72 Hours Later


What a ride the last few days have been. It’s been about 72 hours since I launched and I can say I have learned a lot, and not just technical but about Word of Mouth, Citizen Journalism, our local community, and the generosity and communal nature of Iowans. So almost 72 hours, 3 servers, and 40,000 hits later let me recap the story.

First off, I have been asked on several occasions why I built this website. My first response was, “Because I can”. This was not meant to be arrogant or egotistical – just straightforward. I knew the mainstream media would not embrace the social aspect (at least not til I showed them how). I know the technology like the back of my hand (more on that later). And I knew I could get the word out – through the local twitter community.

My second response is that social media and citizen journalism are, by nature, a de-centralized system. There’s conversation going on in Twitter and on blogs. There are photos being uploaded to Flickr and forwarded via email. There are videos popping up on YouTube. Unless you have your ear to the social ground this great content may have passed you up. Enter The goal was to centralize this ecosystem of user generated content into an organized flow for the mainstream public to follow.

Did you just do it to make money off ads and generate traffic from a disaster? This is a valid question, since I do run ads on the website. The answer, wholeheartedly, is no. I did this for my home state of Iowa and everyone who is looking for information on a natural disaster. I did it for social media and citizen journalism. I did it for you. The money from ads (which is approaching $5) will go to pay for the website, which thus far has cost about 50x the ad revenue to scale the hosting, database, and bandwidth. This was all gladly paid for by 48Web. Any money made on advertisements above and behind the hosting costs will go to charity.

I want to thank the local Des Moines twitter community. I just built a website – you created the value. I also want to thank everyone for their nice comments and support – that makes it all worth doing.

— Feedback —

WNYC Interview on The Takeaway (MP3 shortly)
Nathan Wright on Citizen Journalism
Todd Mundt on HyperLocal Reporting
Jake Bouma
Rush Nigut
Troy Rutter
Nathanial Payne
I also want to thank the Des Moines Register for contributing to the site. Their cooperation was much needed and much appreciated.

And more coming in…

Iowa Floods – Citizen Journalism

After a a few hours of work today we launched a hyper-local citizen journalism site to help cover the Iowa Floods of 2008. You can check it out here.

If you would like to contribute, please share your story with us here.

Please let us know if you would like to be a volunteer blogger for the site. If you are interested, you may signup here.

The website was built with WordPress in a matter of hours. See, we do know what we are doing 🙂

New Website

Welcome to the new home for 48Web, LLC… This site has been up for some time … sitting here as a placeholder. This evening I finally got it configured and setup how I like it – thank you WordPress.

We are a web strategy, consulting, and development shop in Des Moines, IA. Our services include planning overall web strategies with a goal-oriented approach. An effective web strategy involves your driving traffic to your website while analyzing and optimizing the results. We can help you get there with low-cost tools and software and a little education along the way. These tools include WordPress, ProjectPier, wikis, Google Webmaster tools and analytics

We are also actively working on many web projects. We have built hyper-local online communities such as Iowa Blogs, Central Iowa Bloggers, #dmtweetup, and Iowa Newz. More on these later.

And last we are actively working on product development … our first product is called Fresh Feeds. Fresh Feeds is what we call an “Awareness Engine” – others in the industry call it Online Reputation Management.

The goal of this website and blog is to keep you posted on all the cool stuff we are working on as well as passing a little knowledge off along the way.

I am Andy Brudtkuhl, and I am the Chief Web Guru for 48Web. You can catch me regularly blogging at GetANewBrowser, a technology and business blog I started and have written on for a few years. If you still don’t believe we know what we are talking about you can check out my resume and what I am reading at my personal website.

Feel free to contact me with any inquiries or questions.