There’s a new blogging association in town. The Waterloo-Wellington Bloggers Association is a blogroll association just like the Non-Partisan Canadians, but one which joins together bloggers from Waterloo Region, Wellington County or the City of Guelph.
Blogroll associations are as old as the blogosphere itself. One of the first such associations in the Canadian Blogosphere was the Greater Toronto Area Bloggers, which gathered together and promoted bloggers all across Canada’s largest city. Since then, other communities have come together, from Montreal to Vancouver, and even Windsor/Essex.
Waterloo Region has been growing rapidly over the past twenty years, and looks like it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Kitchener is known for having the largest Oktoberfest in the Western Hemisphere, and our Mennonite community gives us a distinctive rural atmosphere, but Waterloo Region is a rising high tech centre. Between us, the City of Guelph and Wellington County, we boast three top-notch universiteis and one of this country’s top technical colleges, not to mention hundreds of computer-related corporations. It shouldn’t be surprising that this area boasts a number of bloggers. What surprises me is that no association for these bloggers has been created before, something that acknowledges the diversity and commonalities of this region.
To join, you need only to live in Waterloo Region, Wellington County or the City of Guelph and operate a blog, Click on over to the Waterloo-Wellington Bloggers aggregate page, add the code to your template, and drop me an e-mail. I’ll do the rest.
C’mon. If Windsor/Essex has its own blogging association, we certainly deserve one too. So, come on out!
The Return of Free?
Turns out The Record will be opening up its website again, after over a year of locking its articles behind a subscriber firewall. Why the change? Publisher Fred Kuntz had these encouraging words to say:
It’s because growth in The Record’s readership and circulation gives us confidence that our printed newspaper will continue to thrive, even as the Internet grows.
When the Internet first blossomed, some newspapers feared that migration of readers to the Internet might erode their audience, and therefore advertising revenues — but the opposite is happening, especially here where we live.
Surprisingly, research shows that people who read news online are even more likely to be newspaper subscribers. Many people use all types of media, including newspapers, magazines, radio, television, the Internet.
This makes them more aware of current events, more engaged in community affairs and, therefore, better citizens,
And as Larry comments, the pay-per-click advertising rates are no disincentive. Says Kuntz:
Not only is newspaper readership growing in Waterloo Region, but more businesses are putting their marketing dollars into advertising on the Internet. The Record’s website has among the highest traffic in the region, and we’d like to continue to make it even more popular.
Each month, our website at TheRecord.com has more than 90,000 unique visitors and more than 2 million page views.
The Record went behind a subscriber firewall along with a number of other newspapers in Canada, including the Globe and Mail and the National Post. The Record’s experience suggests that this wasn’t the shrewd business move the publishers thought it would be.
it’s not a complete turnaround. Only subscribers will be allowed access to the Record’s 90-day-old and older archives, but it’s still significant. Is it possible that this is a start of a reversal of the earlier trend? Will we once again be able to call newspapers like the Globe and Mail the true Internet news of record?