The featured TAPinto franchisee for November 2019 is Ed Barmakian of TAPinto Chatham.  Ed, a former veteran reporter and editor at The Star-Ledger and longtime Chatham resident, has been able to utilize his skills to create the go-to news source for the residents of Chatham Borough and Chatham Township, and a profitable business for himself.  

Q. Why did you want to franchise your TAPinto site? What caused you to choose Chatham as your TAPinto location?

TAPinto was the perfect fit for me. After working in the newspaper business for many years, getting into the digital realm of news seemed like a natural progression. I started out using a typewriter (what’s that?) and now I use my IPhone. I grew up in Chatham and I live here now, so it’s an easy commute for me to get where I need to be.

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Q. You have an interesting background.  Can you tell us about it a little bit?

I’ve worked in the newspaper business since the late 1970s, including 33 years writing sports and editing for The Star-Ledger.  I think I wrote my first news story when I was around 12. My friend got his leg caught between two tree trunks in my backyard and the police had to use a saw to break him free. I published the story using a miniature press that had rubber letters and a hand crank. I handed out copies to my neighbors and I’ve been spreading the news ever since.

Q. What do you enjoy covering the most in Chatham?

I still enjoy covering sports. Last spring, we had five Chatham High sports teams reach the state sectional finals, so that kept me busy. I also cover local government and I still love to get out and meet people in town. I’m always learning something by hearing people’s stories and their life experiences.

Q. Is TAPinto full time for you? If not, what do you also do?  

Yes. TAPinto is what I do now. I also ref some club soccer games on Sundays to keep moving.

Q. How do you think businesses and readers can best utilize TAPinto Chatham?

TAPinto has become a go-to place for people to find news and activities happening in their town. Readers can submit content about upcoming events and businesses can get the word out by reaching local customers directly.

Q. What advantages does TAPinto have that other marketing platforms lack?

There is local news on TAPinto that you can’t find anywhere else, which draws eyes to our pages. In addition to a digital ad, there are so many other ways a business can take advantage of the audience through social media, email marketing, and content marketing.

Q. What are some of your business strengths? What’s something you would like to work on?

I’ve worked hard to build the TAPinto brand into a reliable and trusted news source that people can count on. I’d like to work on better communication with local businesses on the numerous ways TAPinto can partner with them to widen their customer base.

Q. Describe the TAPinto culture.

The TAPinto culture is like a family We all want each other to succeed and everyone is committed to improving their sites and readership. The leadership and support from founder and CEO Mike Shapiro has been unparalleled from the start.

Q. What are your goals at TAPinto? Any future plans for TAPinto Chatham?

We can always strive to improve. What I’d like to do is work more closely with my marketing partner, Cathy Hodges, to inform businesses about what we have to offer at TAPinto.