People are engaging through the Internet, said Steve Yelvington, which means opportunities for news organizations to facilitate and aggregate conversations and build communities among people. Yelvington, of Morris DigitalWorks, gave seminar participants an inside look at Bluffton Today, hyperlocal Web and print products for a South Carolina community "in conversation with itself."
Circulation of newspapers across the country has been declining for years. But Bluffton Today enjoys a strong readership that newspapers enjoyed in the 1970s. "Participation breeds loyalty," he said. "The relationship with the product changes when people are involved."
He offered these skills sets for success: Community building; conversational writing and listening; presentations and group interaction; guerrilla marketing and promotion; not technology ("This is not fundamentally a technology problem; it's a people problem.")
- Kate Kennedy of the Freedom Forum