It has two years since Lacey Patch launched so if you are reading this, you probably know what we’re all about. But just in case, here’s a reminder:
Lacey Patch is part of a network of hundreds of sites nationwide, each dedicated to bringing readers the latest news from their communities. We cover everything from government and schools to police and local events.
You can do your part as a reader of Lacey Patch by using our events calendar, posting announcements, engaging in social media and sending me - the editor - news tips.
Here is a refresher course on how you can get the most out of Lacey Patch:
Talk to me. I'm often out and about in town. As an editor, it is important to hear from the reader. Feel free to contact me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) at any time. I would be glad to sit down with you over a cup of coffee so you can ask questions, tell me what you like and don’t like, what you would like to see covered and any ideas you may have.
Contribute. Lacey Patch is always looking for local bloggers. If you enjoy writing, are an expert in your field or an area of interest, or would like to cover a local issue, e-mail me at Elaine.email@example.com.
Comment on an article or shout it out. After reading an article, share your thoughts and reaction by posting a comment directly below each story. You can also comment without posting to an article. On the right side of the homepage, Patch asks you, “What do you have to say?” Your thoughts will go right into the stream on the homepage.
Post an event or announcement. Whether it’s a local book signing, concert, church or non-profit event, garage sale, or a graduation ceremony, add any events that you know of right to the Lacey Patch calendar. Do the same with announcements. Add birth, engagement, or wedding or death announcements. Not only will other Lacey Patch readers be informed about what is happening locally, but the events and announcements you add can also act as additional news tips.
Upload your photos and video. Upload your photos from the elementary school spring concert, the varsity basketball game, or a snow storm. Lacey Patch is meant to be community driven. Share your memories. You can upload your photos to relevant stories or to "Lacey Pics & Clips"
Send a news tip or a letter to the editor. Have a brilliant idea for a story? At the bottom of the homepage there is a link that says, “Send us news tips.” The more that dialogue is shared on Lacey Patch, the more useful the site will be. Next time you share something with your neighbor, consider sending a letter to the editor. Send me your suggestion or letter directly from the site or e-mail me at Elaine.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign up for newsletters. Become a member of Patch by signing up to receive the Lacey daily newsletter and updates about Patch. The newsletter will be e-mailed to you ever day at 6 a.m. keeping you updated on the stories that have been posted in the last 24 hours.
Social media engagement. Lacey Patch is on Facebook and Twitter. “Like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/laceypatch and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/lacey patch. Content is updated daily on each page. Engage yourself by commenting, starting a conversation or discussion, and inviting your friends.
Claim your directory listing. Lacey Patch has a directory of everything and anything in Lacey Township. If you are an owner or manage a business or organization in the directory, claim it. To contact us about the listing, send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Advertise with us. For information on advertising with Lacey Patch, click here. Patch gives 5% of its advertising space, free of charge, to local charities from the communities Patch serves. Please contact us to see if you qualify.
Find a job. Job hunting? Use Lacey Patch to find local job openings. You can refine your search by job title, keywords and location.
Review restaurants. Is your mouth watering after tasting something delectable at a local restaurant? Give the restaurant a thumbs-up (or down) by posting a review at http://lacey.patch.com/restaurants.
Look up Lacey real estate. Looking for a home? Curious about real estate in Lacey Township and neighboring municipalities? Take a look at our "Real Estate" tab. There's also a mortgage calculator.
Find local specials and coupons you can print. All your local grocery specials can be found in one place on Lacey Patch. We have deals from Walmart, ShopRite, CVS and more. Just pick a retailer and start saving.
Check traffic and track local gas prices. With our "Commute" widget, you can check local traffic before traveling. Also, find the gas stations with the cheapest prices.
Volunteer. If your cause needs local help, click on "volunteer" at the bottom of the homepage to let us know.
This column was originally published on Dec. 21, 2011, one year after Lacey Patch launched.