A new community website where residents, newcomers and visitors to Kingsport can get the information they need about the city is debuting this month.
Kingsport.com will combine free text messaging alerts, a smartphone mobile application, social connections and eventually video into a single online reference point for anyone looking for information about Kingsport.
The website was created by Times Digital Group, a division of the Kingsport Times-News.
“Kingsport.com is a way point to all the other web destinations in the city,” said David Cate, director of innovation at Times Digital Group. “The partners in this project have been so supportive that, when launched, this will represent one of the most unique communication and promotional tools by any city in the state of Tennessee.”
Times Digital Group is working with the city of Kingsport, the Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce, Kingsport City Schools, the Kingsport Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Kingsport Times-News, and Move to Kingsport on the project.
“The idea behind Kingsport.com is to create one destination with all these partnership organizations sharing assets and resources to create a window, a destination point where people can find all the city’s assets online,” Cate said.
Ultimately, those involved hope the new website will encourage more people to move to the Model City.
“It’s all about maximizing your search engines and directing folks to the most meaningful experience, and so, by coordinating together, we can better showcase our community,” said Jeff Fleming, assistant city manager of development.
The Kingsport Times-News acquired the Kingsport.com domain in the late 1990s, but not much has been done with it until now. Last year, Times Digital Group began thinking of ways to use the domain to create a website that didn’t compete with other community sites, such as the city’s or chamber of commerce websites.
“We wanted to create a portal that would benefit us all,” Cate said.
And Kingsport.com is a simple domain that online visitors may naturally use to find information on the city, he said.
Kingsport Chamber CEO Miles Burdine said he knows of numerous examples of people who have discovered Kingsport online and who’ve actually relocated here. He said he recently met one newcomer to the city and asked him how he likes it here. “He said ‘I’m not from Kingsport, but I got here just as fast as I could.’ There are so many positive things that are going on in our city and Kingsport.com offers us a way to quickly spread the word to those already here and those considering moving here,” Burdine said.
The website is scheduled to launch in early January but visitors can sign up now for the free text messaging service, which allows you to subscribe to text alerts from a variety of categories, including local news, weather alerts from 10 surrounding counties, traffic updates, school closings, chamber news and events, business news, tourism happenings, and upcoming community activities.
The text service is available to more than 170 different phone carriers.
The first 2,000 people to sign up for the text alerts will be entered into a drawing for an iPad giveaway. The contest, sponsored by Times Digital Group, concludes Jan. 31.
The new website launch in January will feature a smartphone mobile application that will allow users to interact with other online destinations and connect with the city’s social network via Facebook and Twitter.
More features including video will be added in the future, and Fleming said the partners eventually hope to grow the system to include other community organizations.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg, “ Fleming said. “The Times-News has had the Kingsport.com domain for several years, and we’re very grateful for the opportunity to work together to use that very simple address that folks can remember and check out.”
To sign up now for the free text messaging alert system, go to Kingsport.com.comments powered by Disqus