Monday, March 29, 2010

4 Years and Counting - Happy Birthday NOC!

Wow, I can't believe NewsOverCoffee has been online for four years! To celebrate, I decided to update the template. This is only the second time I've changed the look of the site, and I think it is easier on the eyes when reading. I hope you like it and as always, feel free to leave comments.

Since re-launching on 3/28/06 there have been over 2500 posts and in both 2008 and 2009 there were over 100,000 visits and over 160,000 page views - a huge increase from the 18,000 visits and 40,000 page views I had in the first year!

Obviously, things have changed quite a bit online since I came up with the idea and tried launching it in 2005. Then, only 25% of internet users had read a blog, and Facebook was only available to college students at select universities.

In 2006 NewsOverCoffee became one of only 500 community based news sites in the United States. Today there are thousands and there are now thirteen blogs by Nazareth area residents or about some aspect of the community that I follow and summarize in my weekly (almost) round-up.

From the beginning I wanted a site where people in the community could share information with one another regarding the numerous local meetings and organizations that often have the most direct impact on our lives. I also wanted an environment that was 'flame-free' and safe. One in which people would be comfortable making a comment. I wanted to be fair and present information for others to decide.

I respect that this makes the site 'bland' by comparison to some others and without an editor I know that my own biases come into play on occasion, but for the most part I think I've accomplished the tone and environment I set out to achieve.

While Nazareth is fortunate to have both The US and The Key, neither has reporters and both rely on submitted material and advertising. The Express-Times and the Morning Call probably give our area more press than it 'deserves' because it is a 'battleground' area in regard to subscribers. Despite that, the dailies can't possibly cover every school district nor can they cover each municipality. This is where NewsOverCoffee fits in and works. It provides the information residents can't get unless they are at the meetings.

I'm fortunate to have established good relationships with the staff and reporters of both newspapers. I believe I've helped them identify stories and have recognized their coverage of our community. To them I say thank you - they've been great supporters.

While I thought every group and activity would be falling all over themselves to share information on NewsOverCoffee (the original plan was for them to submit content, it failed hence the re-launch in 2006), I have slowly gained a few that regularly submit their events and report on their activities. If you are involved in a group and want to get word out - send info to editor@newsovercoffee.com (included in the body of the email is best).

I also want to thank the small handful of individuals who have contributed posts through the years. Those include:

  • Jacob Allen, a student who has reported on School Board meetings
  • Becky Butz, who continues to attend many Council meetings and is kind enough to take notes and forward them to me periodically
  • Chris Moren, now a Councilperson in Tatamy who later founded Tatamy Happenings and continues to blog
  • Brad Moulton, who tirelessly covered School Board meetings for a year or so

Most of all, thanks to everyone who reads, comments, and sends me emails about what is happening or what they've heard about!

From the early controversy of the new Borough Police Department to the Teachers' Strike and New Middle School, while tempers have flared, most everyone has been respectful and we've worked through the issues that were most challenging.

Here's to continued coverage of the community and fewer controversies in the future!

Thanks again for reading and have a great week!

Posted via email from Ross Nunamaker

5 comments:

Xitch13 said...

Ross,

Thanks for the fine work you've done over the past 4 years. I read the blog every morning at work to keep me updated on Nazareth. Even though I currently live in the Philadelphia area, I usually have a good handle on all the things happening around Nazareth when I come back to visit my parents.

Thanks again,

Chris Crook

Scott said...

Ross,
Congratulations on the last 4 years. I appreciate the local ablinnews coverage and the announcements of local events.

Scott Kately

NewsOverCoffee said...

Thanks - it has been a lot of fun and it even was used by some people in ways I hadn't considered (people who used to live here and those in the armed forces).

Ross

Curtis Family said...

I like the new look of the site, Ross! I appreciate all the work you've done on NOC, and I think it's a great way to combine your writing talent and your interest in local activities and politics. Thank you for your contribution to the community.

Suzanne Curtis

Tig said...

For what it's worth, I strongly dislike the new look. Much more difficult on the eyes... too bright; needs more contrast. It's lacking a background color.
-from a former web designer/ programmer