Change is a Good Thing – If It Doesn’t Kill Us

Flowers in the Courtyard, Knoxville, July 2013
Flowers in the Courtyard, Knoxville, July 2013

So, if you look closely, you may notice changes to the website today. The biggest change is that the name of the website is no longer “Stuck Inside of Knoxville.” I really liked the name but, after a while I had to admit that others interpreted it negatively. As I explained in my “About Me” section, it was a tip of the hat to my hero, Bob Dylan, and was in no manner intended to be pejorative. Still, enough people questioned it that I started to wonder if it was worth the trouble.

One thing that held me back is that the site now has over 20,000 page views each month and that adds up to a very large number of people who know the site and have accepted the name. Changing something that has become so branded is a bit scary due to the risk of losing readers. And I’ve worked really hard to accumulate the audience and I would say, “community” we’ve developed. There was also the factor of the work involved in making a change like this (two days of my life and some money, so far).

I considered a number of new names, but in the end I “stuck” (see it can mean “remained faithful” to the essence of the old name with “Inside of Knoxville.” I might have gone for the more simple “Inside Knoxville,” but Scripps thought of it first and purchased it. I doubt I could afford to buy it from them. I like the sub-heading for its direct meaning and maybe that you could interpret it in a more edgy way.

You’ll also notice the absence of Google Ads. My plan is to very shortly include local advertising and I’m working on that. If I can convince a few businesses to support the website while giving themselves some excellent exposure to thousands of people interested in downtown, it will easily replace the revenue from Google Ads and I can manage placement and content more carefully, meaning that ads shouldn’t appear which contradict my viewpoint and they will not interrupt the articles.

With these changes, I need some things from you, mostly in the form of feedback:

  • Do you see any problem with the new page? Items missing that you liked, something that doesn’t work or look right?
  • Does your subscription still work?
  • Does your RSS Feed still work?
  • Aren’t subscribed? Try it and let me know if there is a problem (I’m a little worried about this one)

Beyond that, I’m taking requests for ads. I’ve got room for as many as five on the front page and those will go for $200 each per month, which is $10 per 1000 views. I will place them on the right-hand side beginning at the top and working down. The subscription box, search box and other items will move down as ads are placed. I also intend to have an “Available Properties” page (a small sample is loaded) and a page for business ads which will likely be called “Downtown Deals,” and which will spotlight ads with discounts for readers. I think it could be a real destination for readers and profitable for businesses. Real Estate (like the samples linked above) and business ads off the front page will be $25 per month. (Maybe an ideal place for For Sale By Owner ads)

So, let me know what you think about the name, what you spot and certainly, let me know if you are interested in supporting this project with an ad placement. I’ll be watching my email. And, for some of you, I’ll be coming to ask you in person if I don’t hear from you first. You can leave site suggestions in comments or email me. For ads: