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August 4, 2016 - 3:20pm

A new deal of the day and a new commitment to the future from The Batavian

posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, news.

Late last year, I came to the conclusion that if I wanted to build The Batavian into the kind of local media company I always intended it to become, I needed transform it from just a news media company into a media technology company.

In the first few years of this century, I worked at a newspaper in California, the Ventura County Star, where I was a web application developer. In other words, I wrote code all day. The applications I built made millions of dollars for our parent company, E.W. Scripps, and won industry awards. The work set me on a path to executive jobs, which brought me to New York and eventually to Batavia, where Billie and I decided we wanted to stay when the last executive job went away.

Until last November, I hadn't written code in more than a decade. I always thought I should build an application to manage our deal of the day program better, but resisted doing it because of the amount of work involved.

For years, we've tried to do things we thought would help grow the business with vendors and/or open source software, but I was always a little dissatisfied with how things worked. That led me to the decision to go ahead and start writing code again.

I have big plans, big ambitions, but I started simply: Deal of the Day.

Today, we launch our new Deal of the Day web application. I'm pretty excited. It feels like a milestone to me because I believe the future of the media industry depends on companies being masters of their own technologies and data.

It's been slow going to get to this point. I've only been able to work in small increments, sometimes only 15 minutes in a day, or not at all on some days, because of all the other responsibilities that go with running The Batavian and the Wyoming County Free Press (and losing six weeks of work time because of eye surgery didn't help). Now I'll start taking those small increments of available time and work on these more ambitious projects.

Billie and I appreciate your loyal and enthusiastic support of The Batavian as we continue to work on this little experiment to rewrite the future of local news.

Below (or through this link) is our first new Deal of the Day post.

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