From 2007 to 2009 our local newspaper hosted a site called Your Hub. Perhaps you’ve heard of it or even participated. It was a community board where anyone who registered could post stories, photos, events, and just about anything that was happening locally. And the neat thing about it, at least to me, was the fact that once a week the Wichita Falls Times Record News printed some of the stories and photographs in the newspaper on a page titled “What’s Happening in Your Neighborhood.” Now there’s something about seeing your article and pictures in the newspaper that’s pretty cool. So I was a major contributor.
And, to my good fortune, the editor in charge of Your Hub called me one evening and asked for an interview. I, of course, posted about my books a lot, mentioned signings and showed the book covers. He wrote a very nice article about me: “Former teacher finds success writing.” Some nice publicity for an unknown author.
Over the short time Your Hub was available in our town, many of my articles were published in the newspaper. Sometimes, nice replies were posted on the site. Othertimes, I received personal email. Once I posted a picture of my aunt standing in front of the Pavillion that was at the lake many years ago. There also was an old-timey motorcycle that I asked if anyone knew what kind it was. A few days later a reply was in the newspaper. A man recognized it as a 1920 j-model Harley.
I talked about my cats and birds and asked how to keep ants off the hummingbird feeders. Several people replied with their solutions. I tried to find the owner of a stray dog that kept hanging around our house by putting his picture on the site. It appeared in the newspaper too.
Unfortunately, other people weren’t as excited about Your Hub as I was. A handful of contributors were faithful and posted regularly. I read some funny stories, some serious stories, and posts that told beautiful stories. But without enough participation, the paper finally closed the site. Other towns still have Your Hub. I know because I receive regular emails from Denver. If you’re interested in whether your local newspaper sponsors Your Hub, try http://yourhub.com. I can’t guarantee where it will take you. Mine goes to Denver. But it is cool getting your name in the newspaper.