Website of the Year


James Fyrne gives us an insight into the online arts and entertainment magazine for Gloucestershire.

SoGlos is an online arts and entertainment magazine for Gloucestershire, and the most influential guide to the county. It is brimming with exclusive editorial content written by experienced journalists, and cited as one of the UK’s only successful examples of independent regional publishing models. James Fyrne, deputy editor, explains all...

What was the inspiration for the site?

My partner, Michelle Fyrne and I returned to our home county of Gloucestershire after working as journalists in London and Dubai. The arts and entertainment field wasn’t being covered well and we spotted a niche in the market. With the decline in print media already underway, we made a calculated decision to launch online.

When did you launch the site?

In July 2007, the week the floods hit Gloucestershire, following a year of research and development.

What are your greatest challenges?

Switching off. We love, live and breathe SoGlos, and are always thinking about the next editorial article, technical improvement, cutting edge development...

We generate revenue through the sale of advertising services, so knowing what sets SoGlos apart from other media in our market, and being able to communicate this to potential clients, is also fundamental.

What's your background?

The editor, Michelle, did her postgrad in newspaper journalism at City University before working for the likes of Guardian Unlimited, ThisIsLondon and Time Out Dubai. I did my postgrad at Cardiff University School of Journalism but specialised in PR. I spent some time working for London-based PR agencies before cutting my teeth as a writer on What’s On UAE magazine in Dubai.

Who do you admire in business?

Any journalist who has gone it alone to start their own publication. There aren’t that many of us in the UK and it is tough starting out. Six years on we know that better than anyone, but with the right skill set and enough hard work, there are plenty of exciting opportunities in the publishing industry.

Please recommend a website that helps you promote or run your business.

We’re very fortunate to have built and developed our own in-house publishing content management system, but Twitter has become an invaluable resource for sharing our content and interacting with our readers. It’s another huge one, but YouTube is fantastic for showcasing our videos – and they’ve notched up an amazing 7.5 million views now!

What is the best piece of business advice you've been given?

The customer is always right.

What is your motto?

Content is king. (Oh how we agree on that one.)

Where do you see the business going from here?

Following an extensive overhaul of SoGlos in 2012, unveiled last September, we’re looking into expanding the model to other areas in the UK. We’ve built up what we consider to be the best arts and entertainment platform around and would love to see a SoBristol, SoCardiff or SoManchester in action...

February 2012