June 10, 2014 at 12:14 AM
WEST ORANGE, NJ - The Alternative Press will soon be relaunching as "TAPinto.net" and the Alternative Press of West Orange will relaunch as "TAPinto West Orange."
The Alternative Press was founded by Michael and Lauryn Shapiro in 2008 in their hometown of New Providence. The couple had just had their first child, who was born with health issues. Shapiro, an attorney, wanted to be closer to home and the concept of a new and objective hyperlocal news site was born.
Since its humble beginnings, the Alternative Press has expanded into 30 towns, including West Orange, and boasts a readership of 2,000,000 annually. West Orange grew to 150,000 unique users in 2013 and has already had 235,000 unique users since January, 2014, focusing on the concept of hyperlocal news.
Tap Into West Orange will continue to cover local township and school district events and hopes to expand coverage even more. The very successful West Orange High School TAP team will continue to provide students with career-readiness opportunities, mentoring, and professional resume experience that can be used on college applications.
Beginning sometime in July, The Alternative Press will become TAPinto.net, and will feature a state-of-the-art website that is significantly faster to load, easier on the eyes, and will include a dedicated mobile site, enhanced video capabilities, and more opportunities for local businesses to market themselves to their local customer base.
Six months ago TAP converted into a franchise operation and with 30 towns in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, is fast becoming a model for online local news.
The site was originally named The Alternative Press at its inception because it provided an alternative to the hardcopy paper in New Providence. “Today, we are no longer the alternative. We are the press covering our towns." said Mike Shapiro.
"With the decline of local newspapers and AOL’s Patch in many towns, if we are not reporting on it, there is no one reporting on it. We take this responsibility and commitment to report on the news in our communities very seriously," he continued.
"Readers can now TAP into their town’s news and information at TAPinto.net,” Shapiro noted.
Local residents can go to TAPinto.net and select their town from the drop down menu to read all the news and information specifica to their town. To ensure that readers see all new article and event postings, they can sign up to receive the daily E-news at www.tapinto.net/enews.
A recently concluded demographic survey shows 74% of TAPinto readers earn an average household income of at least $100,000 annually with 37% earning over $200,000 annually. 54% have purchased a product or service due to an advertisement they viewed on TAPinto.net, and 87% of readers visit the site at least twice a week, with 40% of readers visiting at least 5 days a week.
Expansion plans for the summer include launching more than a half dozen new franchised sites in Morris, Essex, Somerset and Union Counties, as well as expansion into both Northern and Southern New Jersey.