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Six months ago, after nearly five years of running local news websites in one form or the other, I decided it was time to hang it up.
Over the past month or so I've toyed with the idea of doing something different, involving more multimedia as well as continuing to share the work of some of our areas' talented writers, but the thought process always came back to the beginning. I had the software license, I had the ability, I just needed the spark.
That spark came in a couple different ways. Around the same time I started toying with the idea I had random people ask me about the site. I also began to see even more of a need in our area for a reliable news source without the fluff pieces that are great for clickbait and driving social media response, but not much else. To be honest, I was also missing the chance to tinker around on the back end of a website. That's always been the fun part, creating the features you see here.
Additionally, I had a brief conversation with the admin of another site I enjoy. His site gets hits from all over the world and has been going for nearly 10 years. His perspective about why he does it; for his own enjoyment more than anything else, kinda resonated with me.
Having the ability to get unlimited high speed data didn't hurt either.
So I said I'd dip my toe back in. I'd spend the few bucks to renew the license on the software and hosting, and just play around, if only for my own enjoyment. What I found was, the more I did that, the more I missed doing it in the first place. Next thing I knew, the site was here.
But there's still something missing of course. The people.
So I'll do a slow roll out. First a sort of "soft opening" for the people who have been part of this from the very beginning. Maybe we'll pick up a few people we lost along the way. Then if all looks good I'll roll it out to the public. Then we'll see what happens over the course of the next year.
While some features will be familiar, some are going to be different. Many will not be back. Also, I plan to keep the amount of forums to a minimum. Additionally we won't be archiving all the posts from now on. Most will have an expiration date but the better discussions will go to a "Best of" container. This should help keep the costs of hosting down as well as keep time spent at the computer to a minimum.
For the foreseeable future, the most glaring change will be that the site will now be "Subscription Only". However that "subscription" is free, all someone has to do is register an account and log in to read the site. It's my hope this encourages people to respond and add their thoughts to the discussion that takes place here.
Gone are the days of focusing on making this a "product" or trying to compete with social media. Or anyone for that matter. We're going to continue to offer a place for news and civil discussion. Along the way we'll have some fun and hopefully I can make a couple new ideas I have incubating hatch out.
Thanks for stopping by again. I hope you make ElmiraTelegram.com a regular stop