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.
You may not like all of “it,” but U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, unlike many of her colleagues, isn't sitting around twiddling her thumbs in Congress.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Struggling to preserve their Senate majority, Democrats are attacking Republicans over Medicare and Social Security in Louisiana, spending cuts in Arkansas, off-shore jobs in New Hampshire and women's issues in Colorado.
Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro says he "can't wait" to play against Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The heat keeps rising for Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal as a new slate of corruption allegations surfaced this week.
If opposing defenses sell out to stop the Packers' passing game, they risk being gashed by powerful running back Eddie Lacy, a New Orleans-area native.
At the horn the officiating crew trotted to the tunnel and left security personnel to clean up after them.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Sign "ninjas" cleaning up clutter; NYC doctor positive for Ebola; Ferguson grand jury decision nears; and more national and international news for Friday, October 24, 2014.
We can safely assume incumbent Chief K.P. Gibson isn’t too worried about this challenger.
Nationally, Republicans must gain six seats to win Senate control. The most competitive races, many in states where Obama lost in 2012, remain too close to call.
The Baton Rouge Republican has repeatedly battled a perception within his own party that he perhaps wasn't the best choice to carry the GOP banner.
Hot style for fans (and beyond)
Four bedroom Acadian or three bedroom traditional
Prestigious honor annually recognizes a single attorney for excellence in public interest/pro bono work.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
"I have never seen anyone who worked harder for our people than Sen. Mary Landrieu, so I would like to share a synopsis of a few of the many things she has done to help Louisiana."
Even if Jimmy Graham's production dips while the star tight end recovers from a shoulder injury, it looks like Drew Brees won't have much trouble finding other targets.
A former campaign manager for Senate candidate Rob Maness is striking at the Republican contender's tea party support, saying Maness only sought to appeal to conservative organizations because he needed money for his campaign.
Ninety-two percent of public school teachers were rated either effective or highly effective in a report the state issued marking the second year of a new statewide evaluation process.
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
Three bedroom Acadian or a two bedroom town home
Ready to geaux in purple and gold
The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
The recently established Downtown Lafayette Restaurant & Bar Association will host a special viewing of the upcoming New Orleans Saints taking on the Carolina Panthers in the open air of Parc Sans Souci on Thursday, Oct. 30.
Belief in a national outbreak of the Ebola zombie virus is becoming more of a threat every day, and The Hayride — Louisiana’s one true bastion for unrelentingly conservative political commentaries — thought it wise to share a certain special someone's “important message” with readers Tuesday on what to do when, not if, it comes.