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NOISE and Texty Tours partner to bring North Omaha a community-led news platform

Leah Buller, Dawaune Lamont Hayes and Luke Armstrong

Omaha’s Texty Tours, a tech startup specializing in text-based content delivery, announced this week that they will be partnering with NOISE to provide the digital platform and tech support for their new community-led news network.

NOISE (North Omaha Information Support Everyone) is a publication and news network committed to strengthening information creation and distribution in North Omaha.

The grassroots news network aims to close the information gap in North Omaha by connecting people to the news they need, delivered by the people they trust. NOISE will deliver content across a variety of media including print articles, videos, and links to further reading.

“Texty Tours is very excited to work with NOISE on this important project,” said Texty Tours co-founder Luke Armstrong. “We look forward to helping promote this effort by providing not only a platform for their content but also an interaction point for building more connected communities.”

Texty Tours specializes in data collection through a custom platform of guided tours and experiences. The guided experiences help promote locations, events, publications, businesses, non-profit and neighborhood associations and serves the content via SMS technology.

“What we’re doing is leveraging the already existing Texty Tours platform,” said Leah Buller, Communications Director for Texty Tours. “We’re really excited to help Dawuane further his interests as a journalist and spreading the news.”

NOISE subscribers will be able to choose from a print option in conjunction with the Omaha Star, as well as a free digital publication that will be released monthly.

Text notifications will alert subscribers to new releases. By providing readers with text alerts and a digital platform, subscribers will have easy and flexible access to information.

“People will be able to get text alerts when new editions are available,” said Buller. “There’s also a phone number where people will be able to call and leave voice messages. They can also subscribe by calling the NOISE phone number.”

People in the community will also be able to call in with tips, idea and questions, and to connect to the NOISE news team.

“NOISE has to be as flexible and dynamic as the people for which we create,” said Dawaune Lamont Hayes, founder and director of NOISE. “Delivering content on diverse platforms enables us to connect with people in a way that is right for them. By doing so, we are establishing a strong presence and value unique to the current local information landscape.”

By creating a partnership between the tech company and the news platform, Hayes is not only able to launch faster, but he’s also able to leverage Texty Tours’ area of expertise in data collection.

“Working with Texty Tours allowed NOISE to get their digital site up much quicker,” said Buller. “It’s more cost-effective than building their own platform, and there’s no app to download. Apps are extremely expensive to build and this is a web-based application, so we’re able to collect really important data for NOISE.”

Texy Tours is able to collect subscription and demographic data, as well as data about which articles are most popular. All of those things are vital to the development of an online news source.

“We’re really excited about the opportunity to take our platform and use it in other ways that will help neighborhoods and communities connect,” said Buller. “We’re really involved in community outreach so this is a good marriage between [our interests].”

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Christine McGuigan is the Managing Editor of Silicon Prairie News.

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