Background

Seeing the popularity of the online channel as an avenue for communities voicing themselves, Community Newspaper Group (CNG) decided to fill what it saw as a visible gap in Perth. CNG wanted to develop a platform for local issues to be discussed, services reviewed and news to be disseminated. Furthermore, the company wanted to go beyond a cursory social media presence to actively build a discursive online community.

Brand: In My Community
Client: Community Newspaper Group
Creative Agency: @www Digital

Objective

  • Provide a ‘live in’ space for people to express their voice in their own community,
  • Aggregate geographically poignant information via newspaper masthead,
  • Segment information to ensure user-relevance,
  • Encourage high levels of user-generated content,
  • Cross-market In My Community newspapers, and
  • Keep it local!

Strategy

To encourage community participation, interactivity was paramount to the website development. Users had to be able to fully engage with content with the ability to rate and comment on content across the site. To create a viable community, users needed responsibility for developing and managing their own groups and publishing their own content, blogs and videos.

The website can be viewed at: www.inmycommunity.com.au.

Execution

In My Community coupled the traditional sources of community information and content, community newspapers, with an online platform. This aggregation put 21 weekly local newspapers into the hands of the community, with the aim of blurring the line between reader and content producer.

Local information for each area encouraged integration into readers routines. @www Digital provided local information for each area on restaurants, bars, cinemas, clubs, a trade directory, real estate listings and local groups.

Results

The website currently has over 7,000 registered members and just under 400 registered online groups. It is steadily growing as community members realise the benefits the site provides.

Local business advertising has increased revenue for CNG. In addition to site advertising, the project has allowed CNG to offer online/print packages.

Community Newspapers of Australia Awards for Excellence 2009 named In My Community one of the country’s best news portals. The judging panel said it was simple, structured and informative, this site is all about content and the ease with which you can access it.

“People are moving away from a two world’s view which separates the internet from everyday life and realising that the two combined make one picture,” explained Tristan Fawley, creative director at @www Digital.

“People appreciate the opportunity to circulate information and make recommendations. They are using sites to support real world interaction.”