Exactly one year ago today Geauga News published its very first article, officially launching our Positive Local News website. What started out as a crazy idea one night a few months earlier, turned into a thriving local business that is still continuing to grow today.
Up all night in September
On September 11, 2011, entrepreneur and local business owner Gabe Arnold was frustrated with not being able to successfully use Craig’s List out in this area. He stayed up all night and created what you see now as Geauga News. From early on, Gabe received much support from his family and close friends who all thought this concept of offering positive local news was a great idea.
While at home one evening, I received a notification on Twitter that Geauga News started following me. Never hearing of Geauga News before, I started reading all seven of their tweets that they had at that time. One particular tweet caught my attention asking for those interested in writing, photography, social media, and advertising. I responded to the tweet, and immediately received an email from Gabe asking to meet up to talk about his new business. I met Gabe for the first time late in October at Coffee Corners in Burton with a small team of others interested in helping launch this new online publication.
Meeting for the first time
After meeting Gabe for the first time in October, I immediately embraced the idea of a website that offered only positive news. During this time, I worked as a manager for Punderson Manor Lodge but was excited to write for Geauga News as well as advertise for Punderson. I was flooded with ideas on what to write about and who we could talk to for stories, ideas, and possible local advertisers.
We launched 4 days early?
The Geauga News team continued to meet on Thursday nights at the coffee shop throughout November and really pushed a target launch date of December 1. I submitted my first article, and much to my surprise, it published on Sunday, November 27. Since my husband is a deputy for the sheriff’s office, I wrote an article featuring the Geauga County Sheriff’s Office K9 Program.
I learned early on that Gabe is a “get it done” kind of guy, and he felt there was no need to wait until December 1 to publish the article. Gabe’s only request was that we work really hard to publish something every single day.
Gabe stayed up many nights, sometimes until 3 in the morning, to make sure we never missed our goal of publishing something everyday. I never knew how much went into operating a website but learned very quickly as I started to take over scheduling and content management of the articles in March. Let’s just say I have a new found respect for the work that Gabe has done and continues to do.
This past June, I made a decision to leave my full time position at Punderson and run the operations of Geauga News full time. I am very pleased with our small team of writers; our editor Patty Arnold, our content manager Stacey Rauch, our ad designer Caleb Arnold, and our account manager Ed Bennet, all of whom put in much effort to make Geauga News what it is. I am thankful for all of our local advertisers who have believed in us and help with our mission to support local businesses in our area.
Then and Now…
What started out as a crazy idea by Gabe in September 2011 is now a thriving and growing business. Since the launch of Geauga News, we have successfully partnered with Sandi Allison, the owner of the American Woman Magazine, which is a sister site to Geauga News. We also just recently launched Portage News and hope to launch similar sites starting in January.
It’s been a whirlwind of a year, and I can say that I am beyond thankful that I responded to a simple tweet over a year ago asking for volunteer writers for a small local publication. Since then, I now co-own Little Acorn Media (the LLC company that operates Geauga News, Portage News, Suffolk County News and American Woman Magazine) with Gabe. I also project manage for Gabe’s technology business, tEkk3, forcing me to basically live, eat, and breathe technology and social media management – a part of the business that I truly love studying and learning more about.
To our fans
We are only here today because of you. We are thankful for the fan base that we have and hope to continue to build in the next weeks, months, and even years to come. It is our intention over this next year to continue to live up to our mission statement of providing the best resources for local businesses and positive local news in our Great Geauga County. We think we have some of the very finest folks in the country that reside in this little corner of the world, and we are excited to be a part of fostering neighborliness throughout the community. Thank you for making that possible!
How you can you continue to support us?
- Do you have any great ideas or thoughts about what topics we should cover?
- Are you interested in being a writer for Geauga News?
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