Thurston County-Focused Innovation

Olympia News
Photo By: Stacee Sledge

Olympia, WA – August 16, 2011 – In 2005, Dan Jones saw an opportunity for a better way to share Thurston County information.

More and more area residents were turning elsewhere for their state, national, and world news, which also meant advertising dollars were being spent outside the community. Why not create a website focused solely on local information that brought together community members and area businesses?

After five years of development and with a strong business model in place, Thurston Talk hit the web in January 2011, bringing a brand new information source to Thurston County.

Thurston Talk is now the destination site for all things Thurston County, touching on all the area’s happenings, from events and activities to business information and profiles of remarkable residents.

The site has grown rapidly – viewership has consistently jumped 20 percent or more every month – and Thurston Talk is now a dominant voice for local businesses, event announcements, news, people profiles, and sports features.

In response to this explosive growth and out-of-the-gate success, Thurston Talk has launched a new website design, with an even stronger focus on community, business, and collaboration.

“You have to create something that appeals to a lot of individuals,” says Jones, when asked how the venture took off so quickly.

“We have two customers: community members who read the site and the paying customers, or businesses, who advertise with Thurston Talk. You have to design something that’s good for both.”

For businesses, Thurston Talk offers an integrated branding platform that goes beyond traditional media, bringing together marketing, advertising, and public relations.

Making it all happen is Thurston Talk’s team of 20 salespeople, writers, and business managers who are dedicated to making the site informative and entertaining.

“We have a really good team built up that’s doing great things,” says Jones. “It’s been so fantastic to find individuals who are amazingly talented.”

Jones is even more thrilled that Thurston Talk provides an opportunity for readers to learn more about their community.

“I’m excited that Thurston Talk has been able to bring to the forefront how great the Thurston County area is and all the great activities – from the sports to the nonprofit events – plus how much value the local businesses add to the community.”

ThurstonTalk BuildingLooking to the future, Jones has several ideas percolating, including long-term plans to start up additional Talk sites focused on other geographic areas.

As for this latest version of Thurston Talk: “We want to work with other organizations in the community as much as possible, like we’re already doing by content sharing with KOMO News,” says Jones.

“And if community members have article ideas, by all means we want them to submit them to us. There’s a link on the website to get in touch.”

A mobile iPhone app is in the works for first quarter 2012, which will make it even simpler for community members and businesses to post information directly to Thurston Talk.

A business listing product is also rolling out soon, which is even more robust and interactive for both businesses and community members.

Simply put? Thurston Talk promotes the cool things going on in the community, while bringing businesses and customers together. If it’s happening in Thurston County, you’ll hear about it on Thurston Talk.

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