Sept. 30 2009. That was the date that I pushed the purchase button for the domain name MyEdmondsNews.com.
Every year around this time, I’m asked whether I want to renew my domain name. It’s also a good time to ask myself — am I ready to renew my commitment to My Edmonds News, MLTnews and Lynnwood Today?
I had no idea when I started my first website nine years ago, that it would become a robust source of news and commentary for our community. I remember attending my first Edmonds City Council meeting, where the hot topic (excuse the pun) of the day was whether the City of Edmonds should turn operation of the city’s fire department over to Snohomish County Fire District 1.
In January of 2010, I had enough traffic that I decided to start selling advertising. In May of that year, I was selected — along with a dozen or so other online journalists nationwide — to attend a news entrepreneur boot camp at USC in Los Angeles, funded through the Knight Foundation. I was selected for an advanced boot camp a year later, this time in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Since that time, our readership and our advertising revenue has grown year by year. I also acquired MLTnews (2012) and Lynnwood Today (2013), folding them into a regional My Neighborhood News Network for South Snohomish County.
But the question remains, where do we go from here? What happens after that domain button renewal is pushed?
As the breadth and depth of our coverage has grown, so have our expenses. I have invested significant resources this year into technology upgrades that have improved both our site stability and our user experience. There is still much to do but we are making progress monthly on an extensive checklist.
During the past nine years, I have watched the continued downsizing and closure of news outlets — both print and online. So many news organizations still rely solely on advertising, yet Google and Facebook combined generate more advertising revenue than all U.S. newspapers combined.
I value our advertisers more than I can say, and I hope that you will support them as they have supported us. But I also asking you — as I have before — to join other readers in supporting us financially with a monthly, annual or one-time contribution.
It will help us pay for our writers, editors, photographers, graphic designers, marketing and technical support folks — and it will give us an opportunity to increase our news coverage.
I believe that our communities thrive when they have reader-supported journalism. And I believe that after nearly a decade of pushing that domain renewal button, I have earned the right to ask for — and expect — that support.
I’m pushing the button on another year — how about you?
Until next time,
Teresa Wippel, Publisher