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.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Black Friday shopping begins; Pope visiting Turkey; oil prices decline and more national and international news for Friday, November 28, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Casual cool for Thanksgiving
Shop Lafayette goes strong
The fight to clean up Lafayette Parish could get some added ammunition with two ordinances up for votes Tuesday by the City-Parish Council targeting litter-bugs.
A divided 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal reversed a Lafayette district judge’s ruling absolving the co-owner of a New Iberia accounting firm of liability in an embezzlement case.
Our View: It’s reasonable, temporary and invests in Lafayette’s future.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
By striking a deal to lessen the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration lowered the volume of criticism but gave itself and local school boards a new budget headache.
With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.
Protesters rallied peacefully in several Louisiana cities in the wake of the Missouri grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of Michal Brown.
Three bedroom in Port Barre or two bedroom in Opelousas
The U.S. rep billed LSU for work allegedly performed on the same days Congress voted on major legislation and held important committee hearings on energy and the ACA.
“I am only getting a little nervous about two projects — the proposed Sasol GTL facility [not the new ethylene plant] and the proposed G2X facility — both in Lake Charles. They need a hefty difference between oil and natural gas prices to make sense.”
Abysmally low participation by the public has prompted the council to scuttle the 2014 survey with plans to simplify it and try again next year.
The village now says the ordinance will likely be overturned and authorities will more vigorously enforce existing leash laws.
Lower oil prices also might slow the growth of oil production in parts of the U.S., Canada and elsewhere because it will no longer be so profitable.
Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people's minds as they plan holiday meals and shopping schedules.
A Lafayette woman faces up to 20 years in prison for running up more than $1 million in unauthorized charges to her company credit card.
Signs that our state’s banking industry is undergoing a downsizing in 2014 were further confirmed today with the FDIC’s latest figures showing a third straight quarter in which Louisiana lost more banks and earned less money.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
State police say a 47-year-old Lafayette man, who collected more than $83,000 in disability benefits, is accused of operating two businesses out of his home at a time when he claimed he had no income.
Battered all night by Baltimore's relentless pass rush, Drew Brees could feel his protection collapsing and Terrell Suggs getting ahold of him as he urgently unloaded a pass to the right flat toward tight end Jimmy Graham.
After a convincing defeat at the polls on Nov. 4, Earl “Nickey” Picard has decided to let bygones be bygones with his former right-hand man Brian Pope, announcing his support for his former employee’s runoff bid to become Lafayette’s next city marshal.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
Bar Code is not a gay bar.
After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.