Mark Scarborough’s engagement on the internet with his My Gungahlin site goes back to a time when Yellow Pages were his main competition – in digital terms, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth.
My Gungahlin is a fixture in the community, devoted to providing information about the Gungahlin region to residents, businesses and visitors to Gungahlin. We’re pleased to announce that My Gungahlin has just joined the Region Media stable of titles.
The strong community engagement that characterises the site has its roots in Mark’s own story. My Gungahlin started when Mark and his wife Nicole moved to their first home together in Ngunnawal in 2006 and started looking for information about Gungahlin businesses and the community. The initial My Gungahlin concept from 2007 focussed heavily on creating a business directory.
“We got some good advice that said it’s all about generating traffic”, Mark says. “We realised that we needed to share good quality information and local news to make this work”.
In 2012, a new website was created utilising that advice. The timing was good: Facebook was just beginning to take off and the Scarboroughs grasped its potential to build a strong, connected audience for local stories and content as soon as they began using the platform.
“You could see from the traffic the result was immediate, it grew quickly and constantly. Our My Gungahlin Facebook page just grew and grew and grew, and we started having businesses approach us to get involved”, he says.
In 2013, a further investment in local web development and branding started to yield major gains for the site and Mark says it was satisfying when the page began to be widely recognised and valued by locals. The My Gungahlin Facebook page now has over 22,000 followers.
“Where we’ve been successful is we have filled a void”, Mark says. “We’ve grown up with Gungahlin, sharing information about the region in and around us. That’s the been the value proposition all the way.
“Our network has grown, we ‘ve met so many small business owners and heard amazing stories. That includes getting to know people in the community and sport environments too and being able to support them”.
My Gungahlin’s steady aim has been to promote that sense of community through involvement and acceptance. The website and social media channels include details of events being held in the region by community groups, sporting groups and local schools. You’ll also find local news and can search for local businesses and services.
Mark says that transitioning the site into the Region Media stable is a good fit on many levels. “When I was building the first site, I shaped it around the kind of connection to the community that RiotACT has always had”, he says.
“I think for the longterm longevity of My Gungahlin it’s important for it to find a new home. There’s only so much I can do on my own – lots of people are surprised that My Gungahlin has been run by just one person.
“My wife has given me lots of flexibility to make it happen, but it always came down to just me. I needed a place that could sustain it going forward”.
Mark will continue to be actively involved with My Gungahlin, and Region Co-CEO’s Tim White and Michael McGoogan have welcomed the addition to the Region Media group.
“Since acquiring The RiotACT in August 2016, we have onboarded a number of significant new commercial partners with whom we are piloting some very interesting new digital media and data-driven business models,” Michael says.
“We’re looking forward to working with the people and businesses of Gungahlin to build on My Gungahlin’s strong history”.
Mark says seeing the My Gungahlin brand flourish make him “extremely proud” of what he’s achieved. “Seeing it continue to grow and support the Gungahlin community is really important to me. This is a really exciting opportunity”.
Region Media is proudly locally owned and operated, publishing a number of popular titles including RiotACT, About Regional, The Canberra Page and many other Canberra and region favourites. Read more About RiotACT and the Region Media group, and visit the My Gungahlin Facebook page.
Original Article published by Genevieve Jacobs on The RiotACT.