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Who's Blogging

Michelle Ferrier

MICHELLE FERRIER Dr. Michelle Ferrier is an associate professor in the iMedia graduate program at Elon University in North Carolina. She is interested in the intersection of community advocacy, education and journalism.

Visit Locally Grown

Project Blog: Womens Community News Franchise

This project sets out to create a complete infrastructure, to be franchised, for those who want to launch hyperlocal news sites. Services will include a Web platform, software development, market analysis, some content, and legal and marketing assistance. Such an infrastructure, says former editor Michelle Ferrier, will permit citizen journalists and community members to "focus on what they are most passionate about - building their community conversation through good local information and networking."

Soft Launch Updates

Friday, May 28, 2010

I’ve been knee deep in launching the platform and doing promotion. We’re still in the *soft launch* mode, but fleshing out content now that the semester has ended. A few updates…

  • I’ll be promoting LocallyGrown News at the Detroit Journalism That Matters event next week in our Innovations Expo. Hoping for a few recruits.
  • The week after, my platform developer will be highlighting the site in his talk on hyperlocal communities at the Editor and Publisher Interactive Media conference. He will also be distributing literature at his booth at the expo.
  • We have interest in Florida (back in Daytona Beach) and in Washington, DC to launch one of the franchises. We’re still in the demonstration phase, so I’m not eager to sell someone a bill of goods when I haven’t demonstrated the viability of the concept. But it is getting traction.
  • In Winston-Salem, we’re working with the regional market managers who will be using the site as their main promotion site.
  • LocallyGrown News got a $1,000 grant from the Center for Design Innovation in Winston-Salem as part of their Design, Arts, Technology Symposium that focuses on food and foodways this year. LocallyGrown News is one of three projects that will be featured at the conference and we will be providing editorial coverage.

As for the mobile market app, we’re finishing up wireframes and searching for additional development funds. I keep plugging the fundraising locally to foundations in our region. We’re getting some interest from local farm markets looking for solutions to this problem. But we may be attacking state/federal grants rather than local ones… with a much longer time frame for response.

So that’s what’s growing in my neck of the woods!

   • Posted by Michelle Ferrier on 05/28 at 10:08 AM