New look for The Rapidian
- New Features
- Local Marketplace
- New Community Calendar
- and More!
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Other articles by this author
This week, on the occasion of The Rapidian’s 2nd birthday (Thursday, September 15th), we are excited to unveil new site updates and welcome new supporters to the project. Thanks to the seed funding generously provided by the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Slemmons Fund, we have been able to build a local news and information site that has proven popular and, we believe, valuable to the community.
As I have often mentioned in this column, the next challenge is to sustain the project. This quest is a very common puzzle for community news outlets of all sizes. Hand in hand with individuals and the local business community, we are ready and excited to take on the challenge.
When we unveil the updated Rapidian site on Thursday, you will see new sections, updated graphics and more. You will also find an exciting new feature…The Local Marketplace. Here we have created an innovative space where local businesses can connect with fans and friends of the Rapidian, provide support so the project can continue, and at the same time, help us all “shop local.”
We have worked hard to design a marketplace that both aesthetically and functionally enhances the Rapidian for visitors, rather than detract. The most innovative part is that we have designed technology that will allow each advertiser to update their ad anytime…day or night. Last minute tickets available? Update. A Tuesday “special of the day?” Update. New shipment of snow shovels? Update. Nonprofit organizations can also use the marketplace for things like promoting a special event or providing important information. We’re excited to offer such a dynamic platform that can benefit both businesses and local residents.
It takes a community to nurture and grow this type of project. We couldn’t have launched the site without seed funding, and we couldn’t have designed this new marketplace without help. We want to extend our sincere thanks to Amway for providing support needed to create the new Local Marketplace. Additionally, Amway is underwriting the new “Innovation Spotlight” business reporting section that will accompany the Marketplace and be part of our regular content. The intent is to feature the stories of local entrepreneurs who are innovating and taking risks to grow our West Michigan economy, one business at a time.
Finally, we invite you to support this project as well. The Rapidian is a project of the Grand Rapids Community Media Center, a nonprofit organization committed to “building community through media.” By contributing to this project, you can help us create new neighborhood news bureaus and provide equipment and training to more citizen reporters.
The Rapidian’s new look, complete with the Local Marketplace, is launching at our Birthday Party at Wealthy Theatre, complete with the unveiling and birthday cake! You might even consider joining in as a reporter.
Please be sure and thank the businesses that support community news and information by visiting the new Local Marketplace on the Rapidian.
Publisher of The Rapidian and Executive Director of Community Media Center (parent organization of The Rapidian). Over 20 years in noncommercial media and technology. Proud wife, mom, part time artist, and general busybody. Loves local history, travel, flea markets and all things "foodie".
Reports on: General Rapidian news, op-eds, social media & communications strategy, community development, arts