When we decided over the summer to pull the trigger on the monthly magazine format I thought, “Hmmm, one paper per month instead of four or five? That sounds easy.”
I’ve wised up.
Putting out a monthly paper takes considerably more than a quarter of the energy and organizational skills to publish a weekly, and organizational skill is not the most lethal arrow in my quiver. But the real rub is, we’re not just a monthly magazine now and haven’t been for a long time; we’re a daily media company. More so than ever.
As we promised when we announced the launch of IND Monthly, this change in format wasn’t so much about cutting back on the volume in your recycling bin; it’s really been about monopolizing your bandwidth. Our web traffic surpassed our print circulation more than a year ago, and as the number of readers getting their content from TheInd.com began to pull away from circ, the evitable became inevitable.
Our aim is to make TheInd.com a daily destination, and we’re doing it in several ways. Fresh local content is the most obvious, coupled with increasing the variety of that content to include more lifestyle coverage. But we’ve also added new features to attract you to the site and keep you engaged — features we’ve introduced without nearly enough ballyhoo.
So here’s some fanfare.
In the middle of October we rolled out “La.La. Land.” Subtitled “Blogs from the Bog,” it’s the very best, strangest, most outlandish and keenly prescient writing from the Louisiana blogosphere — from both sides of the political aisle. It’s in a box on the upper right side of the home page — just a snappy headline with a precious, often snarky description of the blog bristling with that annoying editorializing you’ve come to expect from The Ind. Click on the headline and it brings you to the source.
It’s compiled each Monday through Friday morning bright and early by Angie Simoneaux. You might remember Angie as a former spokeswoman for the Lafayette Parish School System, but before that she had a long, successful turn as a first-rate reporter for The Advocate’s Acadiana bureau. She’s working on her master’s thesis in communications at UL right now, so fortunately she has a little extra time on her hands and can work for us. We pay her in cigarettes and wine coolers. I’m kidding. But, honestly, this is real symbiosis: We want the content, and Angie is a voracious reader who is now earning something south of a king’s ransom to do what she already does every morning anyway. That she seems to be channeling her inner Molly Ivins is pure serendipity.
Another change at TheInd.com, one we hope you’ve noticed, is the addition of Associated Press content. This is a significant development for this former alt weekly. Until recently, AP content was the domain of daily newspapers and television stations, which pay a premium for membership in the news co-op. AP members feed their local stories to the agency, which has bureaus around the world and shares locally generated content among its members. If there’s a big story in Lafayette that is of interest to editors in Dallas, Phoenix or Winona, Minn., those papers can rely on the reporting from local AP members The Daily Advertiser and The Advocate. And vice versa: the Advertiser needn’t have a bureau in New Orleans; it can rely on stories fed into the AP wire by The Times-Picayune.
But the AP, like newspapers in general and especially the dailies, has felt the sting of the digital calamity that hit newspapers a decade ago as readers and classified advertising migrated to the Web and traditional print advertisers like car dealerships and furniture stores began abandoning ship in favor of less 20th-century ways of reaching potential customers.
As a result, AP opened up its content to non-dailies like us. The content we receive isn’t generated by AP member papers like the Advertiser or The New York Times. But the Associated Press has a crackerjack stable of reporters around the world and here in Louisiana — Melinda Deslatte and Cain Burdeau, to name just a couple covering the Bayou State — who do generate great, in-depth reporting, content now available at TheInd.com.
We’ll be rolling out more digital initiatives over the next several weeks. One digital trend we will be bucking, however, is forcing you to buy a subscription for our online content. TheInd.com is free. We plan to keep it that way. Until we change our minds.
OK, so they’re bentgrass, the type used on golf course greens. But grass is grass.
Jefferson Street restaurant and pub debuts during Festival with limited menu.
The Senate Finance Committee approved the bill Wednesday, despite opponents who argued it would shut down the storefront lenders.
A measure to allow the state to implement its own, less stringent plan for limiting carbon dioxide emissions unanimously passed the Senate.
FDA to regulate e-cigarettes, Jodie Foster gets married, Vermont to require labels on genetically-modified food, and more news for today, April 24, 2014.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
A push to expand Louisiana's Medicaid program as allowed under the federal health care has been overwhelmingly rejected by the Senate health committee.
See which events are taking place during INNOV8 Lafayette this Thursday.
It’s on, y’all. Fest fIND, our annual Festival International de Louisiana reader contest, is now accepting photo submissions.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana welfare recipients would be prohibited in state law from spending the federal assistance at lingerie shops, tattoo parlors, nail salons and jewelry stores, under a bill that received the support Wednesday of a House committee.
Senators will consider whether to prohibit private businesses in Louisiana from paying unequal wages to employees of different genders for the same job.
Rep. Joel Robideaux has delayed bill hearings and said unless a compromise can be reached, he won't bring up the legislation this session.
Once again, Lafayette Parish School Board President Hunter Beasley is focused on an issue that has nothing to do with the educational well-being of our public school children.
Fashion and music make great bedfellows
Producers, manufacturers, restaurants and chefs host roundtable and tasting
After exhausting his appeals all the way to the state Supreme Court, the owner of the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete has no legal remedy left save one: do an end run around the high court via a bill that would grandfather his “right” to keep a 550-pound tiger enclosed in a pin at his roadside business.
Louisiana poet Darrell Bourque has won the 2014 Louisiana Writer Award, given annually to recognize outstanding contributions to Louisiana's literary and intellectual life.
Drivers would have to secure dogs riding in truck beds while on interstate highways, if the Senate agrees to a bill backed by the House.
The easy one-piece way to style
Comfy feet for long days
Newsy bits for the whole fam
Don't forget: our annual Festival International contest begins Thursday! Win. Cool. Stuff.
An effort to prohibit employers from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity was shelved Tuesday for the legislative session.
Louisiana won't lessen its penalties for marijuana possession, keeping laws on the books that allow people to be jailed up to 20 years for repeat offenses of having the drug in hand.
State bar foundation bestows honor on founder and managing partner of NeunerPate
This Wednesday, April 23, marks the first full day of INNOV8 Lafayette.
National awards recognize outstanding achievement in leadership development and leadership programs
A federal court magistrate has issued a seven-page schedule of hearings, conferences and deadlines leading up to January’s trial aimed at determining how much money BP will owe in Clean Water Act fines as a result of its 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
“This is one of the oldest divides that exists, and that divide is about the haves and the have-nots.”