Editor's Corner by waltersanchez
What We Think: From the Desk of the Editor
Nov 20, 2008 | 27439 views | 0 0 comments | 129 129 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

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BQE Media - Queens Ledger Brooklyn Star Group Embracing Technology in the New Media World
by waltersanchez
Jun 23, 2010 | 29610 views | 0 0 comments | 293 293 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

2D Barcodes, News Text Alert Systems, Mobile Web Sites, Short Text Platforms, Social Networking Sports Sites, Digital Editions a TV Show and More

There has never been a more important time to be a journalist and a news organization than now. The upheaval in our newsroom is exciting because new digital technology has added a new dimension to our reporting structure at the Queens Ledger / Brooklyn Star Weekly Newspaper Group.

In this time of reinvention, great ideas get noticed more quickly and news reporters are even more accountable to readers and followers than ever before. Adding mobile and google reach makes our stories and ads go to a larger audience than ever before. We have been recognized by the New York Press Association for our efforts and we are moving forward faster than ever before.

Our mission has not changed: To tell stories which uncover new information in the communities we have served for more than 137 years. We want our readers to know more about our community every week and we will continue to elicit proactive response by giving the who, what, when. where. why and so-what.

We have revamped the websites of all 8 of our weekly community newspapers. We continue to focus on user generated content added to our expert news and local sports service online. We highlight local blogs on our sites, we have our own blog section where anyone can start and maintain a blog. We have a user generated event calendar, offier free classified ads, a community marketplace with more than 35,000 local businesses listed and we now have a proactive twitter feed into our site. Check it out at www.queensledger.com or use the name of any of our newspapers followed by a dot com. Oh, and by the way, we were honored by the New York Press Association (the weekly newswpaper industry) as having the "Highest Income Producting Web Site in the State of New York" in both 2008 AND 2009."

The power of our brand continues to grow as we are the first in using new media technologies to enhance our reach. BQEMedia is not just a chain of newspapers anymore - we are a growing news organization which uses new technology to grow a reader and follower base. Our corporate culture encourages open discussion - not just one way communication. We see a bright future for journalism because young writers, bloggers and editors are embracing this profession like never before. Advertisers see community news organizations, like ours, as a better way to get their message across because we are targeted, innovative and willing to work across multiple marketing platforms for them.

New features at our news organization:

Our 'mobile community news alert service' uses a new technology which we are the first to use locally. Just text "Foresthills" to our short text # 21-321. You are automatically put on our Forest Hills News Alert System. When something important happens in Forest Hills you are the first to know. We text out event notices, breaking news reports and even links to feature stories and video we now produce to tell a story. We have the service for Maspeth, Glendale and Queensbiz. Look for news services for your neighborhood coming soon. They will be announced in our newspapers as we start to furnish them. In Brooklyn you can text 'Brooklyn' ro 21-321 for alerts about Brooklyn. Our advertisers are using this technology to promote their businesses as well. Beach Bum Tanning Salons, a chain of salons in Queens uses our mobile technology and short text platform to communicate with their clients and offer them coupons. Text the word tanning to our # 21-321 and sign up for their own text alert service through us. They now reach their customers by texting them when they want to offer special coupons and deals.

Our 8 Mobile web sites allow readers to follow us while on the run. Mobile users are growing ... and now more than 30% of mobile device users who have internet on the device are using it as their prefered method of using the internet. That means that our mobile web ads, landing pages, coupons and short text plans are just what the doctor ordered. We know all the other newspapers and news organizations will be there, we just wanted to do it first - and we are ... doing it first. If you go the m.queensledger.com on your mobile device you will see what a real mobile news site looks like. It's easy to read and you never have to zoom in and move the page around when viewing our stories. We believe that our community news alert system will bring thousands of people to our mobile sites every day as it grows.

Our 'BQE QR 2D code system' is a new feature which we are the first to use locally as well. These codes are very popular in Asia and we are bringing it to Queens and Brooklyn real fast. You will see a square box within stories, ads and sidebars in the paper and in our quarterly It's Queens Magazine. WIth a camera-equiped phone and access to the internet you take a picture of the bar code and your phone automatically goes to a mobile url. Some of the uses for this include coupons, additional items for the news story and even video as well as more enhanced photos relating to the story. We lead you to web sites and newsletter signup sites for our advertisers. It brings users to a new dimension and helps readers of our newspapers and magazine better understand what's going on. It's new and it enhances our reader experience. If you are not mobile you ought to be. It adds incredible flavor to your life.

Our Brooklyn & Queens Community Sports Network has recently been launched by BQEMedia. It is a social networking site which allows dozens of local sports leagues to promote themselves in our newspapers and online. www.BQESports is an incredible site which uses a business model that allows these sports leagues to share in revenue from the site. Users can put their personal profile online, post league schedules, game results and boast about their sports successes on the site. And the news runs in our newspapers as well. We are helping leagues get exposure and we are giving advertisers more targeted opportunities in marketing.

We are now co-hosts of the long running QPTV Show "Independence." The show is shot live at Time Warner / QPTV studios in Flushing as a call-in show on the 3rd Tuesday of each month from 8PM till 9PM. It is shown on tape every Friday night and Tuesday afternoon. It is on channel 34 on Time Worner cable networks. Arby's and Hooters are our food sponsors and we have had lively guest on every show, which make the show fun and interactive. We typically chat about current news and have three or four guests: a civic leader with an issue, a health care specialist, an interesting Queens business and even a few 'campy' moments which are sure to make viewers laugh. We typically have a musical guest band and dive into some political talk as well. Check it out. You can call in too.

It's Queens The Magazine is in its third year. This quarterly glossy has had cover stories on David Wright, Lucy Liu, Mary Murphy and now Miss USA for Summer issue of 2010. 15,000 are mailed and distributed on more than 600 newstands throughout New York. To us, a real magazine is a paid product, not some random, free piece that you can pick up in a supermarket. We have embraced the technology of Digital Editions by putting the entire magazine on a digital edition which comes alive. Sure, you may have seen some other magazines and papers on some lame digital platform - but ours is on the ZMags platform, which allows us to add video, flash, links and even email acquisition profiles to the edition. Go to www.itsqueens.com and hit the 'digital editions' button. Watch the pages jump off the screen. Advertisers love it and we email 30,000 copies to selected individual subscribers and movers & shakers.

Who says the internet is hurting newspapers? It's adding a new dimension to our company as we continue to embrace new technology.

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Glendale Assemblyman Tony Seminerio Pleads Guilty In Court
by waltersanchez
Jun 25, 2009 | 24651 views | 0 0 comments | 284 284 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

At Federal District Court in Manhattan, former State Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio, who represents, Glendale, Woodhaven and Richmond Hill Queens, pleaded guilty to a single charge of fraud on Wednesday, June 24th. He read a short statement indicating that his actions were illegal and wrong.

Anthony Seminerio, the 16 term Assemblyman could get 20 years in prison, but the US attorney’s office recommended 11 to 14 years and a fine of less than $200,000. He will return to court on October 20 2009 for a hearing regarding his sentence.

The seventy-four year-old man who seemed to always be beloved in his district seemed calm, remorseful yet sentimental about his life in politics on this day.

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Glendale Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio Resigns - New Faces Appear
by waltersanchez
Jun 23, 2009 | 25255 views | 1 1 comments | 290 290 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Glendale Assemblyman Resigns

Thirty-year NYState Assembly representative Anthony Seminerio resigned Tuesday, June 23, bringing a long career to a quick ending. He is facing charges following an investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office that he solicited and collected nearly a million dollars in fees from clients who had financial dealings with the State. In March of 2009 he was charged by the federal government with extortion activity. The indictments alleged that he threaten to “kill” bills in the Assembly if a healthcare industry related executive refused to hire his consulting firm. He faces twenty years behind bars if convicted.

Seminerio’s resignation letter to Assembly speaker Silver was short and sweet. It read “…. Please accept this as my letter of resignation for my Assembly seat, 38th District, effective June 23, 2009. It has been my honor and a distinct privilege to have served in the Legislature for the last thirty years.”  Sincerely, Anthony Seminerio.

Although it is premature to schedule a special election for the Glendale, Woodhaven and Richmond Hill area speculation has Seminerio’s son John, Richmond Hill activist Albert Baldeo, Glendale resident Nick Comaianni and former Bloomberg administration Queens representative Matt Gorton.

Seventy-four year-old Seminerio was a corrections officer before being elected to the Assembly in 1978.

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Outraged in Utah
September 09, 2009

He doesn't represent MY family values.

Who We Are - BQE Media
by waltersanchez
Jun 23, 2009 | 39588 views | 1 1 comments | 656 656 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

What Our Company Does…

BQEMedia is a company with well established media properties in Brooklyn and Queens. Our strengths are built upon the ‘relationship with’ and ‘ownership of’ our readers. That’s it – in a nutshell.

   We focus on Brooklyn and Queens New York and we have media properties which have been continually published since 1873. That’s more than 135 years of growing - one reader at a time.

We match our loyal readers, who we call – our  members – our family, to businesses from our neighborhood who can provide services to them. We think it’s a match made in heaven. We bring hyper-local news, activities and information to our readers/members, offering them a synergized lifestyle.

How we Do It…

We do it by providing consistent information to our readers, which they  require in their daily lives in order to live and work in our community. At BQEMedia we use our weekly newspapers, various social media, blogs and traditional news web sites which make our communities vibrant.

Our properties focus on calendar of events, crime news, death notices, birth announcements, our opinions, our reader’s opinions, profiles of important people and stories on businesses.

BQE Media owns and operates:

- EIGHT weekly community 48-page newspapers

- Two borough-wide glossy 72-page magazines

- Eight hyper-local news websites

- A group of Social Networking Web Sites for communities of web users

- Hyper-local proprietary Search Engines

- A Blogging & Social Networking School & Seminar Series

- Sports Leagues for Kids & Young Adults

Who We Are…

The Queens Ledger/Greenpoint Star Weekly Community Newspaper group, quite simply, are a group of eight weekly community newspapers which have been bringing local news of people who are being born, living and dieing in towns in Queens and Brooklyn for over a century. We have accumulated millions of readers over that time and have a weekly circulation of 150,000. The internet has provided us the opportunity to expand on the relationship with our reader customers and our business (advertising) customers by creating a synergy never available before.

Weekly Newspapers:

One of our newspapers, (The Queens Ledger) has been published every week in the same neighborhood of Maspeth, Middle Village, Woodside and Elmhurst, Queens since 1873. The Leader Observer of Woodhaven has been published every week since 1909. The Greenpoint Star was originally a daily paper in the 1800’s. Now it is our weekly which covers the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Greenpoint and Williamsburg. The Glendale Register, in Queens, has been published every week since 1935.

The Long Island City / Astoria Journal has been around since 1986, the Forest Hills Times since 1995, Queens Examiner since 1999 and the Brooklyn Downtown STAR since 2004.


It’s Queens – the Magazine is a quarterly magazine which is available on 650 newsstands throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. It is distributed by Hudson News. It features businesses, movers & shakers and interesting tidbits. It is also the first regional magazine in New York City to be distributed electronically on a ZMag digital format. Pages come alive right in front of the reader on a computer screen. Folks, we’re all going to be reading magazines and newspapers this way in years to come. We just did it first – that’s all.

It’s Brooklyn – the Magazine is a quarterly magazine which covers Brooklyn. It is available on 650 newsstands and mailed to thousands of top businesses in Brooklyn. It too is emailed in digital format.

Web Sites:

We have eight news websites (one for each of our regional weekly papers). These websites are highly intelligent web 2.1 interactive sites which allow readers to post their own blogs, post events, place free classified ads, comment on stories and interact with all the members/readers and business customers of our Queens Ledger/Greenpoint Star family.

Business partners and customers become more involved with BQEMedia through our web sites. We offer search engine optimization and a web site development plan which includes metatags, google map finding, video, classified ads, e-commerce, coupons and more. We build websites for businesses and make them part of our family of websites – which affords tremendous online search engine optimization.

We have a website for our magazines which profiles some of the glossier things around each borough.

We are building Social Networking Web Sites for our readers/members/partners under the name ‘Brooklyn / Queens Life’. The sites, run by our members and readers, allow hyper-local interaction between readers, users and businesses. These web sites grow organically because the hyper-local groups can easily interact with each other to communicate, prosper and be proactive. So new people join every day.

Actually, with the proprietary software platform developed in conjunction with the social networking geniuses at ‘Our Varsity Inc.,” allows groups to build and grow a social network and web site of their own without even consulting us.

Queensoooooopedia     and    Broolklynooooooopedia are local proprietary search engines, which our media company owns and operates. We have linked up with ‘tybit,’ to build a search engine, which searches the world wide web, takes the top four search engine reading and combines them to give a hyper-local search result scheme which is second to none.

Each of the web sites under Brooklyn / Queens Life umbrella have this proprietary search engine – which allows business to buy key words which are available as ‘pay-per-click’ options for users of the search engine.

Blogger / Social Networking School:

Blog U is a program we offer which is part of the Bloggers School. We hold Social Media Lessons and work with the Bloggers School staff to help our readers/members/partners on blog consulting for businesses and socially savvy individuals.     We feel if our business partners and readers understand and use twitter, facebook and dig to its maximum ability, then our family will be stronger.

Sports Leagues:

Since 1990, our company as been operating a basketball and baseball league for youngsters in the Brooklyn and Queens.     Heroes Basketball League and Heroes Baseball League has nearly 1,000 participants each year. Participants join as a team and as individuals and we provide uniforms (with sponsor’s names on them) referees, scorekeepers and for tee ball we give instruction.

This effort allows BQEMedia to send a copy of one of our weekly papers to each participant, affords us the opportunity to put game results and summaries in our newspapers and on the web sites and creates a great buzz in the community as ten and 12 year-old kids see their name in the paper and on web sites. It allows us to grow with our business model of looking at our readers as members of our club.                        

Examples of How We Accomplish A Synergy Between Businesses and Our Readers / Users / Members / Partners:

With a combination of web efforts, our leadership and longevity in the community newspaper business, we bring a few hundred thousand people together with the hundreds of businesses through sponsorships, partnerships and introductions.

One of our first efforts in the synergy area was to bring together Arby’s Restaurant with our company and introduce them to our Heores league members. We held a coaches meeting at Arby’s (where Arby’s gave out food to 30 coaches), we put the Arby’s logo on the uniforms of the basketball players in the league, Arby’s gave coupons for free food to every child in the program. Arby’s was given the email address of every coach in the program – which they could use to solicit at any time. An Arby’s ad was placed next to the Heroes League game summaries on the web site. Arby’s took full page ads in our newspapers, Arby’s was given a web site on our web site (which had a google map on it, had pictures, coupons and was highly searchable on search engines).

Other BQEMedia efforts include having our fitness and health business partner “Force Fitness” run a social networking site for fitness enthusiasts in Queens. Force Fitness – as our fitness consultants has access to all of our readers and web site users. They will do things like give advice, set up core training programs, run a weekly column on our web site and draw traffic to the social networking site we run together. We know this will drive traffic to their own web site and to their gym in Ridgewood.

The web’s new life is smarter than we can imagine. Digital publishing will become stronger and a reliable platform that will be easier to use. Content will be more important than delivery very soon. Why? Because

The Kindle is the Model T Ford of the Magazine and Newspaper Industry. We will be reading news and information digitally in years to come.

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Who We Are & What We Do For Our Readers and Our Media Partners
by waltersanchez
Nov 21, 2008 | 30766 views | 1 1 comments | 1074 1074 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
The Unisphere is The Symbol of Queens
The Unisphere is The Symbol of Queens
*What we do: *Social Media Marketing**

The Queens Ledger / Brooklyn Star Weekly Community News Group helps companies and organizations use social media to engage with their customers, prospects, and partners in ways that have never before been possible. We do this by building online communities within our 8 web sites while using our traditional newspapers as a driving local news source. The new type of ‘communities’ are important to business all over the borough.

*The NEW definition of “A community”*

The ‘community’ of today is a ‘community of interest,’ not merely a community of geographic proportions. An online community might be a community of stamp collectors, kite flyers, kids and adults who are members of a sports league, a group of people who are passionate about a town they grew up in,see click here. , a community of people who take the train to work, movie goers, dog owners, civic activists or students enrolled in a particular school. They are active, have a need to communicate with each other and have a need and desire for others in their geographic community to know about them.


Do you see how you fit into this picture frame we are creating?

Can you imagine how many organizations who have members, customers, teammates or business associates who need to be part of a web world like this?

*What does this have to do with business and the business of ‘Marketing’?*

It's called Social Media Marketing, and it is making a profound impact on marketing strategies for organizations AND businesses of all forms and sizes.

Social Media Marketing at a local level – with a local news generating organization like ours (135 years of local news coverage) gives you the best chance to attract customers. Our ‘local information web sites’ are full of local news, video, events, classified ads, blogs and more. Marketing through our news web sites augments, enhances, and in some companies, replaces “old” forms of marketing. It is radically different from traditional forms of marketing in a few fundamental and dramatic ways. Hundreds … even thousands of people AND businesses generate information on our sites. They are involved in the news and information because they put it there.

Social media vs. traditional marketing

Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing has typically had two major forms:

* Direct marketing. This type of marketing focuses on directly generating leads and revenue: Its forms include newspapers, magazines, tradeshows, some websites, seminars/webinars, email blasts, direct mail, pop up ads, etc.

* Brand marketing. This type of marketing is “softer” and seeks to create an image or reputation for the company in the mind of the customer: advertising, public relations, analyst relations, sponsorships, logos, tag lines, etc.

Both of these types of marketing are characterized by a few common attributes:

* They are one- way, push-oriented and interrupt-driven. These activities are from the company to the prospect. The prospect doesn't ask for them. They are "pushed" onto the buyer, interrupting them from whatever they're doing.

* They are brand-generated. The content comes entirely from the brand to the customer.

Social Media Marketing – Web 2.0

Social Media Marketing is defined by a new set of characteristics:

* It's a multi-way dialog. Brands talk to customers, customers talk to brands, and - perhaps most importantly - customers talk to each other. This is a new type of engagement that was never possible until the arrival of Web 2.0. It’s NOW. It’s the FUTURE. Get used to it.

It Is Participatory

* It's participatory. Social media marketing depends on user participation - that's what makes it social. To truly be Social Media Marketing, your users must participate.

* It's user-generated. Most of the content and connections in an online community are created by the users - not by the brand.

We have FREE Classified ads, blogs, featured bloggers, business bloggers, a list of 45,000 searchable businesses on our site, event calendars, users who communicate with their own community and much, much more. There will certainly be content and conversations that are brand-generated, but they will be the minority. The goal is to get your users to talk.

The Queens Ledger / Brooklyn Star Community Weekly Newspaper Media Group enables Social Media Marketing by building on-line communities that combine four key areas of capability:

* User-generated content (blogs, wikis, discussions, photos, videos, voting, etc.)

* Social networking (friend lists, user-created groups, status, presence, etc.)

* Profiles. Most of the content and connections in an online community are created by the users - not by the brand. The overall goal of our company is to bring in new users by offering them a way to communicate with people in their own in-common focus. We get our users to talk.

* Enterprise security and control. The users create most of the content and connections in an online community.

Why Now and Not Before?

The new web 2.0 Internet technology, which we use as an engine for our sites, uses social media platforms that have not been available until recently. Without this web technology, you could not connect with someone who uses a product in which you're interested nor would it be easy to connect with someone who shares a passion that you do? You'd have to find a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend, etc. Or go to a user group. All way too hard. Now with a few Google searches and clicks, you can be connected to dozens if not hundreds of other people who can help you. Every bit of content on our site is searchable through Yahoo and Google. Every local blog, ad, business feature package, event, news brief and video clip is Googlecentric.

This is why companies all over the world are combining traditional marketing dollars with social media marketing: it will become more mainstream in the near future. As citywide newspapers lose circulation, local papers that have a focus on local issues and events are taking on a new life. We have the subscriptions, the loyalty, the stability to be more believable, more influential, and deliver a higher ROI than do traditional one-way marketing ‘non descript’ general circulation newspapers where you "push and interrupt" a brand message. Social media marketing connects people to other people who they can trust. It builds brands in an organic way and generates real revenue. This movement is accelerated by the economic downturn, where slashed marketing budgets will mean marketing teams are looking for better ways to spend their dollars.

* A site user can find a piece of content (e.g., a local news story, police report, blog post, review, event, a discussion reply) that has value to them and quickly determine who provided that content. Is the contributor an expert or a novice on the topic? What is their background on the issue? This adds context to content.

* A site user can locate a partner-business based on their descriptive information and immediately get in touch with them. A user will see photos or videos and more.

Our Association feature module optimizes the web 2.0 world for a group or organization with members or customers; they are all part of the Association site and our site. Their customers are all part of our site and their own. We want your community to stay vibrant and active over time, so we find contributors to your site. We're experienced in ways to encourage and manage user participation so you get the most value out of our on-line community.

Welcome to Web 2.0

Visit us at www.queensledger.com or www.glendaleregister.com or www.foresthillstimes.com or www.licjournal.com or www.leaderobserver.com or www.queensexaminer.com or www.greenpointstar.com or www.brooklyndtstar.com . Place a FREE classified ad, post and event, post a video, a news story, have a blog or claim your business so our users get to know you.



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November 22, 2008
Your comments are great. Just read the new FCC

Commissioner to be appointed-Kevin Werbach plays

the World of Warcraft online game amongst the 8 million social gamers. My only question to you

is their a book out there like "How to be the

best prepared social networker" or could you put out a book or checklist since you seem to be the most knowledgable and the way you explain it the

most understandable for me.