The numbers
don’t lie

Originally intended as a loss-leading enterprise to introduce my advertising business to potential clients, The Longmont Compass rapidly became a passionate public service.

A website driven by social media traffic, it became the second-largest independent media outlet in Boulder County, Colorado within months. More importantly, for thousands of people it became the go-to medium for honest, intelligent, quirky reporting and reviews in my town.

Eventually the cost of running the site overwhelmed the volunteer resources I could devote to it – but not before it became the 12th Most Engaged Community Facebook Page in the USA.

Extraordinary engagement
How social media is supposed to work
Since the majority of people react strongly to emotions such as joy, anger, surprise and so on, The Longmont Compass was created with both factual reporting and incisive opinion as its mandates. The more our audience laughed (or raged), the more engaged with our content they became.
National coverage
How to crash your own server
Having helped the City of Longmont create its own public broadband utility, I was frequently able to write exclusive stories on a service that was recently recognized as the best in the country. One story on NextLight topped the Reddit charts, while another reached the #2 position.
Fearless and fair
Truth makes both friends and enemies
Sometimes my features upset members of the local community. When I published a recording of the business editor of the local newspaper lying about an interaction with an entrepreneur, it was considered somewhat scandalous. When I called out the economic development team for cronyism, it resulted in the City creating a small advantage for local bidders - but it didn't make me popular. Thousands of people loved The Compass, and judging by the volume of their voices, almost as many hated it. The truth sometimes hurts, and it's my belief that being honest is generally a better policy than sucking up to the in-crowd.
Contagious Content
Target Audience:65,000 adults 18-65
Number Of Followers:6,800
Facebook Impressions:Over 1.5 million per month
Website Traffic:30,000 uniques p/m
Threatened by gun-nut:Once
Community awards:One, for contributions to entrepreneurship