On Sunday, I had lunch with publishers of two other Puget Sound-area online news sites: Exit 133, which covers Tacoma, and the West Seattle Blog. Both of these news websites have been around a lot longer than My Edmonds News, which celebrated its 5th anniversary last October.
It’s always good to exchange “war stories” with other members of your profession, especially those with some longevity. (Exit 133 began publishing in 2005 while the West Seattle Blog started in 2007.) But it’s also good to be reminded of what a great community we have in Edmonds, and how lucky I am to not have to report on myriad accidents blocking the West Seattle Bridge, an important news event for those who drive it everyday.
As we ate lunch, we expressed our collective pride that we were still standing, given the number of online news experiments — remember Patch, anyone? — that have launched with a splash, then shrunk to a shadow of their former selves or completely disappeared after discovering that while you can make a living in online news, it requires extraordinary persistence, patience and much personal sacrifice. We also recalled the owners of other small but fiesty independently-owned sites like ours, locally and across the U.S., who have had to shut down, for reasons ranging from financial pressures to family commitments.
So, why am I still here? It comes down to one word: community. I grew up in the small town of Ellensburg, Wash., where neighbors watched out for each other — and each other’s kids. As a teenager, I couldn’t wait to leave Ellensburg for college in the “big city.” But as I became a parent, I realized the value of having a caring community of adults — from next-door neighbors to teachers to coaches to co-workers — watching over my kids.
Now that my children are grown, I am grateful to have the time and energy to give back by publishing My Edmonds News. I appreciate the ongoing feedback from our readers — positive and negative — as it not only helps me do a better job, it reminds me that in the end, people come here not just to read the news or enjoy the photographs or see the latest comments. They come here because together, we have created an online community of neighbors and friends.
I can’t close before I say “thank you” once again to those who are continuing to sign up for voluntary subscriptions. We recently reformatted our giving options, so that is now possible to make a one-time payment online in addition to recurring payments. As I’ve said before, subscriptions help us pay for expenses like writers, photographers, technical staff and web hosting, and supplement the income we derive from our wonderful advertisers.
Have you subscribed yet? You can learn more at this link.
Until next time,
Teresa Wippel, Publisher