xtra xtra would like to welcome Sara Lambert to our staff! Sara is a recent graduate of UMass Amherst and the newest member of the xtra xtra team. Sara’s role is to assist with editor recruitment and promote the transformed site. Her excellent written and verbal communication skills paired with a “can do” attitude make her an asset to the team. Sara has already brought in a number of potential editors and we look forward to seeing what she will accomplish. Sara took some time to fill out our get-to-know-you quiz. Take a look at what she had to say!
Communities you’ve called home: I lived in Millis, MA until I was 2 years old. Since then, I’ve lived in the same house in Needham, MA with my parents and 2 younger brothers, Mike and Chris.
Schools you’ve attended: I attended Needham High School and then headed to western MA where I earned a Bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
How long you’ve been working with xtra xtra: At this point, only 2 weeks! I started working here on 6/11/2012.
How did you get involved with xtra xtra: My dad is good friends with Paul Rooney who told him that xtra xtra had been looking for someone to join the team to help launch the new and improved site. I became really interested in the site’s initiative and quickly set up an interview.
What do you do with xtra xtra: I search for possible leads who would make great town editors for the site and get the word out about what we’re doing here at xtra xtra in any way possible.
xtra xtra is all about milestones, so tell us about a special milestone in your life (i.e. graduation, wedding, getting a job, etc.): My favorite milestone was the trip I made to South Africa in high school to help improve preschools and high schools in Durban. Before this trip I hadn’t even been out of the country so I really loved learning about a culture so different from the one I’d grown up in.
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Exciting new things are happening here at xtraxtra.com! We’ve come a long way since our launch in 2009, when our site consisted primarily of milestone announcements. Today, we’re evolving with the hyperlocal news movement to allow town members to add local news stories, photos, upcoming events, and so much more to our site. Realizing that our world is becoming more digitally-based every day, we know that the web is the best way to get the most news out to the most people as quickly as possible. We also know that no one has a deeper knowledge of what’s going on in a community than those who live and work there. That’s why we’re looking for citizen journalists to become the voice of their towns.
These voices, known as editors, will bring their towns to life over the internet. Becoming a town editor doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be the sole news provider for your community. Editors have the ability to enlist the help of contributors who can also post photos, news stories, and upcoming events related to their town. Utilizing these writers will ultimately diversify the site’s content as well as expand readership. Aside from being a great way to give back to the community, our site also offers editors the opportunity to gain revenue by granting area businesses ad spaces to promote themselves.
We want xtra xtra readers to experience the most relevant, specialized, up to date content that the web can offer. Fans of our milestone based site don’t need to worry. Our inclusion of the news is in addition to community generated announcements, meant solely to enhance the site and user experience. With the local news came additional interactive elements, which will allow users to comment on, share, and save news articles. As always, you can upload and share your milestones- academic, athletic, and professional achievements; weddings and birth announcements; graduations; birthdays; etc. If you want to contribute more in the local news space consider signing on as an editor, and become the voice of your town. Or, become a contributor and periodically lend your voice to the site. This is a great opportunity to stay involved in your town and provide family and friends with intimate news stories written for the community, by the community.
Not sure what is considered news-worthy? The possibilities are truly endless but can include: town meeting notes, school bulletins, opinion pieces, administrative news, local politics, charity and community organization updates, citizen profiles, youth sports recaps, fundraisers, upcoming fairs, class reunions, school plays, scholarship opportunities, and more.
Help us get this network going! If you want to become an editor, or know someone who would be great, please contact Stephanie Burke at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re happy to answer any and all of your questions!
We look forward to hearing from you!
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