At the end of 2021 I quietly launched WayneCounty.info, which was actually a re-launch of the site 47374.info that I’ve been building and curating since 2011.
If you haven’t already seen it, WayneCounty.info is free service that brings together news and information of all kinds from around Richmond and Wayne County, Indiana so that you can more easily stay on top of what’s going on. You can find updates on the website itself, and you can join the 250+ other people who get a news summary by email every morning.
The site automatically scans information from more than 50 organizations across more than 80 information sources including websites, social media accounts, blogs, email newsletters, information portals and calendars, and I’m adding more on a regular basis. You can find local weather, news, information, events, videos, sports, photos, opinion, government activity, public safety updates, education and obituaries. The site also pulls in some specialized data such as COVID-19 stats and severe weather alerts.
The daily news summary email includes news and information updates that were found in the last day, as well as upcoming events, so you never miss what’s going on.
Here’s what the website looks like these days:
If you visit it on a mobile device, the view is more compact for a quick review of the latest:
And here’s the daily email:
One of the reasons I created this tool as a community service is because I often hear that even the most engaged community leaders sometimes have trouble keeping up with everything happening in our cities and neighborhoods. With info coming from so many places, it’s understandable. WayneCounty.info tries to help by pulling everything together into one place.
People who use WayneCounty.info say that it helps them in their personal and/or professional lives. Here are some actual feedback quotes from users and subscribers:
- “My first visit and I find it very useful, and I thank you!”
- “You seem to have more local news than [a local paper].”
- “Great job!”
- “It’s nice to be kept informed. Thank you.”
- “I feel that this is one of the best selections of articles I have seen since I started receiving them. Thank you and keep this up.”
- “You guys are doing great work. I’m so glad I found this site and plan to share often with friends.”
- “I like the style of the news feed. It’s quick and easy to read. I can click on the headlines that interest me the most.”
- “Thank you for doing this, Chris. It meets a real need.”
Of course, there’s always room for improvement and new features. Moving forward, I’ll be working on bringing in even more kinds of information and updates from a wider range of voices, adding more searching and sorting options, and also fixing the occasional glitches that can come up with a complex set of software tools that are scanning such a variety of sources.
(At some point I will share more about the technology and software tools I developed to make the site possible, probably on my tech and software blog.)
Starting this month, I am also hiring some local photographers to help add new perspectives and images from around the County. Stay tuned for that!
I’d be glad for your suggestions along the way. Anyone who wants to suggest a new information source can read more about how that works.
To be clear, this is a free community service that I am operating out of personal funds. There’s no advertising and I don’t share email subscriber info with anyone else. At some point I may look for a few sponsors who are willing to help contribute to the infrastructure costs of running the site. It’s also worth emphasizing that the site does not have any original reporting, it just links back to the information being distributed by verified community sources or reported on by professional journalists. Which brings me to another related announcement:
I’ll pay for your newspaper subscription.
Another frequent piece of feedback I get about the service is that in the “news” category, people clicking through often hit prompts to subscribe to the newspapers that produced the article (aka a “paywall”). I’m personally of the mind that paying to support reporters and publications that adhere to professional standards of journalism is more important than ever (even if you don’t always like what they report on) and that if you find yourself regularly wanting to read an article at one of those publications, it’s probably time to start your paid subscription.
I realize that for some people, cost and budget is a concern. For others, it’s just not their highest priority or they don’t have time to read the paper at the local library. So here’s my offer: if you live in Wayne County and are not yet a subscriber to either of our two area papers, the Western Wayne News or the Palladium-Item, but want to be, I will reimburse you for the cost of your first year subscription to one of those.
Here’s what to do:
- Sign up for a subscription to one of those newspapers and pay for it.
- Make sure you’re subscribed to the WayneCounty.info daily email summary.
- Respond to one of the WayneCounty.info daily email summary messages with a screenshot of your subscription receipt or confirmation. Make sure the screenshot includes your name, the date, and the total cost you paid. More info on how to take a screenshot is here.
- Include the best way to send you money. I can do PayPal, Venmo or Cash App.
- I’ll review your message and send you back the cost of your newspaper subscription.
(Full disclosure: I sometimes perform technical, non-editorial consulting work for the Western Wayne News and occasionally have my opinion writing included there, but do not receive any kind of per-subscription commission or compensation.)
I’ll offer this reimbursement for as long as there’s interest and my personal funds allow it, and I’ll update this post again when the offer is no longer available. I reserve the right to withhold or refuse reimbursement to anyone for any reason. And if you know someone who would really benefit from a newspaper subscription but doesn’t have the technical connectivity or comfort to go through the above steps, please contact me and I will see how I can help.
There, no more worries about hitting a subscription paywall if you want to stay informed about what’s happening in Wayne County.
I hope you enjoy WayneCounty.info as much as I enjoy building it. And most importantly, I hope it helps you stay informed about and engaged with our community.
Many people turn the tv on first thing in the morning……..I , grab my tablet and check Wayne co info first thing. Check it out, then refer to it more in depth later in the morning more thoroughly. I am so.pleased to be able to get so much information at a glance, and to be able to refer back. Your site is a valuable asset and very much appreciated. You’re doing a great job. Keep it up and thank you so much.