Our user-friendly interface dovetails nicely with the goals of Social Media Club of Des Moines We index extremely well in Google searches. Because we index high, Patch works like a "front door" to your site. When you're posting, be sure to link to your own sites and we'll use the powerful Patch platform to direct traffic to you.
Before we get started, please do this: Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for news and community updates throughout the day.
As you may be aware, Patch is not just a news site, but also a community conversation platform with many voices. Here are some ways you and others can take part:
The first thing you need to do is join as a user or sign into an existing account. If you've established an account on one Patch site, it will work universally on all. Just make sure you remember what email address and password you used to establish the account. Please feel free to shoot me an email with questions. How to do an Announcement Do you know about West Des Moines Patch's announcement section? I'd love for you to enter this information as an announcement on the site, which will go out in the morning newsletter to our subscribers. You can upload photos or a logo there, too. And it’s free. You can do that by going here and clicking on the green "Add An Announcement" button. It's pretty self-explanatory from there, but let me know if you have any issues. How to do Events Do you know about West Des Moines Patch's events section? I'd love for you to enter this information as an event in our calendar, which will go out in the morning newsletter to our subscribers. You can upload photos or a logo there, too. You can do that by going here clicking on the green "Add An Event" button. It's pretty self-explanatory from there, but let me know if you have any issues. It’s free, too. How to Upload Photos and Videos Please help us “populate” West Des Moines Patch’s Neighborhood Gallery by uploading your Pics & Clips. Again, free. Blog on Patch Add yours to our Local Voices section by going here. Patch blogs give anyone from gardening enthusiasts to community leaders to local business owners the power to easily share ideas, expertise, questions, or even just a cool photo with the whole neighborhood.
Chances are you know something, saw something or think something about this community that your neighbors would love to hear or see. And you don't have to write the phone book or know the difference between a dangling modifier and a split infinitive. Long, short or totally casual – it's all good. So speak up!
We ask that all our bloggers create a mini-bio and upload a photo to the site. You can create your profile page once you're logged in via the "edit profile" tab at the top of the page. Then you're ready to write your first post. Simply click "write a new blog post" and you can get started.
Politicians, You Can Blog, Too
Did you know that you can share political blogs Local Voices section, too Of special note to political campaigns, as the conventions and election draw near, why not ask local delegates and activists to blog about your candidate on Patch? In Iowa, we have Patches in West Des Moines, Waukee, Urbandale, Johnston, Ankeny, Ames, Cedar Falls, Iowa City and Marion.
Citizen Journalists: Off The Bus and Eyes and Ears
Another option for uploading photos and videos is Eyes & Ears, a part of Patch that is powered entirely by citizen journalists. These are your photos, your videos, your words, and your links. Have something you want your neighbors to see? Send it in by clicking on the “Submit” buttons. If your submission is interesting to political junkies, we’ll also put it on OffTheBus 2012. OffTheBus is a Citizen Journalism effort across Iowa. Patch and The Huffington Post want to take your photos, your videos, your words, and your links and share them across the state and across the country. Send them in by clicking on the “Submit” buttons to the left, or by submitting to your local “Eyes and Ears” site.
Why You Should Claim Your Business Listing
I also wanted to let you know about our Directory, which includes listings of businesses and other places in West Des Moines. Just type your business name into the search field. If you don’t find it, send me an email. Listings are free and we try to have one for every business in town.
If your business is located in one of our other Patch towns (Waukee, Urbandale, Johnston, Ankeny, Ames, Cedar Falls, Iowa City and Marion), find it in that Patch directory. If you don't find it, shoot an email to the editor and that person will connect you with the directory team. I encourage you to "claim" your listing. (There's a button on the right side of the page that lets you do that.) Again, it's free. Once you claim your listing, there are all sorts of cool things you can do, including add photos, respond directly to reader reviews — good or bad (studies show that people disregard a bad review much more often if the business owner has responded to it), and invite your customers and fans to "follow" your listing, which means they'll get an email any time you post an event or announcement on West Des Moines Patch. It's a really great way to reach more people in town.
Here is a list of ways you or anyone else can interact with the site
Also, you can download the mobile app for your iPhone or Android.
Beth Dalbey, Local Editor
West Des Moines Patch