It’s important along a journey to occasionally take some time out and take stock of where you are.
Our arrival on the local media scene is no different. Of course, that launch was very recent – just a little over three weeks ago, in fact. It came on the same day as a very important family birth, thus providing hopeful positive energy.
So, can three weeks of experience produce even a glimmer of insight into whether or not we are on the right path? Perhaps.
For one thing, it is more clear that nothing exists in the Mansfield media market like what we are attempting to create. The existing players are well-known and well-financed. Each produces a quality online product which is easy to navigate; the News Journal, WMFD, and Richland Source all have their “niches” and serve a particular audience. Their work is great, and we’re fans.
What we see, however, is the amount of journalism that takes place elsewhere. These three weeks have introduced us to some very enterprising entrepreneurs who use online tools and social media very well indeed. We have started to make connections with these people and companies, and have enjoyed watching them do what they do. Their efforts beg even louder the question which gave rise to 1812Blockhouse and the premise on which it is based – what does a true community news and information site actually look like? How can these various voices be pulled together to create community through diversity?
That is the core idea of 1812Blockhouse – to highlight the best journalism in the Mansfield area, whether it be done by a paid reporter or not, and to augment those links with stories of our own.
The second lesson is the hard knocks lesson that all start-ups face, and that is the painful process of growing an audience. We’ve made some important strides in that regard. A few days ago, the hits turned from hundreds to thousands per day, and yes, a wee bit of bubbly was consumed.
We’ve got some fun things in store for the coming weeks. One of those will likely be announced in a general sense by early next week; it’s our gift to a community that has already been so welcoming.
So thanks for reading, and we hope you continue to do so (and tell your friends)!