The Kentucky New Era Selects ThePort for Social Media Initiative

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Solution Creates a Hyper-Local Online Community for Small Town Newspaper Audience.

The staff at The Kentucky New Era recognized these trends and wanted to integrate social networking features with an excellent hyper-local content offering. By using interactive tools such as blogs and photo-sharing, the paper is giving readers a more active voice in their community and in how they receive news.

Leading social media solutions provider ThePort Network (ThePort™) today announced that The Kentucky New Era, the longest-standing newspaper in Hopkinsville, Ky., has used ThePort Social Media Suite to transform its static website into a dynamic portal and online community that lets readers interact and contribute content.

ThePort Social Media Suite offers the first platform that enables rapid deployment and management of branded Web 2.0 online communities. Publishers, sports and entertainment brands, and others are relying on ThePort to enhance their websites with social media capabilities that include personalized news feeds, blogging, photo and video-sharing, and more.

"We needed a cost-effective hosted solution that would allow us to more fully engage our web readers, capture the value and momentum of online communities and harness the power of user contributed content," said Taylor Hayes, publisher of The Kentucky New Era.

The paper has maintained a web presence for several years at http://www.kentuckynewera.com, a site that reproduced copy from the print edition and was received well, yet offered little new content. The new social media features were integrated to attract new readers, encourage repeat visits and facilitate online interactive communication in the Hopkinsville community.

"Rising online news consumption and reader gravitation toward social networking web sites present newspaper publishers with online properties a tremendous opportunity," said ThePort CEO and Co-Founder Bob Cramer. "The staff at The Kentucky New Era recognized these trends and wanted to integrate social networking features with an excellent hyper-local content offering. By using interactive tools such as blogs and photo-sharing, the paper is giving readers a more active voice in their community and in how they receive news."

This interaction has a positive effect on the publication's bottom line as well. With readers spending more time on the site due to the new interactive capabilities, The Kentucky New Era can offer advertisers greater visibility with potential customers, in turn justifying higher advertising rates and opening new revenue streams.

"As standalone features, blogs, photo-sharing and even video-sharing aren't new to the world of newspaper web sites," explained Cramer. "However, ThePort is the first comprehensive offering of all these features on one platform with central web-based management and reporting."

ThePort Social Media Suite offers rapid deployment for new websites, as well as seamless integration with existing sites. Private-label communities can be operational in just days.

About The Kentucky New Era
The Kentucky New Era (established in 1869) takes pride in being the longest operating business in Hopkinsville, Ky. Outlasting more than 40 competitors, it is also the only newspaper published in the area since 1813 that is still operating today. For more information, visit http://www.kentuckynewera.com.

About ThePort Network
ThePort™ Network, Inc. provides an integrated suite of enterprise-class social media solutions that enables companies to build and manage branded Web 2.0 communities that facilitate high-engagement marketing, foster increased member-to-member interaction and create additional revenue opportunities. ThePort Social Media Suite is offered as a service over the Internet and is comprised of ThePort Start Page, ThePort Social Network and ThePort Rich Media Blog Publisher. Based in Atlanta, Ga., the company's customers include Belo Corp. [NYSE:BLC], Cox Newspapers, The Atlanta Falcons, RCI and TradeKing. For more information, visit http://www.theport.com.

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Kathy Cabrera

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