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.. . Last Updated: March 25, 1999......... .. . .  .
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By Bernard Re, Jr.
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.. . .  .  [ Iowa News  ]

March 25, 1999

Hey All,

The first day of Spring is a great day to recap what I've been up to since my last diary post back in November 1998.

Well, I *still* love my job as New Media Manager at The Sioux City Journal! Will wonders never cease! The Employment vertical went online in January bringing classified line ads and display ads from the print edition online. It has been making money ever since! Mostly thanks to Rachel Porter the Classifieds Sales Representative assigned to New Media. We launched a Auctioneer site (not doing very well) and will be launching a Automotive site in April that will be another winner.

Staffing *issues*:

  • Lost my Webmaster in January and have been doing double duty ever since. I'm in a 6 am to port the news (Yawn).

  • Hired Karla Merrick out of the Classified Department full time (saved my life, she has jumped right in, she's great).

  • I've a part time news poster starting tomorrow (hope it works out).

    This ain't Kansas Toto - it's* IOWA!*:

    Nan is coming in June! Hurrah! It's been rough for both of us being apart since October (frequent trips home and to Iowa are not enough). The dogs are going to their respective Masters (to NYC and Savannah) - unless Grandma and Grandpa want them to visit with them (no huh).

    And while in *Atlanta*:

    Met Rob Curley from Morris Communications at the Editor & Publisher 1999 Interactive Newspaper Conference in Atlanta in February. He's been great at helping me get some wonderful free (www.siouxcityjournal.
    ) content for the site.

    Nan joined me in Atlanta and we when to a great Russian restaurant! "Nicholi's Roof." (WARNING: No prices on the menu! One price feeds all!) It was worth it! Many courses... from fruit infused vodka to out of this world desserts... Wonderful service from our waiter and his assistant! All set in lavish royal reds and golds on the top floor of the Hilton Hotel. Our 25th Anniversary celebration.

    Our Twenty Fifth Wedding Anniversary was wonderful. Thanks to everyone for the weekend on the shore and the family party.

    What's it like *here*?:

    Well I'm getting more and more used to it. The people at The Journal are really great and Cindy (my superviser) and Tom (the publisher) have treated me *beyond* very well. Since arriving in October I've become a regular at Wide Awake Coffee Bar on Historic Fourth Street and have *almost" got used to that unique odor of grain, meat processing and the stockyard that wafts around downtown on certain days. (Ok. I still shut the outside air out while driving through downtown on those *special" days.) Although the smell of baking bread that spread across town from Old Town Bakery yesterday morning *was* quite nice.

    But I came at the right time. For I will be proud to say that I lived in Sioux City *before* the "Hog Hotel" was torn down. That would be BHHXed. All Sioux City history will be measured by this historic date from this day forward. So you have about 30-days to move here to arrive so you too can be on the *right* side of the calendar!

    And what do I *do* here?:

    Evolve. As the SCJ Online content development and marketing outreach evolves I can see that signing up advertisers per content section affinity, and cross-referencing content (meaning editorial content and advertising content) throughout the site is the way to transition print advertisers. This will give them the "link exposure" they need to build online recognition and response rates. Packaging run of section links, bringing in print display ads online, business profiles and banner positioning is the way to attract advertisers and in turn build advertiser traffic - to both their physical and virtual location. We will continue to build the verticals (Employment, Auto, Real Estate) but it will become increasingly harder to compete with the technology that national web sites can bring to bear in these vertical markets. Instead we'll be concentrating on getting our print advertisers online and helping them grow their business though online newspaper advertising just as they have though their relationship with the print newspaper. Can it be done? Check back and find out...

    The other thing is to transform classifieds into an online directory. With new online categories like health care listings that reverse migrate to the print classifieds - and to insert links to these categories in related content sections.

    The *close*:

    Well as you can see I'm still thinking and excited about the opportunity to create a sustainable online newspaper revenue model that is realized by transitioning and transforming the core print product online. Using the existing sales staff...

    Catch the changes daily at www.siouxcityjournal.com.

    And email me if you get a chance...


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