The launch of a new electronic newspaper for Guthrie County was announced in December 2000 by Scott Gonzales, publisher of the Guthrie Center Times, Guthrie County Vedette, Panora, and the Lake Panorama Times.
Internet users now can find local news, sports, and business information at www.guthrian.com.
The website was named after the Guthrian, a weekly newspaper which was an official newspaper for Guthrie County for more than 100 years before it ceased publication in 1986.
"The Guthrian was an information provider that served all of Guthrie County and guthrian.com will do the same," Gonzales explained.
The electronic website actually appeared in November 2000. "We ran some teaser ads about guthrian.com, but we weren't ready to start steering traffic there until we were more comfortable with our ability to manage the site," Gonzales stated.
"We planned for some time to have a web site. It was just a matter of finding the right format for the news, for advertisers, and readers, and a good fit for the abilities of our staff. We found that format by affiliating with the Zwire (zee-wire) network which has contracted with the Iowa Newspaper Association to help community newspapers take advantage of technological advancements," Gonzales added.
guthrian.com is the 40th newspaper website in Iowa. Nationwide, more than 1,600 newspapers are affiliated with Zwire.
One of the most attractive features about the Zwire affiliation is that it provides an interactive website for the community. The interaction includes a reader poll, opportunities for viewers to post opinions on stories or e-mail them to friends, a community calendar which can be accessed by the public, and 50 community website pages which are available to churches and non-profit organizations. Information on how to access these community sites is available on guthrian.com or by contacting the newspaper office.
Classified advertisers receive more bang for their buck as all classifieds which run in the newspaper automatically go on the Internet.
guthrian.com also features weather conditions, updated every 30 minutes, and a 5-day outlook.
A core group of advertisers joined in the launch of the electronic newspaper. They were Brubaker Computer Systems, Independent Life Style Association, Larry Brandt - Life Investors, The New Homestead, Guthrie County State Bank, Dowd Healthmart Drug, All-Star Lanes, and Country Realty.
They took advantage of the opportunity to have banner ads, electronic brochures, and display ads Internet users can search and view. Some of the ads have links to the advertisers' own web sites.
Businesses or individuals interested in Internet advertising opportunities are urged to call (641) 747-3511 to learn more or for a demonstration.
"Our goal is to make guthrian.com the home site of all area residents and former residents, too. We are committed to making this site better day by day and week by week. To do so, we need input from all area residents and we welcome their comments and suggestions," Gonzales said.