It's easy these days to know what's going on in Boston or New Orleans or Los Angeles. But how do you find out what's happening right in their own neighborhood?
They go to MyTown: KOTA's new online source for Rapid City social and hyper-local (neighborhood) news. At MyTown, you'll be able to read about local news, views and events; and if you become a MyTown Localink, you'll also be able to write about them.
We are inviting a select group of people to sign up to be a MyTown Localink: a social/hyper-local correspondent. You may have already been contacted by someone at RSA or KOTA about doing this – if so, the FAQ below will provide some additional information.
Your articles will be read by a wide audience in Rapid City. You can develop a following, promote topics you are passionate about, be an influential member of KOTA's new MyTown, and join us for an exclusive MyTown Localink kick-off party in August.
Q – What exactly is a Localink?
A – A "Localink" is a person who is authorized by KOTA to contribute articles and content to the MyTown website. There's no English degree or journalism credentials required. Just a desire to engage and communicate about things going on in Rapid City.
Q – What does a Localink write about?
A – In most cases, you'll write about what you know and are passionate about, and apply a local reference. If you're in touch with the local music scene, know everything about neighborhood fitness options, participate in or organize local events, follow Rapid City politics, then you have a new forum to get others interested and keep them informed.
Q – How often do I need to submit an article?
A – Consistency is what will help you develop a following. We ask that you submit 3-4 articles per month. They do not all have to all be in one subject area.
Q – How long does each article need to be?
A – We recommend articles be about 200-500 words in length.
Q – Can I promote my own business or service?
A – MyTown articles are not meant to be advertisements, and viewers won't return to read your submissions if they are boring self-promotion. That being said, if you're in a particular business then you are an expert in that subject area and can write with authority about it. A Realtor, for example, could write about the local real estate market. Each article should have a Rapid City reference and relevance, even if other information presented is more general. A Localink will be able to list their title and company, if they wish.
Q – Can an organization, rather than an individual, be a contributor (with multiple contributors that they assign)?
A – Yes.
Q – Can I be the exclusive writer for a particular subject?
A – Anyone can apply to become a Localink and write about a particular topic, so there is no exclusivity. If you and other writers bring different perspectives, even strongly disagree, viewers will find it that much more interesting. We're hoping for pizzazz, humor and a little "back and forth" -- so have some fun with this.
Q – Do I get paid for being a contributor?
A – At this time, there is no payment offered. As the site develops and gains a following, it's possible that some paid opportunities could develop for writers who want to take on an expanded role. In the meantime, you'll be a part of something new, explore a new communication vehicle, and be involved in the MyTown Localink community.
Q – Will someone edit or approve what I write?
A – Your work will not be edited but it will be reviewed and approved by KOTA's Online Media Specialist (OMS) prior to being published on the site. The OMS will review for "general suitability" for the MyTown audience but will not polish your writing, fact check your statements, or otherwise change what you have written. The OMS may contact you if they have a suggestions or concerns, but generally it will be a review and approve process, with no additional feedback.
Q – What about copyrights, plagiarism, ownership of intellectual material?
A – KOTA requires that the information submitted be your original work. You will agree, when you become a Localink, that all articles submitted are your work and not subject to other copyrights. Anything submitted to the site becomes a part of the site and the site archive. KOTA reserves the right to use excerpts of your work in advertising and promoting the MyTown site. All articles will appear with a KOTA disclaimer stating that KOTA/Duhamel Broadcasting is not responsible for the material submitted by a Localink.
Q – Do I have to sign up to be a Localink to submit articles or will anyone accessing the site be able to contribute articles?
A – You do have to be a Localink to publish articles to the site. The general public can't publish articles. They can, however, become site members which will allow them to comment on articles and do other things on the site.
Q – What else will be on the MyTown website?
A – Like many social sites, users will be able to contribute photos and videos, rate content and share it via social media. Community members will be able to add events, find local sources and resources, access business directories and free classifieds. The site will be heavily promoted by KOTA to drive a wide audience to view and participate.
Q – Is MyTown just for Rapid City?
A – Eventually we'll create MyTown sites for other communities that Duhamel Broadcasting serves in western South Dakota and Eastern Wyoming. Rapid City's is just the first!
Q – I want to do this, what are my next steps?
A – You can e-mail Tyler Bitner firstname.lastname@example.org or call Robert Sharp & Associates at 341-5226 and talk to someone on the MyTown team (you'll be directed to Mari or Molly.) As a Localink, you'll have access to the site before anyone else in town, and be invited to our kick-off party in August.