LTN tidbit 31: Plotting a course for the future

May is 31 tidbits about Lake Tahoe News month.

LTN tidbit No. 31:

This is it, the final Tidbit of the series. The rest will remain up for a while under the LTN Tidbits category at the top of the page. We hope you have learned a bit about Lake Tahoe News – Tahoe’s only daily news source — this month.

So, what is next for Lake Tahoe News and our readers?

We plan to use video in the future. The first segments have been produced by Tahoe Production House to accompany a series of stories that will start running in June. More about that series will be disclosed on June 2.

A three-part series of stories are in the works for July. It’s about a divisive topic on the South Shore. We need for it to solidify more before we give away too many details.

We are figuring out where to have a booth at different events around the area this summer so we can have more personal contact with our readers. When those dates are locked in we’ll let you know where to meet us.

And the biggie is that we are going after adjudication. We need to get as many paid subscribers as possible before we go into court. Oh, and we need to be 3-years-old. That happens Labor Day weekend.

Here is information about becoming a paid subscriber.

And that’s just what we know is coming up in the next few months – keep reading because we’ll keep evolving.



LTN tidbit 30: A big thank you for keeping LTN in the black

May is 31 tidbits about Lake Tahoe News month.

LTN tidbit No. 30:

Lake Tahoe News is in the news business. That last word – business – is in many ways the unpleasant part of the whole process. If it were just about writing, editing, photographing and publishing – well, it would be all about the reader, as we’ve mentioned before.

But it costs money to pay the people who are responsible for Lake Tahoe News. And we really do like writing checks, but we also need to be cashing some to make the whole business thing work.

Right now we want to thank the people who have us making deposits. It is because of advertisers, donors and paid subscribers that we are able to keep going day in and day out.

We would like to give special recognition to the advertisers who started with us in 2009 and are still part of the Lake Tahoe News ad team: Barton Health Care, Deb Howard Realtor, Lake Tahoe Community College, Sierra-at-Tahoe, South Lake Tahoe Parks and Recreation, and South Tahoe Refuse.

And thank you to everyone who has donated through the years – for believing in what we are doing and knowing any start-up is fragile – and starting any business in a recession, is well, use your own adjective.

Paid subscriber forms are rolling in. We thank all of you as well. These contributions have run the gamut, but no matter the contribution amount, knowing you want to be part of the team is appreciated beyond words.

Here is information about becoming a paid subscriber.



LTN tidbit 29: Images tell a story all by themselves

May is 31 tidbits about Lake Tahoe News month.

LTN tidbit No. 29:

Sometimes images tell a story better than words. That is why the Gallery (accessed at the top of the page) has groups of photographs without words.

This is an easy way to look at images without reading the story.

You can view them as a slideshow or click on each one so they are larger.

In the future we anticipate adding a video component to the Gallery.

Here is information about becoming a paid subscriber.



LTN tidbit 28: Figuring out where stories are filed

May is 31 tidbits about Lake Tahoe News month.

LTN tidbit No. 28:

Lake Tahoe News uses broad category names to classify stories instead of drilling down.

One day we might expand beyond what we have or add subcategories. It will depend on what readers desire, what makes sense and how much content we produce on a daily basis.

People have the most questions about the Feature and Grab Bag categories. Featured Articles are the ones that have been the lead story of the day. They are then categorized into one of the other sections as well.

Grab Bag is for items that don’t fit under one of the other traditional categories. This is where super short stories – briefs – are found. We also put Snippets in Grab Bag. This is a collection of short (a sentence or two) items that are thrown together with five or six items contained in each Snippets.

Sometimes we file things under more than one category because we know not everyone goes to each category and it could easily be considered two things. For example, the recent mining story about Yosemite was filed under News and Outdoors & Sports.

Obits are always filed under Lifestyle, with the occasional one also being a News story.

Most animal stories are under Outdoors – because that’s where they live.

Travel pieces are usually in the Lifestyle section because we are writing about a lifestyle.

If all of this seems too confusing, one way to keep in the know is to get the daily digest each morning. It gives you the headlines from the last 24 hours. Just put your email address in at the bottom right of the home page to activate that free service.

That is different than becoming a paid subscriber – which right now only costs you a buck, unless you want to offer more.


LTN tidbit 27: Outside help completes the process

May is 31 tidbits about Lake Tahoe News month.

LTN tidbit No. 27:

There are a few people associated with Lake Tahoe News who don’t really want attention called to them. But we would be remiss if we didn’t in some way acknowledge their contributions.

Pat sends emails about typos, grammar and other problems with stories. The retired teacher living out of state is a great copy editor. We just wish we could pay her to read everything before we published.

Joy, on occasion, alerts us to typos – especially when it comes to headlines.

Brenda is a fabulous business consultant.

Our attorney keeps things legal and will be the one in court when we seek adjudication.

A longtime local is our go-to person for historical references when our knowledge base stops.

Lisa Tolda, while she has not done a ton of photography work for LTN, is the key professional we call in for the big stories like last year’s Tour of California. Even though the event didn’t happen, her photos were outstanding.

Here is information about becoming a paid subscriber.


LTN tidbit 26: Giving back when and where we can

May is 31 tidbits about Lake Tahoe News month.

LTN tidbit No. 26:

Giving back to the community is important to Lake Tahoe News.

Sometimes it comes in the form of helping out while we are on assignment – like raking pine needles at Valhalla, or picking up trash on Coastal Cleanup Day. It’s a form of multitasking.

We also partner with nonprofits to tease their event a bit while giving away tickets so the public can go without paying – to things like Barton’s Festival of Trees and Lights and Soroptimist’s wine tasting.

Substantial discounts have been offered to most local nonprofits when it comes to advertising. This allows them to get their message and keep more of the revenue for their cause.

In January 2012, Lake Tahoe News had a monthlong promotion called Random Acts of Kindness where people were encouraged to do nice things for others. Local businesses generously donated prizes for this.

Later this year Lake Tahoe News plans to sponsor one of the meals for Bread & Broth.

We don’t do these things for praise. Giving is reward enough. We just hope to be able to do more in the future.

Here is information about becoming a paid subscriber.


LTN tidbit 25: Readers are why we do what we do

May is 31 tidbits about Lake Tahoe News month.

LTN tidbit No. 25:

Without readers, everything we do would be pointless.

That is why we would like to take this time to thank all of you for being part of Lake Tahoe News. You may never write a comment, or send in a press release, or suggest a story, or even know anyone at LTN personally, but you are the most important part of LTN.

In the last month, we have had more than 64,000 visits to the site. A person can only be recorded once per IP address, so we can’t log in and off and in again to inflate those numbers. And about one-third are unique visitors. This means it’s their first time reading LTN. That one-third has been consistent, which means we keep turning people into regular readers of Lake Tahoe News.

Readers come from more than 100 countries and more than 3,000 cities.

Thank you for being part of the Lake Tahoe News family.

Here is information about becoming a paid subscriber.



LTN tidbit 24: Tahoe Tails — all about animals needing a home

May is 31 tidbits about Lake Tahoe News month.

LTN tidbit No. 24:

Each Monday a picture of a dog or cat is on Lake Tahoe News. Each one is looking for a home.

The words and photo are courtesy of Karen Kuentz, a volunteer at the animal shelter in Meyers. She provides this service to Lake Tahoe News readers for free.

We are incredibly grateful for her doing this week in and week out.

Be sure to catch Tahoe Tails each Monday. Plus, there is a link each week showing the other animals who are in need of a home.

Here is information about becoming a paid subscriber.



LTN tidbit 23: Tahoe’s only 7-day week news source focuses on accuracy

May is 31 tidbits about Lake Tahoe News month.

LTN tidbit No. 23:

Lake Tahoe News was born from the frustration of the publisher knowing what she knew wasn’t getting published and unable to imagine what she didn’t know that wasn’t getting published. Simply, we saw a need for a better, timelier news venue that came out more often. We decided to fill that need.

Tahoe – the entire basin – is a region rich with news. People are doing interesting things, have interesting stories to tell. Elected officials are doing what they believe is right. The environment, outdoors, education, entertainment – they and all the other topics need to be covered.

We are here to tell those stories.

Until Lake Tahoe News came around, there had never been a daily source for news anywhere in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Being online we can update stories quickly, fix errors and fix typos.

We aren’t perfect. No news source ever can or will be. But we do strive for accuracy. Please excuse our typos – one day we’ll have a fulltime editor who will help eliminate those.

Our philosophy is to deliver news in a timely fashion that has been researched and is well written. Our egos want us to be first and to scoop the other media. Our professionalism mandates we be accurate and as thorough as possible before pushing the publish button.

We like to say we write for the readers – not ourselves, not the politicians, and never for the advertiser.

We know, as long as LTN has the current ownership, it can never be bought by any advertiser. This means an advertiser cannot influence editorial copy. Our news hole is not for sale.

Here is information about becoming a paid subscriber.



LTN tidbit 22: NEWS Team members qualify for special deals

May is 31 tidbits about Lake Tahoe News month.

LTN tidbit No. 22:

Lake Tahoe News is collecting names of people for our special NEWS Team. Being part of the club means an opportunity to win prizes.

People have become part of the team by entering contests and donating money at select times. This is another one of those times. As we’ve been telling you all month in these tidbits, we are looking for paid subscribers (click on the link for details) in our quest to become an adjudicated publication. Everyone who signs up this month as a paid subscriber is automatically in the running for one of two Dirk Yuricich photographs.

All paid subscribers – no matter when you become one – will automatically be part of the NEWS Team.

Being part of the NEWS Team in 2011 meant a chance to win tickets to last July’s celebrity golf tournament, November’s Soroptimist wine tasting and December’s Festival of Trees and Lights.

In addition to the photographs, in June we’re having a promotion to win a copy of the just released “Tahoe Blues” published by Bona Fide Books in Meyers and later in the year we have tickets to a Giants game in September that need to find a home. Those contests will be open to everyone on the NEWS Team.

And there are bound to be other goodies for NEWS Team members as the year progresses. What are you waiting for? Become a paid subscriber today.