Here's a brief user's guide on how we can make the most — together — of Novato.Patch.com.
It all starts by creating a login and password on the site. Look in the upper right corner of any page for the sign-in button. If you choose to create a login, you'll have all sorts of privileges on the site. Have a look below.
1. Comment on an Article
We subscribe to the idea that "news is a conversation." Much of our reporting will emanate from what readers tell us in e-mails, comments on our sites, and in conversations around town. Coverage of our town doesn't have to be a one-way street. Share your thoughts and reactions to our articles by posting a comment directly below each story.
2. Post an Event
Do you know about a fundraiser going on at one of our local schools? Or do volunteer on behalf a fair or festival, a nonprofit or a service organization? Is there a garage sale or graduation ceremony coming up? If it's not on our Patch calendar, it should be. Feel free to add events to our site at novato.patch.com/events/.
3. Post an Announcement
Post births, engagements and wedding and so much more can be posted by using Patch's announcements. Tell us who made the honor roll or share school awards, social notes and "thank you" shout-outs. If you're looking for volunteers or searching for your lost dog, we welcome you to call on your community for help. To add an announcement, scroll to the bottom of the main page to where it says "Contribute" or click on Announcements on the News drop-down menu at the top of the main page. Just remember, our Terms of Service say announcements should be for personal use and not for advertising.
4. Create a Local Voices Blog
So many nonprofits, civic groups and service organizations are struggling these days, and part of the reason is inconsistency in getting the good word out to the community. Patch sites allow anyone to create a Local Voices blog. Many blogs are soapboxes for people with strong opinions, but they can also be bullhorns about coming events and good news. Every blog that gets posted receives some front-page time on the Patch site and is featured on our daily e-newsletters, guaranteeing that thousands of dedicated readers will see them. What does it cost? Not a penny. Interested? Click here or look on the main Novato Patch page for the button that says "Start a blog."
4. Send a News Tip
At the bottom of the homepage, there's a link that says, "Send Us News Tips." Tell us about stories we should cover, tell me what's going on in your community. Your news tip will get emailed right to the site editor. You can also call it in to 415-897-9540.
6. Sign Up for Our E-Newsletters
The daily Novato newsletter brings you articles, blog posts and announcements that have been posted in the past 24 hours, so sign up to find out about news you might have missed. It is delivered to your e-mail address every morning. You can also sign up for the weekly newsletter, which shows a subset of the content created and featured on our site over the past few days. It is delivered every Thursday at 10 a.m. Look for the Follow Us and Newsletter links in the right column of this and most every page. Both are free to sign up. You can do it right here.
7. Claim Your Directory Listing
We publish a comprehensive directory of businesses, parks, hospitals and schools. We go out of our way to make sure our information is up-to-date and accurate so the people who live here don't have to. We all know the frustration of searching out a dentist who is no longer there or going to the community pool only to find out it's closed due to budget cuts. We provide photos as well as detailed information such as products sold and hours of operation. To contact us about the listing for your business or organization, e-mail us at email@example.com. If you own or manage a business or organization in our directory, claim it at novato.patch.com/search/listings.
9. Upload Your Photos and Video
Upload videos of your school events, your little league game, your favorite restaurant — anything! Post photos from local festivals or send in a snapshot of your best holiday recipes. We invite you to share with the rest of the community the memories you've caught on camera. Just click here and start uploading.
10. Advertise With Us
For all advertising queries, contact Justin Medley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to check out novato.patch.com/advertise to get some of your basic questions answered first.
11. Social Media Engagement
You can "like" us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/novatopatch and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/novatopatch. Immerse yourself in our content and actively contribute and engage via social media. Let's start a conversation.
12. Send a Letter to the Editor
Patch would like to invite any member of the Novato community to submit a letter to the editor about local issues. Express your thoughts or concerns about anything that might be stirring up conversation around town, and we'll post it. There aren't any length restritions, but we recommend making your point in 400 words or less (you can always submit another one). E-mail it to editor Brent Ainsworth at email@example.com. You can also send a video editorial as long it's not longer than two minutes.