens sleep one i had to read to figure out, but that is the fun part.LOL

  2. scot April 6, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    Thanks Laureen. As you are about to see, we have had this on our plates for awhile, and we’re almost done.

  3. Jimm Hillis April 6, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    And if you are on Twitter you can follow us at cambcitizen and also on facebook we have a page for the Citizen that we will be paying more attention too as well.

  4. Deron Rennick April 6, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    You guys have obviously worked your butts off to get this far. I hope this little adventure continues to grow and someday pays both of you a decent wage for your efforts. Nice to see that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Cambridge. This is how most large and successful businesses originally started – with an idea, followed by allot of hard work, and the guts to persevere through the tough times. Hopefully I will someday be saying to somebody, “I remember The Cambridge Citizen back when…”

  5. Jimm Hillis April 6, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Thank You Deron, when i started this I knew I needed someone with a drive and passion to help me out and Scot has been that one. His tireless efforts have pushed this site far beyond what I hoped it could be and will be.

  6. scot April 6, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    If you look at my new post you can see how close we are.

  7. scot April 6, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Blah, blah, blah.

    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_-858AdxFE

  8. scot April 6, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    My job at Colonial Cookies crumbled in January when the company went into recievership. I thought about it, and decided to devote myself to this before i went back to work. I’m ready. I already have a job lined up, and we should be ready to print in the next few weeks. (It would be done but someone went and called an election)
    i know from experience that it’s only the first one that’s hard, we now have a template, lots of material coming in, and we’ll have repeat advertisers.I think a lot of you knew what we were working on, but didn’t realize how close we are.
    I think the hard part is over, now the fun begins!

  9. Hags April 25, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    Scot, were ‘mostly rational discussions’ a shot at me? I’m very sensitive you know!

  10. Lary Turner April 27, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Congrats on the mag nearing completion ….. if you are serious about ad sales could I suggest Real Estate agents such as Debbie Vitez?

  11. Scot Ferguson-Barber April 27, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    Real Estate Agents are a good idea, but we want people who have a positive outlook on Cambridge, and that includes the advertisers. I don’t think Debbie has a very high opinion of Cambridge.

  12. Newsfan April 27, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    As hard as it may be, I would resist developing a hard copy rag of any sort, unless it is a labour of love and you have the bollocks to burn through a lot of capital. There are numerous ways to promote this site and generate advertising revenue.

    In addition, there eservices and eproducts are gowing in leaps and bounds and can be linked to your site to generate commission revenue. The key is to avoid those distasteful ones that can reduce the quality of your product.

    Why not a “split membership” where a person can buy a membership for a dollar amount that is split say 50/50 between Cambridge Citizen and the charity of their choice. You just facilitate the program and tax deductible receipts, etc. are handled by the charity that is selected.

    The strength that I see here is that the discussion doesn’t get buried on a given topic to the point that you cannot find it. You might provide a designated “spot” for recognized local columnists like, Hags, Cahill, Crawford, Speed et al and help grow there effectiveness.

    Just thinking out loud. Ideas are a dime a dozen. If yo know me, then at one time you got a letter with that quote and a tax free dime glued to it.

  13. Scot Ferguson-Barber April 27, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Newsfan, input from our readers is always appreciated, and we try to adapt the site in response to what you want.
    The print version is a labour of love, and we should have enough to print a few thousand copies by the end of the week, which is all we need for the first issue.
    We have a lot of really good writers here, and with the print industry diminishing there are precious few places for a writer to see their first ink. As a writer, I see it as a place for some of these people to shine. This is an extension of the site, a place to promote Cambridge. Here’s a quote from the Reporter about a magazine we ran for a couple of years here, and it kind of eplains my motivation.
    after the election I’ll be doing more work on the layout to make certain articles and writers easier to find. Tom Speed isn’t online, but I have talked to Bill Kirby, and I’m waiting to hear from Bob Green. (He is being reclusive again)

    Magazine helps dreams come true for writers; [Final Edition]
    CLYDE WARRINGTON. Cambridge Reporter. Cambridge, Ont.: Jul 25, 2003. pg. A.16
    Abstract (Summary)
    “As writers, we see the need to give teens a place to vent, to express themselves,” says [Scot Ferguson-Barber]. “I know how healing and how cathartic writing can be. I want young writers who are prepared to push themselves, to write from their souls.”

    The magazine’s genesis was an MSN Internet group established by Ferguson-Barber about a year ago, the Cambridge Opinion Group, a writers’ collective aimed at improving literary skills through collaboration and critiquing.

  14. Scot Ferguson-Barber April 28, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Newsfan, I really like your ideas, please feel free to post more, (The same goes for everyone)
    Our first priority has been to establish ourselves,and do something different from other sites. The web is a big place, but we think we have done that. We have an advantage in that we do our own design, and we can adapt according to what you want to see. The statistics courses I had to take in school are finally coming in handy;we rerad the site analytics religously. A lot more people read than comment, and our page views are climbing steadily.
    The site has devolped thanks to input from our readers, and we encourage you to continue to post suggestions.

  15. Newsfan April 28, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Build a fire under your Pay Pal option. Offer choices with incentives of varying amounts. Give a book of a local author away at a dramtaically reduced price with a Pay Pal amount of $x’s. Build a library of books for sale to compliment the site’s dialogue. Win theatre tickets/dinner for 2. Coordinate a contest for youth writers for screen plays for our local theatre – I have suggested this already, but have heard nothing…raffle off Margaret’s dog.

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