The Icon became a family today. Fred and Mary Pannabecker Steiner, owners of The Bluffton Icon, announce the launching of The Ada Icon (www.adaicon.com). The Ada site is completely separate from Bluffton; however, it offers the Ada community many of the features of The Bluffton Icon.
Like Bluffton, The Ada Icon is a free, online news source, which covers the community of Ada with daily news, information and opportunities for businesses to advertise their products.
In the planning for nearly one year, the Ada Icon officially launched on the Ides of March with no formal announcement. Since that date, the Ada Icon has grown with stories, photos, videos, ads and other features.
Bluffton Icon advertisers were invited to place their ads on The Ada Icon prior to today's official launch. Nearly a dozen Bluffton advertisers are now also on The Ada Icon. That number continues to grow.
Ryan Lowry, the Icon technical director, is responsible for getting The Ada Icon online. Working with the Steiners this winter and spring, Lowry built the Ada Icon from scratch, just as he did The Bluffton Icon in the fall of 2009. Lowry of Bluffton, is a 2011 Ohio Northern University graduate.
On April 11, many downtown Ada businesses were introduced to The Ada Icon and Bluffton Icon with a door-to-door delivery of Icon coffee and a brief letter of introduction.
"We are very excited about the reception Ada is giving its Icon," said Fred Steiner.
He continued: "Many of our Bluffton advertisers have encouraged us to explore an Ada Icon. One of the advantages of two Icons is Bluffton businesses may promote their products at very affordable costs to potential customers who live only 12 minutes from Bluffton.
"The same is true for Ada businesses. They now have an opportunity to promote their products to potential customers in Bluffton - only 12 minutes from Ada."
"During our introduction in Ada today we met many people who read the Bluffton Icon and are excited that they now have an Icon of their own," said Steiner.
In coming weeks The Ada Icon will be introduced to the entire Ada community, including schools, village government, churches, clubs and organizations and businesses.
Viewership of The Bluffton Icon continues its dramatic growth spurt. In the past 30 days The Bluffton Icon experienced over 25,000 visits by over 8,500 viewers. The Bluffton Icon's average weekday view is between 800 and 900.
Steiner said that the decision to expand into Ada is great for both communities.
"We are small business owners. From the very beginning we decided to make our news source affordable to small businesses. We believe in small towns and the similarities between Bluffton and Ada are striking. It is very natural for us to expand into Ada with a second Icon," he said.
The Ada logo is similar to the Bluffton logo. Ada's logo colors reflect a purple and gold Ada High School look combined with an orange and black Ohio Northern University look.
Bluffton's logo carries a red and white and purple and white color scheme.