Column: Happy Birthday, Long Valley Patch!
Washington Township's online news source turns 1.
There is a plethora of ways to describe the length of one year. It can be explained as 12 months, 365 days, 52 weeks and so on.
At Long Valley Patch, we’re going to describe one year as unprecedented and awesome.
Saturday, Sept. 24 marked the one-year anniversary of Long Valley Patch’s birth, or, as we say in web-land, went ‘live.’
The past 365 days have been amazing, to say the least. We’ve covered, reported on, written about, photographed, and documented via video a seemingly endless array of news, sports and information affecting Washington Township.
While we haven’t been able to be everywhere we’d like, speak to everyone we want or photograph all that goes on, Long Valley Patch has brought a new perspective to the way Washington Township views its community and information.
And we’re very proud of that.
As the site’s editor, I’ve seen amazing work from our photographers and reporters, as well as truly inspiring assistance and help within the community. This hasn’t just become a job for me, rather, a lifestyle of communication and aid between the site and my neighbors throughout the township.
When this column publishes on Sunday morning, Long Valley Patch will have created nearly 2,100 articles, an average of almost six each day. We strive to deliver accurate information in a timely manner to our readers, and it is you, the community, who helps us do it day in and day out.
Most readers don’t know what truly goes on behind the scenes of a Patch site, and we won’t dive into it here, but it’s the support, feedback and appreciation we're given that helps us forge ahead during those 60-hour workweeks. So, thank you.
Long Valley Patch was the 194th site to go live under Patch Media last year, and we’ve now grown to some 860 sites in 22 states and the District of Columbia.
The first day of the site’s life was like any other, offering an article about the repair of Bert, The Liberty Eagle’s base at the intersection of Flocktown and Schooley’s Mountain Roads. We also explained the loss of the D.A.R.E. program in the school district for the first time in nearly 20 years. And who could forget our welcome video–brilliantly edited to remove my blank stares and empty sentences–to announce who and what Long Valley Patch was? Ah, good times.
While so much has changed since Long Valley Patch’s infancy (one Patch year is the equivalent of 10 human years), so much still remains the same, and it’s something we won’t ever change.
Bringing the community the information it needs and deserves is paramount for us. Whether it’s a breaking news story about a burglary in town, school closings, or the new business that just opened, we have an obligation to our readers to fill a news void missing in Washington Township.
On a personal note, I need to thank all the reporters and photographers from far and wide who have helped to make this endeavor so successful. It's too many to name here, but without their work, this site could not thrive the way it has.
Also, to my fellow site editors throughout New Jersey and the Regional Editors and other members of Patch who've always been around to lend a hand and offer guidance, you're all awesome.
The future is online, and I think we all know that. I was a member of Mrs. Jenks' typing class in sixth grade at the Long Valley Middle School about 16 years ago, learning about 'home row' and painfully curling my pinky finger to reach the shift key.
Now, my two-year-old son knows how to work a DVD player and mugs for the camera, saying cheese anytime someone flips open their phone.
Times have changed, and the Internet is how information will be distributed, like it or not. It’s now the quickest and easiest way to access what one needs.
Our first year was a blast–and changed the way we get our local information–and we’re looking forward to many more.
Happy Birthday, Long Valley Patch!