(This personal blog outlines the creation and development of this website.)
Shannon Carey and I learned in Year One that the old Shopper News model – based on geographic communities – would not work online. We can’t hire enough people to keep up with the concerned neighbors/gossips who haunt online message boards. Reporters actually verify facts before we print. Well, most times.
Folks organize themselves by where they live, but we also organize ourselves around interests – where we attend church, hobbies, community service, etc. Parents (and grandparents) are interested in school news countywide; people are interested in zoning issues that affect their neighborhood.
So, knoxtntoday.com launched 10 feature categories in Year Two. Here’s what we’ve got so far with a long way to go.
Our Town Heroes – Tom King is working miracles with this feature. He profiles a police officer or emergency service provider every week. And he’s having fun doing it.
Tag, You’re It! (photos from the weekend) This is a great idea which we’re having trouble launching. I think we need to find a 10- to 12-year-old to handle the technical details.
Our Town Stories (history) This is our best-read and most-shared feature: Mona B. Smith, Farragut/Concord; Tracy Haun Owens, West Knox; Dr. Jim Tumblin, Fountain City; Betsy Pickle, South Knox or downtown; Sandra Clark, North Knox.
On the Grow (real estate, zoning, development) – Larry Van Guilder will coordinate this feature. He’ll cover Knox Planning and keep up with major and mid-sized development projects. Other writers will provide profiles of new and growing businesses.
Our Town Kids + Our Town Teens – Wednesdays will be dedicated to Health and Home stories – news from individual schools and in-depth coverage of countywide issues.
Get Up & Go – Tracy Haun Owens coordinates this weekly celebration of an individual who is making a difference in the community – through volunteer efforts.
Arts 865 – Betsy Pickle is our go-to writer, supplemented by PR practitioners for arts-related nonprofits.
Our Town Leaders – Larry and I will develop this feature – highlighting CEOs of big businesses and top government officials.
Get Out & Play – Carol Evans has been with us from the start, spotlighting local places and events to enjoy the outdoors.
Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of knoxtntoday.com. Reach her at 865-661-8777.