Thanks for all of your support as we wrap up out what has been a truly unbelievable July. We'd like to thank all of you folks who come up to us on the street, in a coffee shop, or out at an event we are covering, and say "Good job". As well as all you folks who shoot us email or post to our Facebook and Twitter feeds to share your enthusiasm for reading articles, looking at photos, and watching videos about all the good people and things going on in Valpo. That passion to seek out what is good about the community we live in is a heck of a testament to why we all live in, work in, or are connected to Valpo and each other.
One area of the site we are looking to expand that you, our reader, can best impact is our Blog Section. This is a section on the site that anyone in the community can contribute to. It doesn't matter if you are talking about a community or educational program, a team, a church or non profit organization, a thumbs up review on any area business, a travel report for someplace you have visited (if you have ValpoLife.com gear - remember to shoot us a photo with you or the kids wearing it wherever you are traveling in the world as we'll be posting them to the site), a great person in Valpo young or old, your favorite thing about Valpo-anything. We want folks in Valpo to know what other folks in Valpo see are the best things about Valpo, and you all are the eyes, ears, and voices for many of those stories. We go by our mom's rule that if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all, and I am continually amazed at how many of you, have so much to say, about so many things about Valpo that you love. All you have to do is become a member, click the Submit button on the Members page, and get started!
Some other cool things going on at ValpoLife:
- Our Video and Photo sections keep growing like mad, with photo, video, and article coverage of a bunch of Porter County Fair events like the Fair Queen Pageant, IPRA Rodeo, and the Hog Wrestling Competiton, and a really fun one all about the fair. There are tons of activities still going on this weekend so try to make some time to get over there through Sunday night and enjoy the abundance of classic fair fun.
- You should also check out Kyle's WWII Planes and Flight video, along with our Featured Video, an in-depth and personal interview with a first class new VHS Girls Varsity Coach, Jeanette Gray.
- Our Search tool continues to see improvements and is a feature of the site that everyone should use often to find just what you are looking for amidst the mountain of content we are creating, as we've added refining tools to allow you to search only for videos, restaurants, business listings, and sports facilities. You can view a tutorial on how best to use this section of the site.
- Speaking of sports facilities, we've updated our Sports Facilities area to include all the information and maps to get to every one of the 2009-2010 schools that VHS will face in every sport!
Just to give you some perspective on what all of you have done to help us to create, the notes below will give you some metrics to watch our progress by. So far, this positive thing sure seems to be catching on fast.
- To date we have posted over 1,900 articles/stories about kids, adults, organizations, sports teams, churches, leaders, fund raising drives, events, facility maps, and anything else positive going on in town. We have done that with the help of 156 different Contributors.
- We have posted well over 800 events that have been held in or around Valpo or are coming up soon, ranging from fun activities going on like the Downtown Movie night, Concerts on the Square, musicians playing at Taltree, loads of activities going on at the Porter County Fair, to the countless community volunteer opportunities, food drives, golf outings, triathlons and sports events, to meetings with business leaders.
- The video library is growing fast -- we now have 144 videos on the site, and after blowing through 5,000 videos watched just two weeks ago since we started tracking the number of video views in early June, we will surely pass 7,000 sometime this weekend.
- The reach of good news is spreading fast with so many fans on the good news train helping us spread the word. On Facebook, after just topping the 1,000 mark we are now at 1,142, and we now have over 600 followers on Twitter. After going over 100,000 page views just two weeks ago, we will surpass 135,000 later today, and we will have reached over 14,000 unique visitors since we began.
- We have over 30 different Coupons and Special Offers this week from area merchants that are available to every member of the site, and we have 32 companies now signed up marketing their company’s products and services to this fast growing audience through Featured Profiles, Educational and Informational Articles, Videos, Events, and Banner Advertising and Sponsorships. Say thanks to these folks when you see them in town since they make all of this possible.
I just know that many of you are the folks that have been rooting for us since the beginning, whose early support helped us get this site to where this is today, and who have wished for our success from the second you heard about the premise behind the site and our goals. I want you to know your work, hope, word of mouth, and outward support continues to build an incredibly positive momentum beyond even what we thought it would be.
Look at what you have done Valpo! This positive thing sure seems to be catching on.
Chris Mahlmann is the founder, CEO, and publisher of the LIFE networks and has developed the industry standard for connecting people with all that is positive in their community. Visit Chris on Google Plus, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.