Introducing Localocracy: A letter to our readers

By William McGuinness

To our readers,

After decades of reporting on campus events, we’d like to take a few paragraphs to report on the changes we have coming up here at The Massachusetts Daily Collegian. 

Please hold the sarcastic shock when I say that these tricky economic times and a monumental platform shift in the news industry have been hard on all newspapers. For campus publications with limited expertise, it has been especially difficult to gauge the market and how advertisers will adjust their budgets to advertising in the online marketplace. 

Our pages are fewer than they have been in years prior, but luckily, this is not a farewell note. It’s a thank you.

After relaunching DailyCollegian.com, we’ve experienced a larger audience than ever before. Though we have fewer paper pages, we’ve seen a major difference in the number of students who have clicked through those we create on DailyCollegian.com – those that include video, rich photo slideshows, interactive maps and all in color!

So while the paper will still be around to litter the campus, we want to say thanks, and as a token of our appreciation, we’re launching a series of major improvements to DailyCollegian.com

We and Localocracy.org, a company created by UMass students, got together and will now offer you a better platform on which to respond and contribute to our articles. We want our content to be more interactive and more democratic. 

Register and contribute to our coverage by telling us if we have missed something. Vote great comments to high priority, and actively vote down the yellers and fools who misuse the service.

Following many of our stories, we will include a question for you. Through your response we can read not only your opinions, but through your prioritizing them, we can also weigh your opinions. After all, votes can be counted or weighed.

We’ve also made our site’s front page a resource for more than news. We like to think we do news well, but we’re adding different kinds of information. A new partnership with CampusLIVE will tell you the best restaurants to frequent, when they’re open and what number to call. The dining guide allows you to browse menus, write reviews and order a slice right to your door.

I would encourage you all to check it out, but so many of you do already. Since we relaunched, we’ve experienced huge traffic booms and a great response. So while you’re with us, contribute to the conversation. By the month’s end, we hope you’ll do it from your Androids, iPhones and Blackberrys, too.

Cheers,

Will McGuinness, Editor in Chief