There have been many new users in the last few months, so I thought it might be useful to take a moment to briefly explain iBrattleboro to our relatively new friends. Long-time users of the site are welcome to add additional information in comments.
iBrattleboro was started in February of 2003 as an experiment in do-it-yourself media. It was a reaction to a number of things including big media consolidation, a lack of local reporting, and our personal interest in developing an online community resource.
There was no YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter. No such thing yet as crowd sourcing or crowd funding. The newspaper’s web site had neither photos nor videos.
So we started, adapting open source software used by techies to create what we thought would make a good local online news site. Site sections were determined by the themes of the most common discussions we heard around town.
The idea is simple: everyone has something to contribute. If everyone shares their expertise and opinions, we all benefit. You are the reporter, the photographer, the illustrator, and/or editor covering your house, neighborhood, and path through town.
Almost all of us learned how to read and write in school, and how to prepare a book report. The same principles apply when writing about where you live. Answer some simple questions, such as who, what, where, when and how, and you’ve provided useful information to others. Pretend you are writing a letter to a future generation. What details would someone 100 years from now appreciate?
If you don’t know the details, you are welcome to ask a question, such as “Does anyone know anything about the...?”
There are no reporters on staff at iBrattleboro. Everything is generated by people who live in or have an interest in Brattleboro, and you can contribute something anytime the mood strikes you. If there is something in town that deserves more attention, you can provide it.
Nearly 4,000 people have registered to contribute something since the site began. When you log in, additional features and functions become available, such as adding photos.
You can write about your business, a meeting you attended, an idea you have, or an event at your school. You can write about projects you are working on, games you play, things you’ve read or seen, or a recent performance you enjoyed.
You can contribute what newspapers call Letters to the Editor in the Opinion section. You can add events to the calendar, or something you have for sale in the Classifieds.
You can add comments to almost anything if you see something that needs clarification or correction. Readers love reading new comments, and writers enjoy (most of the time) a follow up conversation to their story submission.
If there is an ongoing topic you’d like to discuss in detail, you can start a Group. You can suggest a poll question.
Just about anything you can think up, we’ll have a place for at iBrattleboro. We love local, original, useful information and so do the readers of the site.
Many of you are just like to read, and that’s fine. Over 30,000 unique visitors read the site each month. We send out daily headlines to our Twitter feed of nearly 900 followers, too.
So, if you are relatively new to the site, I hope this provides a bit of perspective. We’re glad you found us, and look forward to your reports, stories, views, suggestions, and other Brattleboro knowledge.
Let us know if you have any questions.