Wednesday. October 16, 2019

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Kalamazoo News Monitor has suspended its weekly aggregation of local news and information. We’ve found some forms of success, and the experiment has provided valuable insights, but current resources do not enable us to achieve effective distribution.

Therefore, we’re stepping back and will look for modified approaches to using the KNM website to provide local value and for different ways to help with the dissemination of information in our town.

Since late January, the KNM website has been visited by thousands of different people in Kalamazoo, gained regular readers, and helped activate some people to become more involved in their community.

Anecdotally, we’ve gotten the feedback we were looking for: Kalamazoo looks different this way, we need this, it helps with transparency, I didn’t know all these websites existed, etc.

Google Analytics also indicates that there’s merit in the concept of local news aggregation in one place, outside of everyone’s separate social media streams. A lot of people have returned to the KNM website 2-100 times in three months.

However, without the current ability to publish a regular stream of original content, there is no reasonable way to use social media to consistently distribute and promote the website – or to give our readers/advocates the easily-shareable content they need to attract others to the site.

When we have posted and promoted original content, it has been shared and has brought waves of people to the website, where they end up spending a good many minutes, reading stories, visiting pages, and clicking through to the third-party stories we promote.

So, the website is doing its proper work, once people arrive on it; we just don’t have a reliable way to keep getting them here and to steadily reach a widening audience. That requires unique, shareable content.

We thank all of you who have supported KNM’s experiment with visits, encouragement, and promotion to others. You’ve helped generate very useful information for a future effort. We’ll use our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter) to provide future updates.

Love where you live… and make a daily effort to keep track of what is going on there!

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