Mean Streets Omaha Update:
@MeanStreetsOMA has become one of the most popular Twitter accounts in Omaha; providing entertainment and information since May 2013. Now what we have reached over 40,000 followers on Twitter and over 11,000 followers on Facebook, we are seeking to take this crazy thing to the next level. With your help, we will be able to make the experience for our followers even better.
Mean Streets Omaha is currently a 100% volunteer effort. We are seeking to expand our capabilities with the addition of important hardware equipment and improved marketing through community based investment from people like you. It is important to note that we are not making any money from this. Thus far, the costs for hardware equipment, software, subscriptions, and other expenses that arise have been covered out of pocket.
What your funding will go towards is nothing extremely glamorous or extravagant; however, it will provide the basic equipment and space that is needed to continue to provide fast and accurate content. While this is not immediately gratifying for those who contribute, the effect of your contribution will pay off in the long run by allowing us to operate for the long term.
As Mean Streets Omaha grew we discovered a need for a more professional scanner equipment setup. We have an exciting quote for a professional scanner setup from ScannerMaster.com which would be on par with the largest and best news organizations in the country. With this being said, the equipment does not come cheap; one police scanner costs nearly $500, and Mean Streets Omaha covers anywhere between 6-10 scanner channels at any particular time. Additionally, we will obtain antennas, antenna combiners, cable, and other accessories are needed to complete a professional system with your generous contribution.
It is important to note that we are not in control of, or associated with, the police and fire scanner feeds that are provided by Broadcastify.com. While that feed has been quite reliable, it theoretically could go away at any time. Our new equipment would serve as an improvement by giving us more flexibility to control what channels we draw our information from while simultaneously providing an independent backup or alternative to the Broadcastify.com feed.
This new scanner equipment will allow us to:
- Simultaneously monitor and record more channels of audio and isolate on a particular channel that may have an important event occurring. This will lead to better and more accurate information about what is going on.
- Be more “in control of our our own destiny” in terms of the essential physical hardware we need to provide this service.
Additionally we need to expand our audio recording capabilities. We hope to obtain audio mixing equipment, a computer server, hard drives, software, etc. to enable more complete and flexible system for recording and publishing audio for the user. There are numerous times where these audio recordings have served a critical role in both national and local news events. For instance, the publishing of the audio transcript from the 90th and Dodge Street snow plow fiasco this past winter. This exposed inconsistencies in the Mayor’s portrayal of the incident where a change in snow removal policy was created for subsequent snow storms.
The ability to record and publish timely audio and transcripts from multiple sources has the potential to give a very accurate and honest perspective of what is happening in the city versus potential “spin” that may be added later.
Commercial Work Space:
For the long term sustainability of the Mean Streets Omaha brand, we need a suitable commercial space in a good location that can house scanner equipment and provide a professional work space. We have several locations in mind, and your contribution will enable us to prepay rent on a lease. In this work space we will need to pay for a quality internet connection and routing equipment. We will need to acquire furniture, basic office supply equipment, and computers to run scanners and other computer based programs to enable us to provide you rapid and accurate information.
Marketing and Merchandise:
Up to this point we have been selling t-shirts through Spreadshirt.com on an on-demand production basis. As a result, we have priced these at a very low profit margin to encourage you, the user to purchase as much as possible. Thus far, we have sold about 50 shirts with a profit of about $1.00 – $2.00 each. With your support, we would like to invest in a supply of marketing merchandise material including popular t-shirts, stickers, beer koozes, coffee mugs, etc. Many of these would be used for promotional giveaways at major events like the College World Series or in contests that Mean Streets Omaha runs. This would provide brand recognition and help expand our reach, further promoting what we do.
Mean Streets Omaha could not have grown to what it is today without the support of our awesome followers. Our follower base is growing at a rate of over 100 new followers per day, and we want to ensure we can continue to reach and serve an ever growing audience.
With your generous contribution, we can continue to provide some of the best entertainment as well as timely and accurate information about the death, destruction, and funny stuff from the mean streets of Omaha.
Listen to our interview on @radionOwhereOMA: