Santa Cruz Community Media Lab

Posted on February 11, 2012

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Screen image from Community Media Lab page

We’re continuing a project that’s been around as long as our paper has been around.

The idea is to connect with the community.

We’ve been doing that in print in all kinds of ways for more than 150 years. That includes all the time spent by our reporters around the community, all the letters to the editor and guest opinion pieces in print, all the photos we’ve taken and shared. The tradition includes all the kids who grew up with their first job delivering papers.

We’ve been connecting with readers online in a wide variety of ways as well. We’ve offered forums, we link out to all kinds of relevant content in stories, we’re friends with some of you on Facebook, some of you follow us on twitter. More and more of our readers come to us through their mobile devices. We’ll be promoting news apps for Android and iPhone this month.

We’re in the business of connecting our local readers with local businesses as well, with more options than ever before for local advertisers to connect with our growing audience.

Today, we’re adding another piece, launching a page called the Santa Cruz Community Media Lab. On that page, we’re feeding the latest posts from a wide variety of community bloggers. We’ve opened a twitter account: @santacruzcml. We’re on Google+. Want to be involved? Send us your information. For those of you who have been in touch with us and sent information about your blogs or sites, keep talking with us. E-mail when you’ve got a post you’d like considered for promotion and sharing more widely in our print edition.

The project is part of our commitment to being accessible, and our understanding that the news from Santa Cruz County includes more than our hard-working news staff is able to cover. Many of you are getting spreading the word on subject about which you are passionate. We want to amplify your voice.

As we get started, we’ve connecting with a wide variety of great blogs, covering everything from food (see the Smoking Whisk), to sports (see Tommy Zaferes’ Living the Tri-Life), photography (Sunrise Santa Cruz), science (UCSC science writers: The Crashing Edge), parenting (The Super Mom Blog), entertainment (Kuumbwa Jazz updates), public agencies (Santa Cruz Police) and some that are personal (James Durbin’s wife, Heidi, shares The Good News). Thanks for connecting with us!

Want to include your blog? Let us know. The same idea is behind the twitter lists and widgets we’ve added to every page on the site. We’ll also be working to display your YouTube channels, tumblr posts, Pinterest projects, Flickr photos and whatever the future of digital communication holds, in the ways you want to say it.

That’s an ambitious project. In some ways we’ve been working on it since the Sentinel started printing papers. And with regard to Community Media Labs, we’re just getting started. Let us know how we’re doing, what you’d like to see, where you want this to go.

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