November 9, 2007

Four years

By a strange coincidence, I wrote the first post here on November 6, 2003, four years to the day before Tuesday's election. After a bruising loss that removed all the Democrats from the Town Board, I wrote:

The whole process has me thinking a lot harder about where I live and why, and a blog seems like the right place to do it. Thinking in public is kind of strange, and sometimes even embarrassing, but it also seems worth doing. There isn't a whole lot out there on Dryden, and it's taken us a few years to figure out where we are. Maybe this will help some folks find their way around, and heck, maybe it'll be interesting generally.

I think it's lived up to the interesting part, certainly - interesting enough that there's now a reasonably-sized group of people who also write regularly about Dryden issues. A few people have found their way to and around Dryden with the blog's help, so I think that's all worked out well.

As happy as I am to see Town politics shift back toward the Democrats, I still had the same strange sense in talking with people this year that I had in 2003. Even though it was a hotly contested race, news of that contest hadn't reached a lot of people until the very end, and even then the details seem to have stayed fuzzy. I think a few hundred Dryden residents see this blog every week, but most of the traffic, last I checked, was coming in through search engines from all over the place. A lot more people still get their Dryden news from the ever-shrinking coverage in the Ithaca Journal than get it from here.

That's okay, though - I've never set out to compete with the Journal or the Cortland Standard or even the Dryden Courier. This work is about changing things at the margins, helping people who are slightly interested become more interested, and helping people who are interested enough to find local news too weak find more information. I don't have the time to write that much, or the funds to promote that much.

If I could add a local sports section to attract more interest, I would - but I don't have time to go get the pictures and follow the teams the way that kind of work demands. (The Odessa File does a great job of mixing sports and news, for example.)

It's tempting, I'll admit, to declare victory and go home, having achieved much of the original purpose of the blog. It's found new purposes along the way, though, and I'll keep it moving along. There's a lot more to come on our quest to eat locally, on our continuing work on the house and garden, and on Angelika's orchard, as well as Dryden's news, politics, and events generally.

2343 stories so far, with 439 comments. More soon!

Posted by simon at November 9, 2007 12:09 PM in
Note on photos


Mike Lane said:

Thanks Simon, for four incredible years. The number of stories and articles that you have written about Dryden are staggering. The range has been amazing. Your photos are always newsy, inspiring, and frequently poignant. You are talented and fair. This Drydenite is very happy to hear that you will be continuing your work. Our town is better for it.