Well, well. One day we’re sitting around planning a community news site and fourteen years later we’re looking back as if in a Talking Heads’ song. My god, what have we done?
Same as it ever was.
For fourteen years now, almost every day of our lives has had an extra layer to it - iBrattleboro.
Sometimes on iBrattleboro, we find ourselves forced to delete comments that violate our community standards. We hate having to do that, but there are times when comments cross the line — for instance, when a commenter personally attacks a business owner for promoting a product, service, or event that the commenter thinks is wrong. Deleting comments, no matter how harsh the comments may be, inevitably leads to accusations that we’re denying the commenter their free speech.
President Trump seems to be presenting a unique opportunity for citizen journalists. Yes, I’m digging up that dusty term to remind you that you have the power of the pen.
The unique opportunity appears to be that he plans to bypass traditional media and go direct to the people via Twitter and YouTube.
When he announced his first 100 day plan, it came as an upload to YouTube, not a press conference. Professional reporters were forced to write stories about an online video.
Happy birthday, everyone. We’re all teenagers today!
Today is the day that iBrattleboro.com turns 13 years old. We can now watch PG-13 movies without adult supervision!
13 is a baker’s dozen, the number of cards in each suit of the deck, and the number of original colonies.
Math lovers will note that 13 is the 6th prime number, the smallest emirp, a Fibonacci number, and a happy number.
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.