July 17, 2010

Community Websites

We launched the beta version of the Mylapore Times web site a few weeks ago.

Built on a WordPress structure and designed for our needs by R. Revathi who runs the Yocee web site for the children of Chennai, we have kept things simple and straight.
And we have begun to post reports and pictures more frequently nowadays and will be graduating to daily posts soon.

We have also received the first stream of comments and feedback.

One suggestion has remained with me this past week.
A lady said that if we could provide some basic inputs that media requires, then people like her who are strong in their language skills but cannot be at a fulltime assignment could edit or write for us.

A web site scores when it is driven by the community, more so in the case of all the newspapers that I am involved in. And I believe that we must involve interested people.

I have been learning and sharing lessons with our experience at Arcot Road Times (www.arcotroadtimes.com).

The better experience has also come from the ten years plus that we have spent on KutcheriBuzz (www.kutcheribuzz.com).

What does stand out is the need to involve the community.
We don’t have to teach people how to write or how to email.
We need to show people what kind of content can make web sites like ours work, we need to learn from the tech-savvy readers small things that can better the user experience and we may want to share with people how we work and how they can join us closely.

In the days to come, we intend to have small meetings in the neighbourhood.
The outcome will help us as we steer the sites in Mylapore and later in Adyar.

Meanwhile, your feedback and ideas are welcome.
Mail me at mylaporetimes@vsnl.com or at adyartimes@gmail.com


Arjun Ram said...

Absolutely love what you are doing with these local papers. Could we connect offline? We are looking at hyperlocal news across india and would love to discuss the same.

Vincent D' Souza said...

Mail your proposal to vincentsjottings@gmail.com