iBrattleboro.com remains one of the longest-running citizen-powered news and information sites out there, and we continue to be contacted from people around the country and around the world who are interested in doing similar projects where they live. As I noted a week or so ago, we’ve recently answered questions for someone in a small town in Queensland, Australia, and have been interviewed by hyperlocal activists in the Ukraine.
You might be interested in the Ukrainian project. Yurii Antoshchuk, head of a community media foundation there, got in touch to ask us some questions for publication in Russian and English. We answered their questions, but also asked them about what they were doing there.
People we talk with are sometimes unaware of the numbers behind this site. In honor of our Token Economy, let me share some recent statistics. As you know, we’re extremely local, and focus on Brattleboro and surrounding areas in southern Vermont. Our audience drifts into NH and Massachusetts as well. We also have people reading and writing who are interested in Brattleboro but live elsewhere. A few of these folks are reporters looking for stories and people to interview.
Let’s look at some numbers.
iBrattleboro was just given a generous gift of $300, and the person doing the giving asked us to challenge readers to match the gift. Our guess is that the hope is we can raise another $300 for hosting, upkeep, and so on from some small donations.
If you are so inclined, you can contribute using PayPal (a box here in the iBrattleboro section in the right column should assist) or send a check to iBrattleboro, 41 Cedar Street, Brattleboro, 05301.
Thanks to everyone who wrote us regarding iBrattleboro being offline.
The quick version of “what happened?” is that we weren’t properly notified that the domain was expiring today, and failed to renew it in advance. That led to quick renewals this morning, and waiting for it to come back online.
So, thanks for asking and welcome back. (We’re going to switch domain registrars.)
It's nice to feel hot at least once during the summer. Recent summers have left me feeling a bit chilly, but this year we are experiencing quite a few days that I would classify as "genuine summer." It's currently approaching 90 degrees in Brattleboro. Hot and humid. A chance of thunderstorms.
This is all a way of saying we've fixed the iBrattleboro weather page (NOAA makes occasional improvements that break things, then we catch up.) This round of improvements includes a new set of weather icons they hope will better indicate what's going on.
Twelve years ago, Lise and I flipped the proverbial switch and turned on iBrattleboro.com, a new type of web site. It used the world wide web to communicate hyper-locally, and gave everyone in town who cared to register a platform for sharing news, events, stories, and opinions of all things Brattleboro.
Since then, we’ve worked to keep things up and running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year-round, even on holidays. That’s 4015 days without much of a break, something I’m not sure I would have agreed to up front had I known what was involved, but now I can’t really imagine things without it. That will come someday, but not now. Now we are twelve.
That’s 12 years of non-professional, un-edited, real-community local information. You’ve done a spectacular job.
There have been many new users in the last few months, so I thought it might be useful to take a moment to briefly explain iBrattleboro to our relatively new friends. Long-time users of the site are welcome to add additional information in comments.
iBrattleboro was started in February of 2003 as an experiment in do-it-yourself media. It was a reaction to a number of things including big media consolidation, a lack of local reporting, and our personal interest in developing an online community resource.
Every once in a while we ask fans of the site to help cover the costs of keeping it going.
If you are in a position to do so and would like to help out, consider a gift to help offset some of the expenses of keeping this ship sailing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (for over a decade).
Kirsten A. Johnson, Ph.D., an Associate Professor at the Department of Communications at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pa, has a request. She's doing research about citizen journalism efforts around the country and would like your views as users and contributors to this site. The more responses she gets, the more accurate the results can be. We filled out our survey, and she followed up and asked us to invite you and share the link.
Happy Birthday everyone. iBrattleboro is now 11 years old That means we’re all heading toward our exciting teen years, but still retaining our youthful charm and innocence, right?
Lise and I are your guides and enablers, but the site remains yours. You decide what’s important, you write the stories, and you provide the commentary. There are no reporters or editors.
In 2003, the idea of using the world wide web for a local purpose was almost unheard of. News came from the TV set and from the newspaper or weekly news magazines. There were few blogs, no Facebook, no YouTube, nor Twitter. News outlets did not let you comment on stories other than by sending letters to the editor.