Blogs > The Reporter's Community Notebook

A notebook of local information for and written by the community.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Montgomery and Bucks locals tell experiences of Friday storm

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A visual look at Obama, Boehner addresses

Last night, we had a live video feed of the President's address about the looming debt crisis. Following both the president's and House Speaker John Boehner's rebuttal, Reporter staff were able to provide a different side of the addresses -- a visual look at the text of each address.

We visited, a free online tool that allows users to paste text from a document or speech to generate a "word cloud." Word clouds are a visual image that displays how often words are used in the text you provide.

In this instance, we used the text of President Barack Obama's address.
President Obama's address

The words that Obama used most often appear larger in the word cloud while words used less often appear smaller.Read full speech at

The clouds can say a lot about a speech or text. When "America" is a larger word, one can assume that this was a patriotic speech depending on the context and speaker.

Speaker Boehner's Rebuttal

Read full rebuttal at

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Monday, July 18, 2011

This week's #RLBchat is Wed. at 1 p.m., Topic: Searchability

After hearing several of you suggesting that we move #RLBchat -The Reporter's Local Business Chat - to a day and time other than Thursday at noon, we have decided to move the chat to Wednesday at 1 p.m.

This week, Founder of Catalyst Marketers and blogger at Ryan Taft will host the chat and the topic is "how to make your business more searchable."

Ryan Taft Bio
My name is Ryan Taft. I’m a twenty-something entrepreneur who grew up in Montgomery & Bucks Counties. I graduated from Central Bucks East high school before attending and graduating from Bentley University located just outside Boston, MA. I spent a year working and living in Boston after graduating from college. Like Andrew, I had a good job, but something was missing. I decided to move back to the Montgomery County area so that I could be closer to family and friends. I’ve been here ever since. --- Read more at Montco Happening About page.

We'll discuss which keywords describe your business and whether or not you are integrating those words to your website, which social media tools will help potential customers/clients and Google find you on the Web.

Not sure what these topics or SEO (Search Engine Optimization) means? We'll go over that too.
We'll see you this Wednesday at 1 p.m. but in the meantime, here are some helpful warm-up videos to next week's chat.

Understanding how search engines work in SEO

What is Google Places?

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The Reporter's Sunday sports section coming in September

This September, The Reporter is set to launch a new Sunday sports section. But we want your input so that we can produce a section that will be a "must have" for you.

It will include plenty of local sports like high school football, and college and professional sports. But what else should we include?

Join us here at at 10 a.m. Wednesday for a live chat about this new section

Here are some of the ideas we will be talking about:
- Fan submitted photos and video to include in our coverage.
- Athlete spotlights and other feature story ideas.

Tell us your thoughts! Would you like to add a discussion topic? Leave a comment below and check back for updates regarding the chat.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Locals react to Netflix and they aren't happy

Monday, July 11, 2011

This week's #RLBchat topic is "branding," also it's "bring a biz week"

This week's Reporter Local Business Chat - #RLBchat - is "bring a biz week." We're asking attendees to bring at least one business owner/enthusiast to the chat in an effort to bring more ideas and perspective to the conversation.

This week's topic will be on "branding." How are you marketing your brand? Is your brand pushing customers/clients to your business?

If not, we'll talk about ways to improve your brand to better your business with a focus, once again, on use of digital tools and customer engagement.

The chat starts this Thursday at noon. See you there!

Already know who you're bringing to this week's #RLBchat? Leave a comment and let us know who will be attending.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Reporter is on Google+, how to add us to your Circles

First Twitter, then Facebook and now Google+. Most readers will note that we have adapted well to social media. Our newsroom is focused on alerting our community to the latest breaking news and events using our social media outlets. Now we've added another outlet.

Here's a video introduction to Google+

How to create a Circle and add The Reporter
Twitter allows users to create "lists" which can be used to categorize followers. Google+ has something similar titled "Circles."

To optimize the way you follow The Reporter on Google+ (and really any news publication) we recommend that you create a "News" circle and add us to that circle along with any other news sources on Plus.

Google+ allows users to choose which streams you would like to follow. On Facebook, most users follow a general news feed of their friends and followers. On Google+ you can select to watch your "Friends Circle" feed or only your "Co-workers Circle" feed.

Or feel free to just add us to your Friends Circle. :)

Here is a quick video introduction to Circles

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Welcome new blogs - Nittany Lions Den, South Sudan Blogger in Lansdale

We added two exiting new blogs to our blog page earlier this week. Each is authored by a local member of the community and updated regularly.

Nittany Linons Den readers might remember Philly sports blogger Kevin McGuire of Second String Blog which shut down earlier this summer. Now McGuire's back and blogging Penn State football news and more. Nittany Lions Den can be found in the sports section of our blog page. Follow on Twitter - @TheNLD - and Facebook.

South Sudan Blogger in Lansdale
We recently wrote about Benjamin Abeny Gai, a Lansdale resident from southern Sudan, and his thoughts on South Sudan becoming a country this Saturday, July 9.

Gai, who attended The Reporter's seminar on increasing blog readership, has decided to start his own blog centered on Sudanese and South Sudanese news and his experiences while living in Lansdale.

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lansdale local follows Atlantis launch from Kennedy Space Center

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#RLBchat replay of discussion

Thanks to everyone who took part in The Reporter's Local Business Chat!
This week we discussed how local/small businesses can use social media to engage clients/customers. We also moved into QRcode use and blogging use.

Below is the replay of the chat but we would really like to hear what next week's topic should be. Leave us a comment and offer your ideas. See you next week!

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Join us Thursday at noon for The Reporter's Local Business Chat

Attention local business owners! Join us for The Reporter’s Local Business Chat this Thursday at noon to converse and learn about how other businesses in our area are using social media, websites and other forms of digital business innovation in a conversational setting on Twitter.

How does #RLBchat works?

The Reporter Local Business Chat will follow a few simple rules:

- In order to take part in the chat,  add #RLBchat to the end of each of your tweets.

- Five questions will be asked, one every 10 minutes. The questions will be based around how local businesses are using digital tools like Twitter, Facebook, blogging services, etc., to increase business.

- Feel free to tweet in as much as you would like but please be respectful to others and try not to overwhelm the Twitter feed by tweeting too much. Of course, please do not use inappropriate language.

For more information, contact assistant online editor Andy Stettler at

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Welcome to The Reporter's Innovation Blog

Over the past few months, The Reporter has been experimenting with new ways to cover the news in our community. This has evolved into readers taking a greater part in the news gathering process and in some cases taking over the process. We would like to show that off here.

Welcome to The Reporter's Innovation Blog. 

Here, we will post interesting items that the community has posted to social media outlets, blogs and more including how the community and our newsroom covered the winter snow storms using the #BucksMontSnow hashtag on Twitter.

We'll also post items similar to how The Reporter crowdsourced the communities reactions when West Borough Baptist announced that they would be picketing a local funeral.

This is only the beginning of our Innovation Blog. As we (The Reporter, the community and the Community Media Lab) develop new ways to cover the news, this blog will develop too. 

Have something that could be posted here?  Leave a comment or email us at

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