About five years ago, I wrote an insightful, provocative column discussing my at-the-time groundbreaking philosophy about bringing together the Internet and neighborhood journalism.
Exhibit A of that column was our own website, advocatemag.com, which was unveiled with that very issue of our magazine. The website was billed to include the stories and photos we publish each month, as well as a central community calendar for neighbors to reference — cutting edge stuff at the time.
And even though the website wasn’t quite complete as I wrote the column, I was assured by our webmaster it would be ready to go when the magazines were delivered.
Well, in that week or two lag time between when a magazine is completed and when it’s delivered — when it’s too late to take back anything you’ve already said — our webmaster went AWOL, along with our website. Despite a frantic search, we couldn’t find him anywhere. Finally, the day before the magazines were delivered, he turned up in a mental-health institution, dealing with bigger issues than advocatemag.com.
So it is today, with a more humble perspective on all things electronic, that I invite you to take a look at our latest Internet offering — a brand new advocatemag.com with a number of interesting, useful components:
• Easily downloadable and searchable PDFs of our magazines, both current and going back a few years, just in case you’re looking for a plumber or electrician or Realtor or insurance agent or doctor or school or restaurant but don’t have your magazine handy.
• A brand new, free-of-charge neighborhood classifieds site for quick and easy searching of our home services advertisers, as well as posting your own free ads for neighborhood garage sales, band touts, church listings, restaurant listings — just about anything you can imagine needing in our neighborhood. You can even post ads free-of-charge online for seven days at a time.
• Online calendar and news item posting software, allowing you to go to the Post an Event or News Item section on the bottom left, type in the information (or upload a photo or two), and let us publish the information in a future magazine even as you post it on the Internet for neighbors to immediately see and use.
There’s a lot more on advocatemag.com, too. But I’m most excited about these new, free opportunities to work with you to better-acquaint each other with what’s happening in our neighborhood. If you have ideas for us about ways to improve the site, just let me know; and rest assured we have a few more plans we’ll be unveiling in the coming months.
And the best news of all: Even as I write this, the website is already up and working. Hopefully, with your help, it will stay that way for awhile…