I went to a meeting on Thursday where the class working with Whiteville presented their strategies to the Whiteville officials. I only wish our professor would have warned us not to wear jeans. I felt like a fish out of water and very disrespectful, but I had no idea what to expect out of the meeting. Also, the food was really really good.
It's sad that we won't finish this product by the end of the semester. I've become a lot more attached to Washington than I anticipated.
But the presentation on potential markets in Whiteville got me thinking about the potential customers in Washington. A lot of the ones that were presented seem applicable.
There's the "home for the holidays" group, consisting of those who use the news only when they come home from college, or wherever they've established a life elsewhere. There's not much reason to come to the small Pamlico town if you don't have family there.
The "Texting Teens" are different than the "Front-Porch Neighbors", and the way we need to deliver news is totally different. The Neighbors are the people who've been reading the paper for years, and as such, we don't have to worry about them losing interest in the print version of the paper. We know the best way to deliver the news.
The teens are, in fact, all about texting. They're about wireless laptops in Internet cafes and iPhones and 3G. They want news sent to them such that they don't have to actively seek it out, and they want it as soon as it happens.
I hope our project is continued into next semester. Seeing the students speak with the Whiteville folks, I was a bit envious of the relationships they've established. I wish I could have gotten to know some people in Washington a bit better.
I didn't anticipate all the obstacles I've encountered, though.
I do hope at the very least, some of the "Public" records actually earn that title by the time we leave.