You might not realize it, but at this very moment you are reading a post on a local news and information website that differs from almost every other such site in the country.
When the switch was flipped back on September 8, 2016, Richland County became the very first small to mid-sized media market in America (that we knew of or know of) with a site committed to keeping its readers informed not only through its own news coverage, but also by actually pointing readers to local news covered by other media as well. Each day since, we have not only done our own reporting, but we have featured links to stores on WMFD, the Mansfield News Journal, Richland Source, and to social media posts from dozens of other local governments, organizations, churches, and businesses to create a one-stop information center.
It has now been three years since 1812Blockhouse went live. Over 3,700 posts, 50,000 shared links, and millions of views later, that goal of creating informed readers remains at the very heart of what we do.
That shared, we have changed and continue to do so. Last year, we welcomed 1808Delaware to our family. Earlier in 2019, we formed a media company for the sites, Total|Local Media. That company is focused on the very things that make 1812Blockhouse unique – organic news coverage, curation, cost practicality, using open source tools, being quick and flexible, emphasizing local, and embracing innovation.
On that latter point, we are constantly scouring the horizon for new and creative ways to connect with our readers. When a group went to Austin to collect ideas for what eventually became the Mansfield Rising plan, for instance, it was 1812Blockhouse that collected and shared their social media posts that allowed people in Mansfield to, in essence, travel to Texas with them.
We are taking major steps in honor of our third birthday. This past week, we welcomed our new staffer, Mansfielder Kristina Krueger. In a few weeks we are also launching our new membership program, a program which will introduce new features and offer the opportunity to go behind the scenes. We’re also adding a third site later this year in a place well known to many Richland Countians.
At its core, however, will always be 1812Blockhouse. As we shared in one of our first posts, like the original settlers of Richland County who constructed our namesake, the venerable Blockhouse that now stands in South Park, “we are pioneers building something to support the community and help move it forward.” We love telling the stories of this beautiful and exciting place!
We are super excited about what we do, and for the future. Thank you for being a part of our journey. Richland Rocks, and so do you!