Newsmedia has evolved. The traditional newspaper is no longer a sustainable model. Local papers are being consolidated by large companies that are not interested in local issues. More people now receive their news from the internet than radio and newspapers combined. Joplin deserves a free, open, unobtrusive, and customizable platform to publish and discover local news and opinions.
JoplinBlog is the answer to a failed "traditional" newspaper model in Joplin where a single entity has had a monopoly for nearly forty years but has failed to innovate and provide appropriate, objective, and interesting content. This new model is based, in part, on a study by Maryanne Englebrecht at Fordham University entitled Neighborhood Blogging: How Localized Websites are Redefining Community which examines the popularity of localized community "hubs" and the effectiveness of such sites at bringing community together and bridging the digital-to-physical divide.
The site is in BETA and will officially launch May 1st. Many features are not yet available and the look & feel of the site will still need refined.