We have some good news about good news.
When we launched Alabama NewsCenter in mid-2015 to share the positive things happening every day in Alabama, we hoped people both inside and outside of the state shared our own interest and desire for such stories.
We focused on the things we knew made Alabama great, like economic development, businesses large and small, communities unlike any others on Earth, innovation unmatched anywhere and, most importantly, the people who make our state truly special. And we threw in some things important to us all, such as weather, sports, food and entertainment.
We tweaked some things after our 2015 launch and we steadily produced more content in 2016. That gave us our first calendar year of data, which allowed us to set some goals and compare as 2017 began.
Our numbers are in for 2017, and we are truly blessed, thankful and humbled by your loud and clear response that says, “Yes, we love hearing good news about our state!”
Compared to 2016, we had 35 percent more visitors, 43 percent more page views and 32 percent more social interactions in 2017.
We were hoping for 10 percent growth in each area, so we are truly blown away by how you have responded to what we do.
Alabama NewsCenter is designed to be your go-to place to find credible, well-written and professionally produced stories centered on Alabama’s goodness. We do it with original series like Alabama Makers, Alabama Bright Lights, 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die, and Can’t Miss Alabama.
We are also always on the lookout for those special, one-of-a-kind stories about people, places and events that make Alabama shine.
But we couldn’t do it without our terrific content partners.
AlabamaWx.com and James Spann’s weather team provide us with important weather forecasts and coverage.
Alabama Communities of Excellence, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, Alabama Public Television, Southern Research, Alabama Black Belt Adventures, Southern Bite, the Birmingham Business Alliance and many others have partnered with us to share stories.
When we started Alabama NewsCenter, we wanted to not only do our own original reporting, but also be a megaphone for the reporting of other news outlets throughout the state so their good news could be amplified to a larger audience. We also make all our original content available for free for news outlets to use in their publications or news sites because good news can’t be shared enough, and these days budgets are too tight for duplication of effort.
The Birmingham Times, The Tuscaloosa News, the Shelby County Reporter, The Alexander City Outlook, the Opelika Observer, The Selma Times-Journal, The Andalusia Star News, Starnes Media and several others have either shared their stories through our site, shared our stories in their publications, or both.
We also have a terrific team of freelancers who produce wonderful news packages on our site. From the stories they write to the photos and videos they capture, edit and produce, we are constantly reminded of their talents.
From our staff to our freelancers to our content partners, we all have one thing in common – a deep love for this state and its people and a sincere desire to capture and share its greatness.
In 2017, we added a new dimension with the Alabama NewsCenter Road Show, which offers a weeklong spotlight of communities that includes special Facebook Live coverage. Talladega took center stage during the Alabama 500. Dothan took center stage for the National Peanut Festival. Birmingham was highlighted during the Magic City Classic.
We will be visiting other parts of the state in 2018.
Thank you again for a fantastic 2017. We hope you will continue to enjoy and share what we do in 2018. It’s good to know that good news from home is appreciated.
Michael Tomberlin is editor of Alabama NewsCenter. You can reach him at [email protected].