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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Last year, xtra xtra made news by creating an exciting partnership with Boston.com’s Your Town pages. That relationship continues today as we deliver local announcements to the neighborhoods and suburbs of Boston, but as we’ve mentioned before, one of our new year’s resolutions is to build at least six more newspaper partnerships in 2011.
We’re committed to that goal.
Newspaper partnerships are another step in our efforts to bring your favorite stories to you. We want our milestones to be where you are—as posts from friends on your Facebook feed, as tweets from your favorite followers, as emails from people who cannot wait to share their news, and as headlines from your most trusted news source. That’s why we’re eager to hit the ground running with more newspaper partnerships that help you make headlines while also finding the latest stories for your favorite communities.
We think stories that reflect peoples’ lives and achievements are at the heart of a community. Weddings, births, professional accomplishments, and other stories that celebrate members of a community are timeless stories that people will look forward to reading, so we are excited to help newspapers deliver more of these personal stories to their readers.
We’ll keep you posted as we pursue and develop these partnerships, and we hope to be in your community soon. Let us know if you want to see xtra xtra milestones on your local paper’s website!
Til next time,
Happy Thanksgiving, xtra xtra friends! We hope you’re having a wonderful holiday with friends, family, football, and food!
We have a lot to be thankful for at xtra xtra. In only a few months, we’ve redesigned and relaunched our website, formed an exciting partnership with Boston.com, and hired some fantastic interns, and now we’re working hard to make the site the best that it can be. We’re thankful for all of these successes, but we’re especially grateful for your support and enthusiasm for xtra xtra. We couldn’t do it without you!
Here are a few of the other things we’re thankful for on this holiday…
- Steph is thankful for… “Incredible friends and family, the abundance of laughs that come from said friends, living in Boston, Microsoft Paint, and Bravo TV”
- Jamie is thankful for… “My amazing family, Dunkin Donuts coffee, my Mac <3, and online shopping (and my Job for funding the hobby!)”
- Cooley is thankful for… “Friends and family, Mom’s squash casserole, my baby niece, and of course Glee and Community! ”
The xtra xtra Team
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Remember Captain Planet? He was the blue-tinted superhero from the 1990s who was devoted to green initiatives. It seems like we could really use his help these days. A recent BP document revealed that as many as 4.2 million gallons of oil could be pouring into the ocean each day after the oil rig explosion in April, and efforts for conservation have taken the center stage in conversations around the world and across the country.
There’s a saying that we should take care of the environment since it’s the only one we have, and it’s certainly true.
If you’re eager conserve, here are a few other sites that are helpful and useful while also being friendly to the environment.
- ThredUp—Kids grow up fast, and that means they need lots of new outfits. ThredUp can cut the strain on your wallet and the environment. Members can share and trade clothes for boys and girls based on size, and it’s affordable since a basic membership means you only pay for shipping and handling. Share your kids’ closet and make good use of someone else’s gently worn clothes. It saves resources and money!
- Snapfish—Photos are a wonderful way to remember an event, but you often end up with prints you didn’t really want. Snapfish lets friends and family choose the images they wish to print. This is a conservative way to keep people in the moment without wasting paper and ink. (You can also share images with the whole community on xtra xtra.)
- Earth911—Want to recycle but not sure of where to start? Earth911 can help any family find a more sustainable lifestyle with simple steps. Key in your ZIP code and find local recycling centers, and find tips and news about how to recycle everyday materials. This site has interesting links, events, and articles that will get you excited about giving back.
What are your favorite websites and resources for sustainable living? We’re always eager for tips, and we’d love to share them with our friends and followers! We’ve also mentioned that xtra xtra’s free milestones are a great option since they’re completely paperless. Pixels last forever, and it’s easy to share online rather than printing out dozens of announcements.
Remember that your actions and words make an impact. Blogger Meredith O’Brien kept count and realized that her three kids were sent home with more than 2300 pieces of paper in one school year. Recognizing that impact we’re making on the environment will help us reach a point where we can say “Stop the waste,” so we hope you’ll join us in helping businesses, friends, and even family members find ways to cut back and save the environment.
If you’ve seen the latest images from the Gulf of Mexico, you know that recovery is going to require many hands and donations. The Better Business Bureau has listed approved organizations and charities that are giving back. If you’d like to make a contribution towards one of these efforts, find the list of organizations here.
Till next time,
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An unforgettable athletic milestone might be happening tonight as the Boston Celtics and the LA Lakers meet for Game 6 of the NBA Finals. As a Boston-based company, we’ll be wearing our green and white, but here are a few fun facts about the C’s and their age-old rivalry with the Lakers.
- The first Celtics/Lakers finals matchup took place in 1959. The C’s clinched victory and defeated the Lakers—then based in Minneapolis–with a 4-0 lead.
- The Celtics have set a lot of records. In the 1959 playoffs, William Walton “Bill” Sharman set the record for most consecutive free throws after making 56 baskets in a row.
- Celtics coach Red Auerbach holds the record of winning the most NBA Championships with one team. He led the Celtics to 9 national titles. Phil Jackson, who currently coaches the Lakers, has won 10 championships (6 with the Chicago Bulls and 4 with the LA Lakers).
- In 1962, Lakers player Elgin Baylor scored 61 points against the Celtics and set a record for most points earned in an NBA finals game. They may have won the game, but the Celtics won the series (4-3).
- In 2009, the NBA renamed the NBA Finals MVP Award and called it the “Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award.” This is interesting since Bill Russell, one of the most famous Celtics players ever who led the team to 11 national championships, never own an MVP award in the finals.
- Celtics guard Ray Allen set a new record for most 3-pointers scored in a game during Game 2 of the ____ Celtics/Lakers series. He scored 27 points with 9 3-point shots.
Game 6 starts at 9 PM EST tonight. If you’re in the mood to make a difference, find out how you can help the Boys and Girls Club of Boston while you’re watching the game. Lakers fans are welcome, too.
Till next time,
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