Five years ago today, I wrote the first post on this little site of ours.
I remember very clearly why I decided to blog: I’m useless. If I could build, I’d help fix something great in Weston. If I could give good advice, I would give it. If I could follow orders, I would pitch in and help out. But I can’t. Ask my wife. I’m hopeless.
I took an inventory of my skills—didn’t take long—and I realized that I can do precisely two things. I can type, and I talk to myself. I already spent a lot of time jabbering, so I got to tapping.
And that’s how we got started here. My first big story was a proposal, now long forgotten, to move St John the Evangelist to Swanek Park. It was thrilling to report on, and it taught me a lot: Some people hated me. Some people liked me. I got tips, and I got used, and I got to see the keenness of local politics. I was lucky to get started on something so interesting.
But most of all, I learned that people are interested. No big media cover local schools, but ‘little’ stories really matter. Of course, what we do here isn’t the Economist or the Globe. But I think—I hope—that people care because we write about things they know and think about. And ask a kid: little things are really big when you’re up close.
Roy Murray joined up not long after, and he’s been a stalwart friend and Westonian since. I’m very grateful to him. He’s a braver, better writer than me, and as a good friend he always makes me feel both that I am doing well and that I can do more. Thank you, Roy.
You all started to join in too, and you brought your neighbours. Every day now, we get a few hundred visits. Every month we get 8 or 9,000. Some of you send me tips. Some give me grief. Some send me money to pay Natalie, our wonderful student writer, and many of you simply follow along. Thanks very much, every one of you. And thank you, very much, Natalie.
Five years! To fifty more!