I enjoy the competitive and creative challenge of helping an helping an organization or media project increase their reach, traffic, lead conversion and engagement by building and improving your website presence, niche online community building, and social media marketing.
I can help your organization make a statement on the web. I use the WordPress CMS platform for making websites with plugins to enhance SEO, Social Media marketing, email marketing, Google analytics and customized interactivity.
Enhancing Your Web Presence
It is hard to imagine, but there was a time when I had to tell businesses that getting a website is not a matter of if, but when. It took news organizations a bit longer to catch up to this concept. I have been building websites since 1993. At first, they were static informational pages where I learned and experimented with HTML. Since then, I have made websites for businesses and non-profit organizations, news publications of my own doing, and niche social networking websites.
Strengthening Your Social Media Reach
Today, having a social media presence is a must, not an option. A 2015 Pew Research study found that 65% of American adults use social media. This is 20 times more than the number of users in 2005.
Building Your Niche Social Media Network
Before social media was a term, I was building websites that were their own social media microcosm. Back then we called it community building on the web. We are seeing a trend toward more niche social media networks ranging from topical based centered around a common interest, to business based centered around customer conversion and engagement.
Web Development: HTML, WordPress Theme and Plugin Installs/Configurations, WordPress/CMS Content Management, Logo Design, Branding Design
Social Media: Facebook Fan & Business Page Setup, Twitter Setup, Social Media Automation & Integration on WordPress, Hootsuite
Marketing/Traffic: Google Analytics, SEO, Google Adsense, Google Adwords, Facebook and Twitter Advertising
Projects & Experience
GreenActionNews | 2013 – Present | News & Niche Social Media Community
Using the model described by Bill Moyer in Doing Democracy, the scope of the site is to broadly cover the work of grassroots activists, change agents and policy reformers. I developed the website using WordPress, created the social media assets, supervised the development of the logo, tagline, branding. I developed an online training guide on how to use WordPress as well as style guidelines. I recruit and support contributing writers. Presently, I am looking forward to developing infrastructure to make the site more user-friendly for content contributors, internal communications, and semi-automated payment system.
PaleoRadio.us | December 2011 – April 2013 | News Talk Radio Website
PaleoRadio, produced at WPRR AM/FM in Grand Rapids, MI with host Jeremiah Bannister was a talk show focused on commentary on social issues and politics. In addition to producing the three-hour weekday show, I contributed to PaleoRadio by creating the website for the show using WordPress, writing and posting show notes for each episode and promoted show via Twitter, Facebook, and public events
metroGRnews.com | 2005 – Present | Local Community News
In early 2005, I initiated the first online news website for the Grand Rapids area and called it KentCountyStar. The original design looked a bit like The Drudge Report and was coded in HTML with the FrontPage editing software. I upgraded to using a template service that was set up for news organizations. However, the design was counterintuitive and the template company charged too much for minor changes, so I shelved the project for awhile. In 2007, I discovered WordPress and revived KentCountyStar. In 2016, I renamed it to metroGRnews to better reflect community identity.
ConvergentMediaCenter.org | 2010 – 2016 | Online News
I initiated this website to be used as a teaching tool for the Journalism/Mass Communication program at Olivet College because I recognized the need for JMC students to have an experience with an online content management system. I coordinated with a graphic design student in the creation of the header. I created training materials and provided training to students in 2 classes on how to use the site. This project is currently offline as it is being redeveloped.
WTSS.COM | 1997 – 2004 | Niche Social Media Community
In 1997, I created my first community building website, WTSS.com, with the naive assumption that I could encourage Christians to be more focused on helping others rather than on condemning others. The site was built with raw HTML and it also featured 5 CGI chat rooms. Google wasn’t a thing yet, back then it was Yahoo! For awhile, with the key phrase, “Christian teen chat” WTSS.com came up in the top of their listing. In 2011, I sold the domain to Western Tower, which helped a lot in getting me through last semester expenses in college.
Olivet College – Bachelor of Arts in Journalism/Mass Communication Class of 2011
Professor Joanne Williams – my advisor at Olivet College.
Jeremiah Bannister -Colleague at Olivet College/ Host of PaleoRadio