Grays Harbor Scanner is going to be taking advantage of a new tool that Facebook is releasing for all fan type pages. The tool is meant to allow pages to receive funding help for all the hard work they put into their creative pages and work.
More below about this from the head admin of Grays Harbor Scanner.
In the beginning, Grays Harbor Scanner was only meant to be a companion Facebook page to an online scanner hosted by myself, the head admin for GHS. The page took off like no other and became a template for many other pages similar across the country. With now reaching over 100,000 people a week and a strong following of 35,000 page fans running the page can be a full-time job.
Myself as head admin I spend about 50 hours a week running the page posting alerts, writing up news articles, answering questions to the page, moderating comments, running the online feed servers, keeping the scanners up to date and so forth. There is also time considered in where volunteer page admins (soon to be renamed staff) have to stay up late updating posts of events, getting up early and also missing family time to support what has become a community essential. With all that goes into running our page, it takes about 80 plus hours combined (now that is a lot for a free service).
One of my goals over the years has been to find a way to reward the page staff and to pay for the things that I have to pay out of pocket to support what we do. This includes web server for the websites, scanners for volunteer admins, scanners for the online service, computers and so much more. The cost ads up and the low-cost advertising does not make much of a dent in this.
Thought to ponder .... Not many do what we do for free anywhere. News media outlets charge big bucks for advertising and then they, in turn, pay for their employees to work for them. TV News stations, Rado stations, Website blogs such as Grays Harbor Talk ... they all pay people to do what they do in turn getting paid in one format or another. They do not do this for free and with this new feature, we are not asking the world, just small support.
Recently Facebook started testing a new tool for pages like ours, to be able to create posts that target supporters for a small fee to help offset costs, as well as provide us with a possible future where we can increase the service we provide and do a lot more. Before getting too upset there is still free stuff vs supporters stuff planned.
The initial plan that we are looking at will be to set what we will offer what non-subscriber will get for posts and then what the supporters posts will be. Here is the differences that we plan, but can change depending on how Facebook changes.
Non-Subscriber - Press Releases from agencies, updates from agencies and information sent out by agencies will remain open posts. Picture and community announcement threads will remain as open posts, Construction alerts will remain as open posts. ** It is our plan that supporter posts will eventually become visible to non-subscribers as well and we are working out the details of when we would make those visible as open posts.
Supporter Based Posts - These are posts that we provide that take the most time for us to do due to monitoring of radio traffic. Note, people are not supporting us with the fee for the information from radio and other outlets but the time and work that they put into getting the information out.
Our primary admins (such as our head admin) will be the ones doing the #Supporters posts, with our additional admins still posting all and any items for our non-page supporters,
Traffic Accident Alerts, Bridge Openings (Monday - Friday 8 AM to 5 PM not including maintenance openings when no notice is given). Other GHS type alerts such as robberies, shootings, Fights in local areas, storm threads that are ongoing discussions and updates and much more.
HUGE IMPACTING storms and events will still remain as open posts such as Tsunami Warnings, Earthquakes, Major storms etc...
Grays Harbor Scanner provides a huge service to the community and that is not going to change. But as all things in this world there comes a time when we need to fund the operations that we do without having to pay out of our own pocket. We expect to keep the support cost low, and a lot of it will depend on service fees that we are charged, taxes and so forth.
This program will give those who really do support what we do an option to do so. This has been asked for many times. While we get it that some will be upset with this, we do not expect everyone to be happy about the change. But stop, and think... If you are not interested in supporting us then you can always buy a scanner and sit and listen to it 24/7 to do what we do yourself or you can sacrafice one coffee a month to say thanks.