By Mike Lauterborn
Bridgeport, CT – What better way to show students the potential of a Blog than to introduce them to someone who has made a commercial success of her own?
That was Mike Lauterborn’s thinking when he invited Kerry Anne Ducey, the founder of HamletHub, to speak in his “Writing for Interactive Media” class on Tuesday, June 24. Lauterborn is also the Editor of Fairfield’s HamletHub, one of 11 town sites the HamletHub network now encompasses in Connecticut.
Ducey, as a long-time Ridgefield resident, has always been very plugged into the goings-on in her town and recognized a void in information flow from other local media. As such, and initially under the banner Talk of the Town, she started pushing out information online about events, school news, entertainment, retail offers and more, often while still in her pajamas and from a small computer in her bedroom.
The community really began to tune into her posts and she started to receive inquiries from businesses that wanted to advertise on her site. More clients came on board, which created more workload than she could effectively handle. The opportunity to broaden her scope also presented itself.
Ducey’s husband Ken, a mergers and acquisitions exec, stepped in to help her replicate the site’s template, change the name to HamletHub (to avoid any potential dispute with The New Yorker magazine and its Talk of the Town feature) and appoint other locally plugged-in people to serve as editors of its sister sites.
Now the initial Ridgefield site is a comprehensive business model that the other Hubs are eagerly mirroring, with respective editors dispensing local content, promoting the site through Twitter and Facebook, and attracting the interest of both advertisers and subscribers.
Lauterborn’s students – 16 undergraduates in all – have created their own Blog sites, themed around topics of their personal interest. The goal is that they gradually become experts in these topics, garner abundant followers and attract their own advertisers who want to align with content relevant to their businesses.