By Thomas Palmer, 1812Blockhouse Owner/Publisher
Wednesday marks five years to the day since 1812Blockhouse went live.
It wasn’t really planned that way. I had been working on a new site for several weeks after months of looking at what was happening in the world of local digital media, all while I waited for a two year territorial agreement with Richland Source to expire.
What I had found, by the way, was that for all of the hoopla afforded the next generation of local news sites around the country, digital-only operations seemed to walk and talk and look and read almost exactly the same as their newspaper counterparts in how they gathered news and organized that information for readers. The only exceptions were backed by very deep pockets which allowed for experimentation not tied to a bottom line.
There were one or two sites, however, which seemed different and dobale and so I followed their lead. On the evening of September 8, 2016, when I received word of the first birth in the next generation of my family, that was all it took and I switched 1812 on.
What you see today is the product of the path we identified — a path highlighted by 5,690 stories we have shared with readers.
1812Blockhouse ended up being something which made more money than it cost early on and also something I would honestly want to read if I weren’t involved with it. Every day, I check the main stories on WMFD, Richland Source, the News Journal, the Shelby Daily Globe, WMAN, and other sites to determine which stories should be linked to on our site. It’s a bit of a chore, but the reality is that we do it so you don’t have to. We share between 30 to 40 timely links each day to posts from dozens of news sites as well as local organizations, schools, and local governments.
This year, the next generation of digital-focused local news publishing is reinventing itself yet again. Rest assured that we are constantly scanning the horizon for ways to shake things up in how we operate. It’s high time for that.
For the moment, though, the most important thing is to share heartfelt thanks with our readers. It’s been our pleasure to meet many of you and to create great working relationships with Richland County businesses and organizations. When I am out and about and hear 1812Blockhouse mentioned in conversation, it never fails to make me smile. What a rush!
Case in point — I once ran into a marketing point person for a large Richland County non-profit corporation at a conference in downtown Mansfield. She asked why I was there. “I am here on behalf of 1812Blockhouse,” I replied. “You are1812Blockhouse?” she said. “I really love and appreciate your site and I have been wondering who you all were.”
Because we include everyone, even our “competitors,” 1812 engages the community as none other does — and we want to do more. If you would like to become involved with the site in any way, from sharing ideas, to advertising, to writing posts for us, etc., please send me an email at [email protected] and we’ll chat.
In the meantime, here’s to 1812Blockhouse and a brilliant future for the extraordinary communities of Richland County!
ThomasImage by GiFri from Pixabay