We’re big social media fans here at Next Door Media, and with each site we’ve launched, you’ll find a corresponding Facebook and Twitter account. We’ve added up all the fans and followers across the 10 sites in the network, and much to our surprise, we’re nearing 40,000 — which is greater than the primary social media accounts (Facebook+Twitter) for every media company in town except KING 5 and the Seattle Times (yes, bigger than KIRO, KOMO and the Seattle PI.)
Certainly, there’s a little overlap between accounts — for example, someone may be fans of My Ballard and PhinneyWood on Facebook — but we’ve found residents tend to “like” and follow their neighborhoods. Of all the sites, My Ballard has the largest reach: about 12,000 combined fans and followers, with Queen Anne View and My Green Lake following on our most social list.
To “like” or follow a neighborhood site, visit that’s site home page and look for the Facebook and Twitter buttons.
We’ve tallied up our numbers for 2010, and it’s safe to say that Next Door Media is one of the fastest-growing news organizations in the Northwest. Our network of North Seattle neighborhood blogs grew 37%, serving up 13.3 million page views for the year. Every site grew in the double digits, and Queen Anne View jumped 57% last year alone! Next Door Media sites now reach 200,000 unduplicated unique users every month.
Over the last year, PhinneyWood.com won a national journalism award for deadline reporting, and QueenAnneView.com broke a story that spurred a city-wide investigation. We added four new neighborhood sites, launched NorthSeattleGuide.com, partnered with the UW’s The Daily, teamed up with MyGreenLake.com and inked an advertising deal with KING TV and the Seattle Times.
We have our readers and advertisers to thank for your amazing support. And we can’t say enough good things about our team of neighborhood editors, who have worked hard at providing community coverage around the clock — stories that you can’t find anywhere else in a difficult economic climate.
On the revenue front, we made terrific progress, serving ads for well over 100 local businesses, both large and small. Our clients are thrilled with the ability to target their customers by neighborhood with low-cost, high-exposure ads. And our free deals service is a big hit, too, letting merchants set their own terms while reaching just the North Seattle area. And it all stays local — the money we generate from advertising supports our neighborhood editors, who live here, too.
We’re particularly proud that Next Door Media has grown in such a grassroots fashion. We’re a Ballard company without the luxury of millions (or even thousands) of dollars in investment or donations. We’re not getting rich by any stretch, but we’re having fun (well, except when we hear sirens at midnight.)
Our heartfelt thanks to all of you, our editors and our partners for your support as we move into 2011!
Last November, a Queen Anne family was walking their dog Sammy on the sidewalk when the pet stepped on an electric plate near a lamp post. A jolt of electricity shot through the animal. Sammy died instantly.
QueenAnneView.com editor Thea Chard posted the heartbreaking story, which rocketed around Facebook and Twitter and tallied up dozens of comments. Soon, Seattle TV stations and news sites were on the story. Seattle City Light warned residents about a potentially widespread problem and launched a citywide inspection of more than 37,000 metal streetlight poles.
The inspection is now complete, and Seattle City Light says they’ve identified 56 sites that were found to have “elevated voltage” — some of them dangerously high. The city has also notified every business, institution and government facility about the need to check light poles on private property.
Kudos to Thea for breaking the story and to the dog’s owner, Nancy Bostdorff, who was willing to bring the tragic story to the community’s attention.
We’re happy to announce that Next Door Media is an inaugural partner of a new local advertising network with KING 5 Television and the Seattle Times.
The partnership combines our expertise with driving results for North Seattle businesses — we’re the region’s most-read network of news sites — with KING and the Times’ established base of regional advertisers. As TechFlash explains, “The ad network doesn’t plan to compete for the small local advertisers that are already placing ads on the hyperlocal sites, instead tapping into larger advertisers like car dealers or electronics retailers where KING-TV and The Seattle Times already have established relationships.”
Next Door Media sponsors will continue to enjoy premium positions on our neighborhood blogs, as well as local deals on our new site, NorthSeattleGuide.com.
Our editorial partner, the Seattle Times, has won the Associated Press Managing Editors “Innovator of the Year” award. APME said the annual award recognized the Times’ social media efforts, as well as its partnerships with neighborhood blogs in the Network Journalism Project.
Next Door Media was among the first partners in the project, and we extend the Times and the other blog partners a hearty congratulations! It’s more evidence that Seattle is leading the way in innovation in local and hyperlocal news.
We’re excited to announce the launch of North Seattle Guide, an innovative regional site that’s powered by Next Door Media’s network of neighborhood blogs. The first site of its kind, NorthSeattleGuide.com features the latest news stories from our sites, deals from local businesses, a huge events calendar and a neighborhood guide.
The centerpiece of the site is the North Seattle deals section, featuring printable and shareable discounts that don’t cost shoppers a penny. They originate from our neighborhood sponsors, who can post deals for no additional charge (see details). This is a big departure from many other sites, which keep a big cut of the revenue and sent it to their corporate offices in Chicago, San Francisco or New York. You can also receive deals from North Seattle Guide via Facebook, Twitter and email.
The site also features the region’s most extensive community events calendar. Powered by Seattle-based Trumba, it aggregates the events postings from our neighborhood blogs all in one place. For example, if a community group posts a Wallingford event on MyWallingford.com, it also appears on NorthSeattleGuide.com.
The home page displays links to some of the biggest and most interesting stories from all of Next Door Media’s sites. You can also see these stories via our new North Seattle News Twitter account.
And finally, North Seattle Guide features a neighborhood guide, which helps introduce users to our network of neighborhood blogs. Stay tuned, we’ll be adding neighborhood profiles and photos in the days to come.
We believe North Seattle Guide is the first regional site in the country that ties together a network of neighborhood blogs without stealing their thunder. It attracts a new audience that may not live in the region — but wants to visit or move to North Seattle — and it helps drive new value for our advertisers in a competitive advertising landscape.
Editors of Next Door Media’s PhinneyWood.com accepted a national award from the Society of Professional Journalists in Las Vegas over the weekend.
Doree Armstrong and Dale Steinke accepted the award for deadline reporting on the devastating arson that burned a half-block of Greenwood’s business district to the ground. The October 23rd blaze happened in the early morning hours, and PhinneyWood covered the story extensively — including photos, video and Twitter updates — well ahead of Seattle newspapers and TV stations.
“The coverage by PhinneyWood was the most extensive of any media outlet in the area,” said SPJ judges. “(It was) an exceptional collection of work and a model of creative, multimedia coverage.”
This is Next Door Media’s second national journalism award in a little over a year.
We just posted the first story of the season from our ongoing partnership with the University of Washington’s Department of Communication journalism students and the Common Language Project: a multimedia look at the Buckaroo Tavern, which is closing its doors after 72 years in Fremont.
“A terrific development in the past year for our journalism program is the creation of a partnership with Next Door Media,” explains David Domke, the department’s chair. “The goal of these projects isn’t hard-hitting breaking news: it’s to delve into the real lives and experiences of Seattleites.”
And stay tuned — more stories are on the way.
We’re excited to announce that we’ve partnered with MyGreenLake.com, one of Seattle’s best neighborhood news sites. Edited by Amy Duncan, My Green Lake is teaming up with Next Door Media’s editorial and sales network in North Seattle.
My Green Lake launched in 2009, and the site quickly became the community’s source for news and events in the Green Lake neighborhood.
This is our first partnership with an existing neighborhood blog. Earlier this year, we launched UDistrictDaily.com in collaboration with the University of Washington’s The Daily newspaper.
With the addition of My Green Lake, Next Door Media’s network now includes ten neighborhood blogs spanning the majority of North Seattle, from the Space Needle to Northgate Mall and Elliott Bay to Lake Washington.
Poynter.org has highlighted Next Door Media’s collaboration with the University of Washington in a story that examines strategies for successful partnerships between news organizations and universities. “Traditionally, news orgs have turned to universities when they’ve needed interns to produce and edit content,” writes Poynter.org’s Mallary Jean Tenore. “Now, they’re starting to realize that students and the universities they attend can help them do much more.”
One of the biggest stories of the year in Seattle took place this last Saturday morning in Fremont — a fire tore through a townhouse, killing four children and a woman who took shelter in a windowless bathroom.
We were the first news organization on the scene of the fire, and we watched in horror as the mother of three of the kids was physically restrained from charging into the flames. It was a traumatic scene that we’ll remember for years to come.
Our site in the neighborhood, Fremont Universe, has been providing in-depth coverage on the tragic fire and the aftermath, from the investigation into a mechanical failure on the first responding fire engine to the outpouring of support from friends and neighbors. Our coverage, which also appeared on MyBallard.com, was mentioned by the Associated Press and msnbc.com.
If you’d like to donate to the family, an account has been set up at Bank of America called the Seattle Children’s Fire Fund.
In August 2009, the Times began partnering with select independent publishers with the goal to collaborate on news coverage. The partnerships are an extension of the Networked Journalism Project funded by J-Lab. All but our most recent site, U District Daily, are now editorial partners with the Times.
We’re excited to announce that Doug Alder, an award-winning Seattle journalist, has joined Next Door Media as editor of our neighborhood news network. Doug is working with our site editors to enhance coordination across neighborhoods, expand regional news coverage in North Seattle, and grow our community and social media efforts.
Doug worked at KING 5 News as executive producer, winning three Emmy Awards during his 8 years at the station. Later, in his role as the communications manager for the city of Newcastle, he created a community news blog that was one of the first city-run blogs in the nation. His social media efforts earned him the Municipal Excellence Award from the Association of Washington Cities. Welcome, Doug!
For the second time in less than a year, Next Door Media has been honored with a prestigious national journalism award. The network’s neighborhood site PhinneyWood.com won the national Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for deadline reporting.
PhinneyWood provided around-the-clock coverage of the series of devastating Greenwood arson fires last October, routinely breaking new developments in one of Seattle’s biggest stories of the year. Coverage included minute-by-minute updates posted on PhinneyWood and Twitter, as well as photos, video and an interactive map of the arsonist’s trail of destruction.
After the fires, PhinneyWood provided dozens of stories on the community outpouring and efforts by burned-out businesses to recover. Last week the suspect in the case admitted to 11 counts of arson.
In many ways, the award belongs to the neighborhood of Greenwood itself. Neighbors helped provide PhinneyWood with a steady stream of tips, comments and tweets. When combined with on-the-scene coverage from Next Door Media’s journalists, PhinneyWood became the community’s leading source for the latest information on a story that riveted the neighborhood.
PhinneyWood is edited by Doree Armstrong and Dale Steinke. The site launched in May 2008, serving both the Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods.
This is Next Door Media’s second national journalism award in the last year. MyBallard.com won a national Online Journalism Award last October for community collaboration, beating several large metro newspapers for the honor.
Next Door Media is Seattle’s fastest-growing news organization and the most honored neighborhood news startup in the country. Committed to a community-powered model of news and a sustainable business model, Next Door Media operates 9 sites in North Seattle edited by a team of experienced journalists who live in the neighborhoods they serve.
Next Door Media has teamed with the University of Washington’s The Daily newspaper to create a neighborhood news site for the University District neighborhood. The groundbreaking partnership with the student-run newspaper spans both daily news coverage and advertising — the first of its kind in the country.
“Our partnership with Next Door Media serves the mission of The Daily in multiple ways,” said Kristin Mills, publisher of The Daily. “It allows student journalists from The Daily to develop the new media skills they need to be competitive. It provides a real business model that allows for enterprise in our student advertising and marketing department. Plus, we have an opportunity to serve our community with real-time information.”
The site, UDistrictDaily.com, covers daily news, issues and community events for residents in the greater University District neighborhood. The Daily’s site, DailyUW.com, covers campus news for students and faculty.
“There’s no better team to cover news and provide advertising solutions for the University District neighborhood than The Daily,” said Cory Bergman, co-founder of Next Door Media, a network of neighborhood news sites in Seattle. “We’re excited to work with students on a promising new model of local news.”
“The Daily is more than just a newspaper for the students at the University of Washington,” said Casey Smith, editor-in-chief of The Daily. “We also strive to serve readers affected by every action taken by students or the UW. Our new Next Door Media site gives a unique opportunity to reach out to readers and community members who may never get to campus to pick up our paper.”
U District Daily is authored by Christian Caple, an editor for The Daily, and neighborhood ads will be sold by the newspaper’s own advertising staff. Next Door Media provides editorial guidance and technology, along with regional news coverage and network ad sales.
This is the second partnership in recent weeks between Next Door Media and the UW. Through an innovative partnership with The Common Language Project, Next Door Media’s network is publishing a series of multimedia stories produced by students at UW’s entrepreneurial journalism class.
The Daily won the Apple Award in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010 for the best overall four-year college tabloid-sized newspaper in the nation. The Daily also earned the Mark of Excellence for the Best Overall College Newspaper from the Society of Professional Journalists Region X for 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Next Door Media won a national Online Journalism Award in 2009 for community collaboration. UDistrictDaily.com is Next Door Media’s ninth neighborhood news site in North Seattle.
Through an innovative partnership with The Common Language Project, Next Door Media is publishing a series of multimedia stories produced by students in University of Washington’s entrepreneurial journalism class.
“Next Door Media and the Common Language Project are two of the futures of journalism in America,” said David Dokme, chair of the UW Department of Communication. “Bringing them together is a win-win for citizens and for the communities in which they live. I can’t wait to see the innovative things this partnership creates.”
The enterprise stories take an in-depth look at issues impacting North Seattle neighborhoods, including an inside look at Ballard’s homeless population, Facebook activism at the Woodland Park Zoo, and an interactive examination of the controversy surrounding the missing link of the Burke-Gilman trail. Six stories in all will be posted across all of Next Door Media’s eight neighborhood news sites over the next several weeks.
“This partnership provides the perfect opportunity for students to hone their multimedia skills while reporting for one of the country’s most successful new local media outlets, said Jessica Partnow, executive director of The Common Language Project, a nonprofit organization. “We set them loose on North Seattle and are thrilled with the diversity of mediums and stories they came up with.”
For the last few months, Common Language Project’s award-winning team of journalists provided students with multimedia instruction and insight in an entrepreneurial journalism class at the UW’s Department of Communication. The students’ stories feature a wide range of interactive media including video, slideshows, timelines and maps.
“These stories bring a new dimension in neighborhood storytelling to Next Door Media,” said Kate Bergman, co-founder of the network. “They provide an in-depth, regional look at North Seattle issues with an engaging mix of media. We’re excited to provide a platform for the next generation of journalism.”
Next Door Media and the Common Language Project are working together on a new round of stories tied to a journalism class this summer at the University of Washington.
Wow, that was fast. The news broke on Thursday that Seattle’s last remaining Fourth of July fireworks show at Lake Union was canceled after the production company was unable to land a sponsor. My Wallingford reported on the surprised reaction in the neighborhood that has hosted the event for decades. Hours later, KIRO FM’s Dave Ross and Seattle chef Tom Douglas kicked off a fundraising drive, and we here at Next Door Media kicked in a few bucks with dozens of other companies. Two of those companies, Microsoft and Starbucks, along with Paul Allen, brought in the big bucks and met the $500,000 goal within two days.
The production company now says the show is back on, and Seattle Mayor Mike McGuinn has proclaimed April 2nd to be “The Day the People Saved the Fireworks.”
As the SeattlePI.com clocks in one year on as a web-only publication, it profiled Seattle’s vibrant independent news scene, including Next Door Media. Our favorite quote from the story comes from Robert McClure of InvestigateWest, who explains what it’s like to be an local news entrepreneur these days. “It’s kind of scary,” McClure said. “You’re a little mouse on a wheel. You’ve got to keep going. You can never relax.”
Very true, to say the least. It’s amazing to see so much innovation in local news in Seattle compared to any other city in the country, thanks in part to the tech-savvy, entrepreneurial culture here in the Northwest.
Our third new site to launch this year, My Wallingford is the latest addition to Next Door Media, covering the North Seattle neighborhood of Wallingford.
MyWallingford.com is edited by Marina Gordon, a Wallingford resident who has worked in online publishing for Starwave/Disney Internet Group, contributing to ABCNews.com, as well as Real Networks and PBS. “I’m delighted to cover my own neighborhood; every time I walk out the door I find a new story to share,” she explains. We’re happy that Marina and My Wallingford have joined the Next Door Media family — the eighth site in the network.
We’re excited to announce a new site in the Next Door Media family, Wedgwood View, covering the neighborhoods of Wedgwood and View Ridge.
WedgwoodView.com is edited by Wayne Wurzer, longtime Wedgwood business owner, even longer-time journalist and a resident of View Ridge. Wayne worked eight years as a reporter and editor at the Seattle Times, plus stints at the Seattle P-I, msnbc.com and CitySearch.com.
Welcome, Wedgwood View!
For the first time in over a year, Next Door Media has added a new neighborhood news blog to the family: Maple Leaf Life, covering the North Seattle neighborhood of Maple Leaf, from Northgate Mall down to 75th St.
The site is edited by Mai Ling Slaughter, a former Seattle PI copy editor who has since taken her talents online as a blogger for MSN Real Estate; and Mike Ullmann, a career newsman who most recently was the managing editor of the King County Journal. Both are Maple Leaf residents, and we’re excited to have them part of the network.
Welcome, Maple Leaf Life!
You can learn more about Next Door Media and Seattle’s competitive blog scene in a story that appeared today in NYTimes.com, PCWorld.com and CIO.com. “Next Door Media’s five Seattle neighborhood blogs are at the forefront of a hyperlocal news boom in Seattle that has grown just as traditional media — including the late Seattle Post Intelligencer — has busted,” wrote Nancy Gohring, who called the Next Door Media site PhinneyWood “a truly local phenomenon.”
Widely-read by journalists across the country, Poynter.org has published a profile of the quickly-growing independent news scene in Seattle, highlighting Next Door Media. They also published a story on the Seattle Times’ partnership with Next Door Media and several other Seattle news sites, including the West Seattle Blog.
“Seattle has become a hotbed for neighborhood and niche blogs,” said Kathy Best, the Times’ managing editor for digital news and innovation. “As we watched our own newsroom resources shrink, we began talking about how we could tap into that hyper-local community movement to create partnerships that would allow us to continue to offer quality coverage in key areas.”
A 3-alarm fire raged in the Seattle neighborhood of Greenwood, destroying several businesses in the center of the neighborhood — the same neighborhood where an arsonist has struck four times before. An army of reporters and helicopters from the local media responded to the story.
Next Door Media’s PhinneyWood.com, which covers Greenwood and Phinney Ridge, was on the story soon after firefighters arrived, leading the local media in online coverage. Armed with a still camera, Flip video camera, an iPhone and an avalanche of community tips, PhinneyWood posted up-to-the-minute updates from the scene, compelling photos and video, and personal stories from business owners and neighbors. In the first 24 hours alone, PhinneyWood posted 8 pages of coverage and a steady stream of Tweets. Our editorial partner, SeattleTimes.com, linked PhinneyWood’s coverage throughout the day.
“Phinneywood ROCKS!!!” wrote one neighbor in comments. “What tremendous news coverage! It is just amazing to have such immediate and accurate coverage right as the event is happening, even at this time of the morning.” Wrote another, “You guys are doing the best coverage in town, and you don’t even have newscopters. Be proud.”
Next Door Media’s focus on community-powered journalism, edited by experienced journalists, is a clear differentiator when the big story breaks.
My Ballard asked its readers what questions they’d ask the mayoral candidates for the KING 5 and Seattle Times debate. My Ballard’s Kate Bergman recorded three questions on camera, and producers picked one question to ask the candidates — about their plans for the “Missing Link” of the Burke Gilman trail in Ballard.
The candidates responded on the air, and My Ballard posted a follow-up online. “(It was) exciting to see my question asked,” said My Ballard reader Elaine.
Next Door Media is Seattle’s most-visited network of neighborhood news blogs. The winner of two national online journalism awards, our sites are edited by experienced journalists and powered by the neighborhood. Learn more…