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Friday, Feb. 29, 2008

ExpressMilwaukee.com Launches as new Daily Online Newspaper

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The new site will focus on highlighting reader contributions alongside Shepherd Express articles. Readers will be able to post stories, photos, music and events, as well as rate restaurants, movies and theater performances, and comment on featured content from the print edition.

Milwaukee, WI (PRWEB) January 23, 2008 -- After operating online for more than ten years, the Shepherd Express has now launched Express Milwaukee, a new website companion to the weekly newspaper to provide Milwaukee's most comprehensive one-stop guide to local entertainment.

The Shepherd Express is already Milwaukee's trusted source for places to go and things to do with features like "This Week in Milwaukee." Now, ExpressMilwaukee.com will have a daily focus with the top feature "Today in Milwaukee." This is the site for locals to find out what they should be doing today, tonight, and this weekend.

We've built a website for readers to come together, offer their views and discuss them in a truly open forum
Another of the site's goals is to encourage discussion around topics of interest to Shepherd readers, such as music, theater, art, dance, classical music, live performances, concerts, politics, news, commentary, and local feature stories. The site will host a series of reader-defined content communities to help unite Shepherd Express writers with reader voices.

"We've built a website for readers to come together, offer their views and discuss them in a truly open forum," says Evan Rytlewski, Online Editor for ExpressMilwaukee.com and Music Editor for the Shepherd Express. The site will serve as an ongoing public forum for a full array of user-generated content, including blogs, personal profiles, videos and other features that online readers have come to expect.

Visitors to ExpressMilwaukee.com will find many familiar social networking features such as the Express Milwaukee Flickr group, where participants will be able to have their work featured both in the printed Shepherd Express and on ExpressMilwaukee.com, and the Express Milwaukee Blog Network, a network of over 600 active local bloggers. In addition, Express Milwaukee will host art and photo contests, featured reader content (blogs, videos, audio), and a local band area that will rank songs submitted by local bands based on the number of plays. All will be featured areas.

"To plan an evening or weekend in Milwaukee including a stay at a boutique hotel, a live performance and a restaurant may take up to eight stops on the web. It's not because the information isn't available on one site, it is often hard to find, incomplete, out-dated, or not accessible easily online. ExpressMilwaukee.com will take Shepherd Express content as a base, add to it, and ask readers to add their events and suggestions to make it truly a resource for locals." - Andy Vogel, VP, Advertising and Online Products for the Shepherd Express.

Besides revamping the current one-stop local entertainment website model, the Shepherd Express is also experimenting (through Express Milwaukee) with new innovative features including a new way of "paging" through a newspaper online. The new version of this online newspaper is searchable, shareable, and allows readers to comment and interact with print editorial and advertising.

The Shepherd Express is an independent weekly newspaper available FREE at over 1,170 locations in southeastern Wisconsin. Having recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, the Shepherd Express also distributes the largest annual festival guides in Milwaukee, including the Milwaukee City Guide, all official Summerfest Guides, and guides to the Wisconsin State Fair and the Milwaukee International Film Festival. Serving nearly 300,000 readers in the Greater Milwaukee area, the Shepherd Express has the third-largest newspaper readership in all of Wisconsin.

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