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Some people who run for exercise look very
natural doing so, and seem to truly enjoy it.
They glide and appear to be covering a lot
of ground with little effort. Others look like
they’re running as a means to get in shape
for something else. Lumbering, not wispy.
I’m one of those.
Sometimes if the tunes are particularly
good and the sun is shining I can fool myself
into thinking I’ve graduated to the other class,
even if it’s for just a mile. But as I caught a
glimpse of myself in the reflective glass of a
building the other day I found myself quickly
thinking of our industry. We newspaper folk
are lumbering joggers. And we should be
proud of that.
If you’ll indulge me just a bit longer on this
metaphor, I’ll end it by saying that the social
media tools, deal sites, and technology-driven
advances of the recent years are the sleek
sprinters in the expensive apparel. We turn
heather grey t-shirts black.
The effort to innovate has not been easy.
It’s been a struggle for all of us. We’ve faced
once-in-a-lifetime breakthroughs in how
news and information is shared and done
so with the accompanying headwind of
a historic recession. But we’re here. We’re
reporting important news in our communi-
ties, telling stories that need to be told, giving
songs to unsung heroes. And we’re helping
small businesses market themselves in these
new times too.
I think our challenge today has actu-
ally evolved from this. The newspaper
industry has gotten the message. We are
not the passenger trains of the 20th cen-
tury. Nowhere is the pace and training for
innovation in our industry more evident
than at a Local Media Association event.
Our recent fall conference gave full display
of this around every corner of the Sheraton
Atlanta. In the coming months we will
gather (in person and virtually) to better
dissect and develop our skills in offering
deals, digital agency services, and design
We should look in the reflective glass for
a moment and give ourselves credit for that
sweat. I’m not saying stop - we can do it
while still running. But we should take on
the next mile with more confidence. Print
is beginning to get its overdue second life.
Its broad advantages are again getting some
credit as so many sleek sprinters show they
can’t handle the long run.
We need to stop chasing each new entry
and focus on our game. The sweat of com-
munity involvement, real reporting, real
client relationships, and yes – real innova-
tion, adds up to an effort that other media
So let’s pick our heads and shoulders up,
lean forward, and crank up the iPod. We’ve
Gareth Charter is Publisher of Holden
Landmark Corporation in Worcester, Mass.
and Chairman of Local Media Association
Board of Directors. Reach him at gcharter@
LMA Board of Directors
We’ve got this!
We need to stop chasing
each new entry and focus on our
game. The sweat of community
involvement, real reporting, real
client relationships, and yes – real
innovation, adds up to an effort that
other media can’t match.
by Deb Shaw
At last month’s LMA Fall Conference, Google’s Matt Villacarte, Publisher Development
Manager for Google Consumer Surveys, attracted a large crowd interested to learn more
about this new partnership opportunity involving local publishers. Launched a scant 6
months ago, Google is looking to connect publishers and market research companies with
this survey tool on publisher websites.
The basic idea is that partner publishers insert a micro-survey into the body of premium
content and in exchange for a completed response, they earn revenue from Google.
Some highlights of the Google Consumer Survey Program:
Short one or two question surveys appear on newspaper websites, at a break in premium
content (an inline prompt) or anchored on top of a page such as an image gallery.
Readers can choose to proceed to rest of story or to view the gallery by answering a
short survey, one or two questions, or taking an alternate publisher-chosen course of
Every time a user completes the survey, the publisher earns revenue at the rate of .05
cents per survey.
Google is seeking producers of unique content to partner with on this program and accord-
ing to Matt “local news is exclusive” so there’s a real advantage for community publishers
(a.k.a. LMA members) to get to the top of the list for partnership exploration.
Only age, gender and geography of user is tracked.
Some LMA members are already participating including Shaw Suburban Media. A live
example was demonstrated at Shaw’s Newton Daily News. www.newtondailynews.com.
Visit and access the top story to see an example of a survey.
More on this opportunity can be found at Google’s Consumer Survey home page at
Matt Villacarte, Publisher Development Manager
FROM THE LMA FALL CONFERENCE
LMA President Nancy Lane introducing Matt Villacarte at last month's conference.
Lane and others who participated in the 2012 Innovation Mission first met Villacarte
and other 'Googlers' when they spent a day there in late May.
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