“Wait—HousingWire looks totally different.”
I’m pretty sure that’s going to be the least of the various reactions you’ll have in seeing our revamped emails, new website, and completely revitalized approach to delivering editorial and content. I figured we’d start 2010 off with a bang, and roll out the next generation of HousingWire.com—and HousingWire Magazine, too.
We spent the last six months of 2009 listening intently to feedback from our readers, and what they wanted to see from us. As a result, there is plenty that’s changed, but I want to highlight the three biggest changes we’ve put into place this year:
1. Content aggregation.
We’ve always been known for innovative and original content, and that’s not going to change. But I’ve long realized that no matter how hard we work to deliver content, there are other news outlets out there—so HW’s home page now offers real-time content aggregation, featuring many top news outlets from within and outside of the mortgage industry (yes, even our competitors). Just look for “Around the Web.”
I’ve always found it somewhat ironic that most of the trade media we compete with tend to act as if their competition doesn’t exist, failing to cite coverage at a competitor, stealing stories—all for a misguided fear that recognizing someone else’s work might cost them. Our commitment to putting readers' needs first means that we’re taking a very different course, by recognizing great work wherever it is and whoever writes it.
Even blog sites we think offer a viewpoint of interest will appear in our aggregation service—which, by the way, is NOT automated. Our experienced editors pick the best of the best from the web throughout the day. The idea here is to provide you with a legitimate one-stop shop for industry information, wherever it comes from.
2. Twice-daily emails.
We now offer completely free email updates twice each day. Our HW Morning Edition will continue to cover the breaking news that you’ve come to expect from HW to start each day, to help keep you ahead of the curve on industry trends.
With our new HW Afternoon Edition, we’re offering exclusive commentary on the market, as well as a roundup of relevant news and opinion appearing across the web. The HW Afternoon Edition means you don’t have to wait until the next morning to know what’s happening today.
3. Renewed focus on opinions and analysis.
The new HW online features a different columnist each day of the week—including yours truly, who is returning to regular writing again in 2010 with a column I’ve taken to calling “Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics.” (I have to tell you that I was quite humbled by reader feedback, which overwhelmingly suggested that readers wanted to read more of my own thoughts about the market.)
More than anything, what readers told us was that they wanted to see more of the analysis and edgy material that made HW what it is today. So we’ve committed to delivering it in 2010, with a new online department called “Voices” that features the insight of various industry columnists throughout the week. The new focus on commentary at HW is so important, in fact, that you can find “Voices” right next to “Home” on our navigation bar for the entire site.
There are more changes already in the works: many of you have wanted to see our magazine content available online, and that’s in the works, too, among many other efforts already underway.
Obviously, we’ve invested some unbelievably significant time in re-thinking HousingWire for 2010 -- changes that go well beyond a neat-looking new design, although we've worked on that as well. I want to thank everyone at HousingWire and The LTV Group for their incredible dedication and effort to make this a reality, on deadline no less.
So, if HousingWire looks radically different to start 2010, well, it’s because it actually is radically different. And it's my hope that we always will be.
Paul Jackson is the publisher of HousingWire.com and HousingWire Magazine.