Business Insights and Strategies From the World of Journalism – A Conversation With John Lee of TAPinto Nutley

Business Insights and Strategies From the World of Journalism – A Conversation With John Lee of TAPinto Nutley

In this episode, John Lee of TAPinto Nutley shares industry and journalism secrets that we can apply to boost our own business and even our own personal brands.


In this episode, John Lee of TAPinto Nutley shares with us industry and journalism secrets that we can apply to boost our own business and even our own personal brands.

TAPinto is a community resource that provides residents with the latest in local news, events, and opinions. John Lee is a “connectrapreneur” bringing together small businesses and local organizations together with local media to amplify their voices, and often give them a voice. As John says, "Journalism principles are not just for journalists. They're also useful for all sorts of businesses.”

John has a great time with us as we ask him probing questions to uncover his “secrets,” learn the importance of using data to understand where to focus to grow, and so many other fun and useful bits of information that you can apply right away.

Listen along to this dynamic discussion full of fun facts and impactful insights. Next time you open your local news you’ll be wondering how your own reader engagement is driving the next article posted or the color of the hoodie in your local boutique!

#TAPinto #tapintonutley #journalism #businessgrowth #marketdata #storytelling #brandgrowth #consumerbehavior #localnews #consistency #dadjokes #personalproductivity #success #accountability #Communicate #habits #effectiveness #planning #PersonalDevelopment #fatherdaughter #podcast #easylisteningpodcast

Transcript

Welcome to morning coffee and mimosa. I'm Christina and I'm Joe. We are a father-daughter duo. We come here Sunday mornings, but you can come here anytime you please. We banter about life, about business and we do it over coffee and mimosa.

Good morning. Good morning. FAJ how are you? I'm doing well. Yes. And I am very, very, very excited this morning because if you've been listening with us listeners, it has been a fricking long time since we've had a guest. That's right. So you've been like, just worn out from constant, just us, just talking your ear off.

And today we are recording. From feels like our home away from home. If you've tuned into a previous episode, we are recording live from the Oakley kitchen and cocktails. Very good in Nutley, New Jersey, um, where we had Chris Rena on several months back who owns this lovely establishment mm-hmm but we are here for Sunday brunch.

And we are joined by a very special guest this morning. Yes. A friend of my dad's that he has, been sharing with me, the awesome support that, tap into Nutley has had for our podcast and just really fun human being, John Lee of tap into Nutley. 

I'm really excited to be. 

, so today listeners, John's gonna tell us a little bit about tap into and what that franchise is all about, and John had this idea to look at this from the standpoint of experience innovation and data mining, as it relates to what we see in the media and how that can relate to business I love this and I think we're gonna geek out this morning together. . 

I'm totally into geeking out. 

There you go. So, John, can you tell us a little bit about tap into, tap into Nutley? How you got a little bit about yourself? Just the floor is yours, sir. Oh, 

the floor is wine and I've got a great brunch in front of me.

so put food in front of John Lee and anything can happen. so, and it's true. But what's tap into is an, an interesting company that I never expected to be a part of. When I moved to New Jersey from San Diego, it's a franchised hyper local news organization, where there are currently about 90 tap into franchises.

Most of them are in, in New Jersey, couple in Florida, one in Pennsylvania, couple more in upstate new. and we're all locally owned by people in the community, cuz that's the best way to get your local news. The original company launched about 10 years ago and it just grew from there and franchise I've been a part of tap into now for about seven years.

We just launched our seventh year, just a few weeks ago and never expected it to last as long as it did and the need and the desire to, to have local news is just greater than I, and better than I, and most people would imagine. 

I actually started in print news 40 years ago. Um and we'll, we'll cut that out. Don't worry about it. No, I actually started in print 40 years ago. Um, but then went to the, the business side of, media and then was in the marketing side and then rode the.com wave. But it was always this passion for telling stories.

And that's what it really was being a recur telling stories. Cuz there's so many stories to tell all the time. And then the tap into opportunity presented to myself. And I said, what the heck? I'm not doing anything else. Let's do it. But it's this immediacy thing, having experience from television and other media that you don't have to tell the whole story.

Right? So for instance, there's a football game. We're at the game. We don't have time to write the two hours of what the play by play to get it out. So we've got the score. You've got the photo of the day. You get it out, put it online, have the link, the rest of the story. We'll follow in the morning. Click here, cuz you'll get it in your email in the morning.

Then we can go home. Take the. take out the dog for a walk and write the story with all the details. But we do the same thing with local meetings. You know, you don't need all the details of the budget meeting. It's like, Hey, in that meeting, they also approved the street fair or the carnival get that breaking news that people love, or there's no tax increase details to follow.

And then everybody loves that article. Oh, they love that one. and then, and then they always, that's not. It's like, no, your local taxes, aren't going up. It's the county taxes or the state it's the, the, the headline reads local read, but it's, it's that kind of thing makes it, you know, makes part of the fun thing, cuz let's get the big thing or the fun thing out there and then go into the detail, the detail details.

Yeah. 

So that's kind of like the storytelling and ability to do that is, is kind of what drew you in initially 

that. I saw the saw a lot of media as like there's the, always the same go-to stories that people had. And I look at it as this is a town, this small little town of Nutley as 30,000 people. And there are 30,000 stories to tell and sometimes it'll be somebody well known in town.

And sometimes it just happens to be some kid who sets up a lemonade stand to raise money for homeless birds that people abandoned during the pandemic. It's like, okay, you've got parakeet fundraiser. Let's do it. 

So we're talking a little bit about like the storytelling side of this, but. as you're looking at now. So like the things that are on the back end of this, right. So how do you make money as a tap into like, is it it's for profit?

I would guess. Yes. 

We're for profit. Um, the joke is blackmail photos. 

it's like, I mean, it's probably partially a joke's I'm just kidding 

some of the things that I know that can't go out there. It's very interesting. And I know which person running for. You know, this is New Jersey. So the idea of pineapple on pizza, it's, you know, that's, that's right up there with, you know, 

I know that's like SAC religious, but I love pineapple on pizza 

though.

But I say that in public, I do, I do know an elected person. Who's actually ordered pineapple on pizza. I won't release 

the name. Oh boy. We, we, we could seriously just end a career. Talk about cancellation that's it cancellation pineapple and pizza, New Jersey. But I do love pineapple and pizza. So outside of 

bribery, how do you make money?

so it's, you know, it's, it's having this local market that nobody has tapped into. Uh, it that's a big part of it because there's no other media that's every day as a media. So we've got. keep doing that thing that you pulled on the immediacy of the news. Just keep doing it. Eventually people will discover you this year's been the easiest year for selling, cuz people have actually come to us going, oh my gosh.

Every day, everybody quotes, tap into Nutley. Whether they either hate the idea that we did a story about. Somebody who punched a cop or they loved the story that we did. Hey, they found the lost dog because it was all over Tapley. People know they're, they're reading us. So they're, they're coming there and we for little tiny paper, we're halfway through the year and we had over a million page views.

Wow. Which is 

ridiculous. Yeah. And with a community of 30,000 people, that's significant. Yes. 

And of course, we've got all the people out there who saying I never read it cuz he's not a, he's not a local guy. He's from CA. and yet they'll quote the stories, even though they never officially read the paper.

It's okay. I accept that. 

It's it's but then again, it's not about you. It's about the stories and it's about the stories. It's about 

the stories, stories. So, you know, one of my favorite things is the Streisand effect. If you don't know what the Streisand effect go to the Google right now, Google go to the Google, go to the Google and Google strives and effect.

It is one of the best things for small business. Yeah, Google it. And you'll understand later on, after you tell the story, 

I'm gonna Google it right now. Cine is 

the 

queen of Googling is going to the Google going to the, no, I wanna, I 

want to, I know we're still on, you know, how you make money and, and, and all that.

But I want about the storytelling because, I'm a huge believer that every business has to have a story as a hook 

And, and you do that. You're a master at that. But do you agree with that? In 

other words? Yeah. I, I think, I think every business has to have a story.

You don't have to tell it all the time, but just, oh, here's a burger that doesn't work. No. Right. Why is that burger the best? Why is the experience of going to your restaurant or your bar, or even going into your boutique? Something that's great. Right. And that's gotta be conveyed all the time because you can buy a burger.

or a suit 

anywhere or, or get my news from anywhere or whatever. Right. But 

it's your story, right? And it's like, how do you, you gotta relate to your community. So the rule, well, and sometimes you gotta break the rules. The tap into rule is hyper local news, which would mean in my case, Nutley, New Jersey home of Martha.

Yeah go, Martha . Is this the home of 

Martha 

Stewart? Martha Stewart was born and raised here. Wow. 

And, and, you know, Annie Oakley, wasn't born and raised here, but 

that's ley was here and lived in Nutley, New Jersey. That's right. 

The rule is we're hyperlocal covertly, but I always have that weird California thing of, you know, the California's the center of the world. Accepted it is. 

We've been arguing. He's been saying west coast, west coast. We're we're here on the east coast, but I, it is, it is nice out, you know, west coast.

It's that, it's that line from that, um, that time Tom Sellek movie, Mr. Baseball, Japan takes the best of the world and makes it to her own. Well, California actually does that. You, New Jersey invented the film industry, California made it. Yeah, it goes back and forth. Whether it was Mercedes or Ford who created the car, California invented car culture.

Do you know why the food, 

the mu the, uh, film industry went to California? It's the sunlight. Yes, exactly. Cuz they could not record in the winter. It was Fort Lee. New Jersey was the big, was the birth of the film industry. But the winter. Or not 

condensed. Yeah. It's not. So it's all about the 

sunlight you could, there's a Snapp cap fact, right there.

There you go. There you go. So I love what you're saying about storytelling and, in my business, like business development or sales, you're trying to communicate a, you know, value proposition or, you know, Describe a solution to somebody. I have always been a huge proponent of the fact that you need to be able to tell a story and people can't connect with what you're, what you're suggesting if they can't visualize it.

So I loved what you said about you know, what experience, what do you want somebody to feel if they come in? And I think that's really cool that in a timely way, you're able to really give. To you know, people within the communities that you're supporting, give them a voice to say, this is what you will feel.

This is what, you know, the story that, you know, this place has so that they can kind of connect that and connect back to the community more than like just the, the headline and the story. It's got a personality, which makes a difference. Yeah. 

That's why people go to certain stores over and over again.

It's that whole experience. and it's, it's the levels of customer service. It's knowing what certain people want and expect. And it translates from both the new, you know, in the news case, it's, it's a little bit weird cuz people are like, how does that relate? But we're supposed to be hyper local, but I know that I'm defining local too is what matters to my readers.

So if there's an interesting story about a, a child with autism, who's done something incredible. We have a. Fairly large autism community in town and reading about a kid, whether he's here in town or across the state, that's really of interest to those parents and it's inspiring to them. So I it's a lot of it's knowing who your audience is.

So that's 

probably a good segue to how do you know. What your audience is and how so? How do you anticipate some of those things that, okay. We have a large autism community. How do we serve them up content? That's gonna be relevant and valuable to them. So how do you go about figuring out who your audience is and what they want?

Oh, I think we're getting the segue to the data mining. 

Oh, you felt that too. 

let's let's get the math junkie on this. Let get him start talking about math. It's like, no, it's actually interesting. Don't leave when you hear the M word. Yeah. Don't leave on the 

math. That's why we're, that's why Christina was masterful at that 

transition.

Going into a California food story, cuz there's, there's always a segue and there's always California produce involved.

Trader Joe's has a history of always considering the 10% of their products are basically just being tested. They expect them to fail. They bring stuff in, they know it's gonna fail. but you don't know what of what the things you're trying out is gonna work. So that's a big part. Is you, you gotta try stuff out.

Whether you're in news, retail, restaurants, bar, you'll try something out. Maybe people don't like the goat burger, you know, could be gross. could be really good with the, with the proper hot sauce, but you, you try things out all the time. You always have to have that level of some stuff you gotta try out and ex you know, not expected to perform really well.

Cause if you keep doing the same thing all the time, you get. So you do that, but you look at your sales, you look at the results, see when they happened. And you know, maybe the new menu item only sells on weekends, or maybe it's only a weekday lunch thing, but you can't just say something failed because it failed.

You look at where the sales were. When did people respond to things and that's a huge part of looking at your data. You can't just write something off immediately, but you try new things and put 'em in the mix and see what. so is 

that a big part of what you're doing with tap into really looking at, uh, you know, analyzing the stories, what hit, what didn't like, how do you go about really identifying who your audience is?

Who's spending time on your content, what content's resonating? 

Well, we know without a doubt, if there's a house fire, A car accident, especially if it's a Tesla, people are obsessed with crash Teslas. it's gonna get the page view. So we're there. Um, I famously left the house once in my Mickey mouse pajamas and my Mickey mouse CROX to get a photo of a flipped over firetruck and I made the television news.

So I will not do that anymore, but we know there's certain things that are always gonna get the others. Oh, press is good press or no. um, you know, it's, Hey, everybody now knows unless 

you're the subject of, of the 

press. Hey, making the 11 o'clock news, you know, I was just this, there's just this person standing, photographing a fire.

I flipped over firetruck wearing Mickey mouse pajamas. I now have a change of clothes in my car. So if I leave the house and run out, , but there's certain things that will always do that, but we know that with certain subjects like covering education topics, you know, things like a board of ed meeting, there are gonna be bullet points. We know from what people are always reading, that will always get attention.

Whether we report at them right after the meeting. And do the details tomorrow because that's something that's got some real traction to. It will last for a while it's, you know, nine, 10 months of the year.

Well, and, and if I'm, if I may, and this, this may be something that's not kind to say, but I can't imagine that many people wanna actually sit through the board of ed meeting. So you're also doing a solid to those parents that wanna be informed, but don't wanna actually sit through it. 

is this where I say the best thing that CU me out out of COVID was all these virtual meetings, so I can sit home in my, in your Mickey mouse picture Mickey Mickey mouse jam eating my cool ranch Ritos and my vegan dip.

Yes. So I, can 

you brought up a, a, a good point about testing, about trader Joe testing and companies doing testing. Um, and Christina and I in past episodes have talked. Uh, the importance of doing, in other words, we can plan. We can set up, we can plan. We can figure all this out, but until you go and do it and step out and take the action, you don't really know what what's going to happen.

And that's, as we stay with data you have to take action. You have to test you, evaluate the data, move it around, junk it. If it's. , Amazon, is brilliant. They throw millions of not millions, but dozens of products out there to test them out and see what would work and what 

doesn't. And that really applies locally too.

I mean, you, you know, maybe people will wanna buy the yellow hoodie. You know, everybody's always been buying the, the gray hoodie and the one that's, whatever the team colors, but you might wanna try something else, spend the couple hundred dollars in a couple of those worst case scenario. You have stuff to go into the after Christmas.

Yeah, but that might be a new niche, but sometimes having a variety of things in variety of choices helps sell whatever you've already got. Interesting. So, so having, you know, two colors or three colors that always sell, having those couple extra things makes you the place of they've got hoodies in every colors and it applies to, you know, I've seen restaurants having worked with restaurants, you know, having the, sometimes having a bigger menu, you might have the go tos that sell all the time, but having some options gives people.

More reason to have choices and they feel like their choice is better, but they don't realize that, you know, 75% of the business is that one item. 

Right. So are you leveraging the tap into data to help serve businesses in the community to tell.

Hey, I think the community likes a yellow sweat, yellow hoodie, or they want more, 

well, if they're it's my advertiser, I will tell them stuff of like, there's a trend of yellow hoodies. Mm-hmm , um, not that I'm partial to yellow hoodies, but I've got a bunch of them. I need more of them being sold locally, but it's, you know, trying things out is, is a huge part of business. So I'll even look backwards to see the patterns of when things happen. So we know that certain holiday weekends we've traditionally had lower page. So that might be where we do a service piece. That's Hey, you know, the big food drive is coming up in two months, or, you know, if you're not doing anything this weekend, go to the supermarket and take advantage of that soup sale to, to buy for the local pantry.

So we'll, you know, we'll, we'll do some stuff during the slow periods. 

So John is, you guys are looking at like, you've got this tap into channel, you've got 30,000 nutty residents, right. , that likely are one of your target demographics. Yes.

Right? Your main target demographic, what are you doing with this data?

Like what does the data tell you about the Nutley community about your viewers? And then what can you do with that data from like a, , advertiser standpoint and like, you know, really, is it, are you selling data? Is it getting, you know, is it informing local community business? Like, what is, what does the data mining do for a publication?

What might a small business be able to do if they start looking at their data differently? 

Well, there's two aspects that really affect the relationship with advertisers and our, what we call 'em marketing partners. Cuz you know, you gotta be fancy, very nice, but it's marketing partner, but it really is because then it kind of helps.

You've got something really prestigious advertising on your site. It makes other people wanna go like, oh, I wanna do that too. If they're doing that, I'll do it really works really well for, for realtors. I don't want that guy to get all the space, but it's these two things that go on. So you kind of know when people are the bigger days for advert, you know, the viewership doesn't always work out because if you have a major house fire or an incident like that, it'll change our demographics.

Same way with a local business, you've got a water main breaker, something that will change your, your day going in your foot traffic. But the other thing I look at is how did some incident affect readership? We might have paid content that came in cause people will buy that. They used to call them advertorials they're now called sponsored content.

There might be a new word since we're, we're halfway through a new year, but they might pay for it as a news story about them to be written and gets a little tagged, says it's sponsored to be on a certain day. And that happens to be the day that something major broke and their page view just didn't go right from a customer's service perspective, I will reach out to them and let them.

Your story kind of tanked because we had a naked guy running through the street and the house fire and, you know, somebody got arrested for punching a cop, you know, and we'll talk about like rerunning that same story or running it again with a new headline on another day, just because they got clobbered because of the way the news cycle worked, because you can't always help that, but it's the same way with, you know, events going on in, in local retailers, you know, you might have.

you know, a lady's night out or a, a benefit, you know, coming on a certain day, we're gonna benefit the PTO. And it might happen to be a snowstorm or a rainstorm or an earthquake if you're listening in California and it changes things. So you have to shift gears and respond to things that are not in your control, but there's the other stuff of just looking at the data.

And you're like, Ooh, people who came in for the PTO thing, all bought, you know, this color or they, they bought the main item, but they put added all these trinkets onto. And you start looking at some of that, cuz you might find a whole niche with things like a PTO fundraiser or a breast cancer fundraiser and you know, even a breast cancer fundraiser, EV people will buy things that are not pink.

Mm-hmm if you're doing one to support a charity, that's got a color. So those are things to look at. Cuz you might find a niche that's that's something in you're looking at certain organizations when you're doing. 

How do you go about, , when, like we're talking about the data mining specifically, is there tools and technology that you're using for that?

Or is it like you mentioned page views before? So what are, what are some of the tools and things like that, that our listeners should be thinking about that you should be taking advantage of? If you're trying to, you know, really analyze the data. your business is, sitting on and maybe not taking advantage of, okay.

Since 

we're web based, we use Google analytics. So we can look at our traffic. Now that's actual people who come to our website and we've got marketing tools like social media, and it actually contributes us a small percentage of our actual pages. But it gets a lot of the community engagement, so we can find out you who's screaming about this.

They love this. They hate that, that, so that's important information to start pull in. We can't quantify it exactly, but it's the Google analytics, so I'll know. Trends and what days tend to be really good. And even when we're coming up on holidays, I'll go look back at last year and the year before to say, okay, you're coming up on Halloween weekend.

We did, we have a dip? Did we have a rise? Were people already looking at previews of Thanksgiving recipes before Halloween? Yes, they were doing that. um, had a great photo shoot with something. I put a preview out there and people read it and it's happened traditionally now for like the last four years.

that the Thanksgiving previews of things to get at the farmer's market and start doing some test recipes. It actually happens before Halloween. Really. It's kind of like the pumpkin spice thing used to be September 1st and now it's like, oh, 4th of July fireworks. Put the last fireworks out. Okay. Pumpkin spice.

it's 

so true. It just happens. 

. Okay now, because I couldn't care less about , pumpkin spice or any 

of this, that it's coffee. No, I don't like pumpkin spice. You don't like any flavors? I don't any flavor in my coffee. He does not like any flavors in his 

coffee, no flavors in my coffee, but let me tell you where I'm going with that.

To me it's I don't care one way or another, but where I do care is that if I were a proprietor of pumpkin spice, that. in other words, gut would tell me not till after labor day, do people go pumpkin spice, but you have data that shows, Hey, you can get a jump on that in late July or August because of the data.

And then start throwing out again, your testing. What if I test a special pumpkin spice thing, blah, blah, blah. And I'm using pumpkin spice. I don't care if that's, um, a service that you. A a product or something else sticking with the data. The data begins to tell you what you need to know to jump on and take action on yeah.

Not your gut 

feeling. And you might not even sell pumpkin spice, but you already know people are getting into that all into the 

auto, correct? Correct. So if it's clothing, if it's your, your restaurants, menu items, if it's, you know, you can 

buy early for your holiday gifts. Correct. 

So you mention. staying on data, you mentioned the page views and your social media doesn't really contribute a whole 

lot to the page views.

I mean, it's, it's important. We get to spot some trends. Oh no. Right. But you know, cover a local football game. It'll be, there's like tons of people liking it and commenting on it. Have they clicked through the football story? Right. Um, and I just said that publicly in a town that lives for football. So forgive me but nobody's reading it.

But we still, we still cover football because you have to, 

right. So in your opinion, for, for businesses all over, what do you think is the ratio of how, how we get, if a business wants website, visitors, and they have a Facebook page, they have Instagram, they have, uh, Twitter. and they have a website and they drive their business through all of those channels.

What is some of your advice regarding, how to approach and what should be on those different 

media? Well, the social media channels are important cause they'll drive a lot of new traffic to your site. Also people who are really busy, cuz everybody will check Facebook to find. What their friends are doing and look at cat videos, everybody does it.

So that's a way way to, you know, to remind people who may have not read all the time, but it's also, you know, to, to, to get the new people to get in front of them. And, um, and we're very SEO friendly. And somehow I try to explain SEO to people. I don't know how to explain it. I just do it cuz I've got really great.

you have, would you say you have great SEO because you have a lot and a lot and a lot of content. 

It's a lot and a lot of content. And I think I've also gotten to the habit of writing the stories. So they're more SEO friendly. So 

what makes something more and, and listeners for those of you that are not like in the business in marketing, right.

That's search engine optimization is what SEO stands for. 

And, and what it does is Google and all the search engine. Have they call them spiders I hate that word cause I hate spiders, but they have spiders that literally go out all over the web and attempt to index. What is out there in order for you to be able to say, I would like to know what a Streisand moment is.

In order for 

Google's perfect timing. I know it's the stre and effect and the Google as John referred to says that the stre and effect is a phenomenon that occurs when an attempt to hide, remove or sensor information has the unintended consequence of increasing awareness of that said information.

There you go. Okay. 

Now Google was able to do that because their spiders are out there on the web finding content. And indexing it and putting it together. So therefore if I write an article and it's out on the web and it's on my website, the spiders will comb that article and attempt.

If in there I describe the Streisand effect, then somebody looks for it. Google will attempt to serve up my page, potentially because of that, the. If you have tons and tons and tons of content, you're more apt. Even if it's lousy, SEO, as you say, right. Um, you're more apt for it to percolate higher. Of course the problem is there are 400 billion trillion websites.

And so that's why it's very difficult, to do that unless you are, have a very specific target niche. 

so John is that part of the name of the game is to have a lot of content. 

Yeah, a lot of content and a lot of regular content. Cause I even see it on the social media side. I've seen, you know, nonprofits or small restaurants.

We had a Facebook page, it didn't work and we've had three posts last year, have something all the time, even if it's your it's our Thursday night, karaoke is and set that up. You can use the scheduling tools to have that repeat every Thursday, come in tonight for karaoke and. Have your announcement for your Sunday, brunch with a different photo of a featured item that's on your Sunday brunch, but having things regularly is so key to having SEO work for you and having all the search engines and everything else is constantly repeating stuff.

And in the world of retailer restaurants, you don't have to have breaking news the same way. Yeah. You introduce your spring menu, but it's like our spring menu continues. Here's two featured items and you just, you repeat that stuff on your social and you can set those up. um, some of the tools that, that feed into social media.

And I have to say so as we were having something to eat and drink before we were, John had me cracking up because he was sharing that they have an algorithm. Right. And you can see. That every, and, and I would love to dig into this a little bit and hopefully I'm not giving anything away, but John has shared a funny story about the fact that like, as he and the other tap into franchisees are looking at the data and like big picture.

So you you're you're in that like, You know, micro of Nutley, but then you've got all these other franchisees that are looking at their respective communities and you come together for, you know, abroad. This is kind of like the stuff that hits. Right. you shared that Like there are algorithms that say that in X amount of time, somebody will run naked and there'll be a story about it.

Like I was, I was laughing because I'm like, do, are you inventing this? Like, do you have a crystal ball? Are you the guy that's running naked? Or like, how do you know that in, you know, every 45. There's gonna be somebody that's gonna run naked in the community that you can write a story on. 

the reason why I tuned into naked person being arrested was because.

You being the new news in town, it was like, we would never report on that in our town. That's terrible. Its, well, you know, I'm not the one who did it and it made the police blotter and you know, and then page views were, were ridiculous. And then something else happened where there was somebody who was inappropriately dressed with some stuff, clothes missing and it happened.

And I started plotting these things out when they happen. So being a math junk. And then not sure how to focus, you know, how to filter in COVID and the lockdowns. I knew we were we're currently due in Nutley for a naked person doing something and getting arrested. it's just happened. There have been other things that like we're, we're currently, you know, saying we're, we're currently due for, uh, of motor vehicle striking a building.

And I was dead on with that one for like, I was like about a week off from where we thought the time was, cause the time was happening and there's other things that happened. I was, I had. good run with the, the creepy clowns where people just showing up in weird places of Halloween, maybe four or five years ago, dresses a clown, and just showing up in the dark in a park or something.

And it was just like waiting for that to happen. But they were popping up in, in a neighboring county, but I started plotting the activity. 

So when you're thinking of like, okay, so when you look at, and, and you get together with the other tap into franchisees, what's the most wild thing that you guys have ever reported on or, or craziest stories.

Seen, because I would imagine that you are spending a lot of time and, and you are seeing some shit. If you were out there in the community for long enough,

I can't, some of them are inappropriate, so I can't, um, I mean, 

try us. 

it's like, no, I mean, sometimes the stuff just kind of happens. You're like, I can't believe that that happened. Oftentimes the interesting stories come out of public comment at board of education. It's somebody's just freaking out about something that's totally not true.

And there's just words and languages and gestures, and you're just like, what is going on here? And it's like, okay, you grab, grab your 

popcorn. Like it's time . 

Well, in my case, it would be grab your cool ranch, Doritos and you, you know, but sometimes just see patterns and we're like, And that's where the data thing comes too.

Is it really data that I'm not sure you see the agenda of meetings coming up? Like they're discussing sex education. It's like, it's gonna get good. it's gonna get good. Or, or they're, they're just, they're discussing, you know, a motor vehicle purchase for the police department. It's like cops, cars, cars run out.

They're patrolling the streets, but there's always somebody who's like freaking out. It's like really bent outta shape about it because there's like, It's the environment or how many, the, how somebody's getting a kickback, like yeah. General motors is getting a kickback. Sure. it's like how ridiculous, but it's, it's always fascinating to see the things, , that people get concerned about.

And then, jumping back to social media, we're always watching to see what people are talking about to see if there's something we're missing. But we also had this great section. We call fact versus rumor where. We look at the, the, the rumors that people are saying going on time, you will get to the experts, whether it's medical professionals, government professionals, financial people, um, what is the truth?

And it's, it's always kind of fun to look at, you know, rumors and that whenever we do that, it's always paid views, go through the roof. Oh, I love that. Yeah. That, 

that's very interesting. I like that a lot. 

Yeah. Cause you know, there's so many rumors now, despite the fact that, you know, cause I've had people swear up and down.

And sometimes they have to, you have to have fun with some of the issues, but it's the same way with any kind of retailer of you. Our team colors are this and that. How dare you have that color in the window during the homecoming game?

It's like, because not everything in the boutique or in the, you know, the shop is related to the homecoming game, right. You just have to roll with it and laugh with it. 

How has it been, um, like being somebody that is a public.

You know, you're reporting news. You're not taking a position on things. Right. But I'm sure you ruffle feathers with different things that you report and you probably have to, if you're reporting anything that people care to read, 

right. well, we, we don't throw people under the bus and we don't report things.

You know, there's like personal stuff going on, you know, we'll wait for the facts. Find out what's going on. , but it's, it's actually getting the actual facts and getting the full story out there. So we've had things happen where we knew all the details like on a Monday night. And, but I wanted to wait to get the documents from the police department or the ambulance squad or the hosp or whoever.

So we've had to sit on some stories for days because some of the things sounded way too fantastic. We had an election night incident where somebody assaulted people in the bar and it just so happened that the people that got hit in the face with the Barcom bar stool were taken. To the hospital. And my neighbor was there at the ER, texting me at midnight, what's going on.

And I had all the details by one in the morning on election night, but I didn't have any paperwork from the police to prove it because all the witnesses were. the candidate who was the subject of the attack, who related to his party or related to him. So I had to sit for four days on this hot story that must have hurt.

It kind of hurt, but I always like to, I always bring the receipts and of course, I've got, you know, my fan base out there that always heard that picture of Joan Collins. It's a, it's a GIF on social media, throwing papers, saying I brought the receipts. I get that all the time because we'll sit and we'll wait.

And we'll for sure everything is factual because you wanna be a credible source. Right? Exactly. Yeah. So, I mean, there are some things, cause we actually had. A meeting with the superintendent of schools. And he said, everything you do is fact checked. And I had to fact check him on that, cuz we don't, we can't fact check everything because you know, being small, local news, we can't travel to the north pole to prove the existence of Santa Claus.

but don't go there. That's it's like go there. But given that like, if you have four and five year olds will tell you the truth, whether it's spinach on your teeth or dog do on your shoe, they tell you the truth. And if they say Santa exists, he exists. So we're taking that as truth, definitely. But we, we can't really fact check that and they don't have the.

That was good. Well, this has been so much fun, dad. It has. What else is on your mind? Anything? No, I feel like I've really monopolized here with 

John. You, 

you totally did. Totally. You'll get, uh, you'll get three quarters of the pay for this 

episode. Oh, that's three quarters of nothing is, is nothing 

right?

Yeah. Oh, that's math again. thanks 

again. Let's run the numbers, but you know what? You are accumulating and you, you fact check me on this. Okay. Okay. You are accumulating so much data and, and analyzing it that not only can you make those predictions, like a car is gonna drive into a building, but I almost see that you have inform.

and I'm talking positive, not, not to bribe information by the way, listeners. He never did answer how he gets paid, but we're not gonna go there anymore after we got out of the bribes. But, um, 

anyway, I saw he put a pinky to his nose though. 

no, but what I'm saying is you might, you're like on a goldmine suppose.

We said, well, let's use us just us here. We're a podcast. And we want more listeners. You probably have the data on that, on how that can. and you can make money, you know, selling that data. Isn't that? Anyway, what Google does? Why do they give you free services? Why do they give you Google maps? Which is a miracle upon miracle.

Just the phone is a miracle. All these services that we have are miracles upon miracles and they're free. Why are they free? Because yeah, you can have that free. We just need to know where you are. Christine at all. Would you give us that so we could get you from point a to B uh, accurately. And then Christina goes, absolutely.

And so does Joe and so do 300 million other people, and that's how they can tell you that there's traffic 14 miles up the road on your way home. So you may want to go this direction. You follow, 

you have that data. Oh yeah. And well, that's part of our thing too. It's like people, like, how do you make money?

You don't charge subscriptions because the big thing in, in news is there's a sexy headline. It's like, you know, naked person who's running for. Arrested and you click on it's like, you gotta go through a pay wall. We're free. So how do we get paid? Well, we've got that audience because you don't have to pay to read the article about the naked candidate running for office being arrested while eating pineapple on pizza

But you know, there's, there's companies that wanna reach our audience. They know that, you know, we right. We're here and we've got readers every day and they want to get their face and their business out there. So then they will pay to. to be an ad to be an ad mm-hmm . And then some people just come on board as an occasional content marketing partner where they'll write a news story by them with their byline.

Um, but they know we've got the audience and it's, it's a regular daily, you know, we call it daily, but really the news can get updated over and over again 

well, John, thank you for being with us. Yeah. This has been super fun. And listeners, we're gonna be leaving you, but we're gonna be staying here for some drinks after this. 

So mimosa and coffees together. Don't 

knock it. Yep. Maybe that's right. Maybe we'll spike up your coffee a little bit.

Dad, a little bit of like an Irish coffee or a, uh, yeah. Yeah, if that's okay. We'll see. Yeah, problem. But John, any final comments or anything you wanna leave the audience with 

oh, I think we just have to start commencing the booze. I 

think we should, like we said, just take action, right?

Let's just do 

it. yeah. So all, all the brilliance you heard just has devolved into, uh, let's drink. So 

and you know what listeners, we're gonna start taking this show on the road, because if there is. Uh, there were a lot of benefits, right. But one that we may all appreciate together is that we did not get hit with a dad joke today.

It looks like we threw him off his game and he forgot . Wow. 

Oh no. Oh no, that's true. Oh no. See now people are gonna start calling in saying John Lee's there. He's from California. He ruined the dad 

jokes. but I mean, exactly. I think we're gonna have to test the algorithm and see, did people really want the dad jokes?

I think everyone was just getting. 

Every time I've had a dad joke. We've our listeners 

spiked. It might be true. so basically what you're saying is the dad joke is that little piece of parsley on the plate at the diner. It might be 

that's it. Oh, that's not good. My mom actually eats that pizza parsley though.

So that that's the main event for her. anyway, we digress listeners. If you liked what you heard, please. Rate share, subscribe, whatever, you know, do all the things. We really appreciate it. And like John said, it's all data and it helps our algorithm to be, um, you know, promoted and shared and reach more and more people.

So thank you all. And we will see you in two weeks 

and don't forget if you eat a funny bone, it becomes a laughing stock. Oh, he 

got us 

wherever you are. Whatever your story. Thanks for spending time with us this morning. Now go and make a difference in your 

world.

I knew I shouldn't have said anything 

you 

don't think I was gonna let this 

go? Did you? Oh my gosh, you got us. 

So that's our father's day story. we'll do next year for father's day. We will have the story of, you know, Joe Grano's, you know, 10, you know, 

whatever well and tune to tap into Nutley for the father's day story of 10 of dad's worst dad jokes.

Thank you all. Thanks everyone. Bye.

 

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