By: Mike Rhodes, Publisher and Managing Editor, MuncieJournal.com—
Muncie, IN—It’s official. Today is Muncie Journal’s 3rd birthday. Or anniversary. Wow. Where did the time go? (That can be answered by the photos that appear at the bottom of this story.)
Three years ago today, I got up at 4:30 am, and with a queasy, nauseous feeling in my gut, took a deep breath and approached my computer. Specifically, my computer’s mouse. I stared at that mouse for a while, then slowly…ever so slowly… put my jittery index finger on it, said a prayer, and then…
2 seconds later, Muncie Journal was live. “Wow,” I thought. “Take a look at that! It works! It’s up!”
So on July 1, 2015, Woof Boom Radio and our founding partners launched MuncieJournal.com.
We are very grateful to our original founding partners:
The Muncie Auto Group
First Merchants Bank
The George and Frances Ball Foundation in collaboration with:
The Muncie-Delaware County Economic Development Alliance
IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital
We are also very grateful for our sustaining sponsors since launch: Muncie Downtown Development Partnership, Beasley & Gilkison Attorneys at Law, The Innovation Connector, The Horizon Convention Center, MITS and Clean Cut Lawn & Landscape.
On the first day of our launch, it was exhilarating to watch the initial views rack up. The views dribbled in—first 1 view, then 25, then 234, then 700+. Facebook was humming with comments about it. Comments like, “Hey, did you see that new online newspaper thingie Muncie Journal? Good news is what Muncie needs!” And, “Kudos to all the folks behind this. Looking forward to all the good news.”
It was a memorable day.
The Muncie Journal’s mission has always been to include the good things that are happening with businesses and non-profits within Delaware County. We have always primarily focused on three areas: (1) Education (2) Economic Development (3) Quality of Life in Muncie and Delaware County. The key phrase is “Muncie and Delaware County.”
Even though we only publish articles that are Muncie and Delaware County related, I am continually amazed at how far our reach is. Our top cities with the most viewing activity include: Muncie, Indianapolis, Fishers, Carmel, Chicago, Anderson, Yorktown, Louisville, Fort Wayne, and NYC among others.
You never know where MJ viewers will come from.
One day I was asked by a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, CA to post a story about his new “Get a nose job over lunch” initiative.
Companies outside our county such as: The Dayton School of Law, GEEmap, College Goal Sunday, Purdue University Board of Trustees, Amplified Film, Logansport Brewing Club, Gerry Dick & Inside Indiana Business, Racer Trust, CPA Society, Lions International, 1 Million Cups, American Red Cross, Second Helpings, Tee Talent, Inc., JCPenney News, and many, many others, too numerous to count, have all shared Tweets, links or Facebook posts of MJ articles.
Early last year, I remember getting a phone call out-of-the-blue from a woman executive in Florida. She asked, “Are you with the Muncie Journal?” I said, “Yes.” She went on to absolutely “fill a book” with positive remarks about Muncie Journal.com. She said she had never seen anything like it and that her company was very community-minded. She said the MJ site was very helpful to her. Why? Her company was investigating opening a facility in Muncie. She was doing research on the community and found online articles from Muncie Journal. I’ll never forget that phone call. The company DID move here and brought a significant number of jobs for local residents.
In 2016, I remember running a story about Fresh Thyme Market coming to Muncie. That story took off like a rocket and is still the most viewed story we’ve ever published. By far. Our article about the new Pete’s Bar & Grill in Albany had over 1,200 social media shares in just 24 hours. There have been many other articles with special memories for me—simply too many to mention.
Even though I have lived in Muncie since I graduated from Ball State University with a degree in Journalism, I have learned SO much about our community through my Muncie Journal work. Our local foundations like the Ball Brothers Foundation, Community Foundation and others pump millions of dollars into our community every year and also support our local high school seniors with scholarships. I knew of these organizations, of course, but I did NOT realize the depth and breadth of their impact on Muncie and Delaware County.
Muncie is a caring and giving, philanthropically oriented community. Take a look at some of the community fundraising goals this past year—United Way: Goal met and exceeded; Youth Opportunity Center: Goal met and exceeded; Boys & Girls Club of Muncie: Set fundraising record for “Great Futures” luncheon. The people of Muncie are just an amazing, kind, and dedicated group of people.
On this special day, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the hundreds of Muncie Journal contributors who truly make this site something special to visit on a daily basis. Without their content submissions and suggestions, we simply would not be successful. Last year, Muncie Journal grew 30% in viewership. And we continue to grow as more and more people find us and share our articles on social media and even on their own websites. Plus, our content is FREE to view by anyone.
I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to sincerely thank Woof Boom Radio, LLC owner, J Chapman and Director of Sales, Sue Tschuor, for allowing me the opportunity to try to make this product the best it can absolutely be. It has been a wonderful experience for me on a personal and professional level. Thanks go to my wife, Sharon, too. I’ve often arrived home to her cheerful, “I’m glad your home!” greeting, even as I all too frequently responded to her, “I need to get an MJ article up right now.”
Below you’ll find a brief auto-running slideshow of some of the pictures we’ve published since our launch on July 1, 2015 that have accompanied our articles. As you may know, from day one, we’ve required a photo to accompany every single story we run. No exceptions. And we’ve stuck with that requirement. I think the pictures provide a fast review of the many, many good things that happen in Muncie and Delaware County. (We’ve published thousands of articles. The pictures below represent a very brief representation of some of our content since launch.)
Thank you for being a MuncieJournal.com viewer, contributor, founding partner, advertiser, and hopefully, fan.
We appreciate you! Together, let’s keep shining a light!
The pictures/story headlines below are best viewed on a laptop, desktop PC or tablet.
Muncie Journal is a product of Woof Boom Radio, LLC