Mt Albert Inc is 10 days or so shy of its three-month anniversary – so perhaps a little early, you’d think, to take a break.
But we’re shutting down your local news and information website for a month or so to take a breather. Well, not exactly shutting down – because all the stories and background tabs will stay there for fresh sets of eyes. It’s just that, for a spell, there’ll be no daily posts of the local news the website has managed since it launched on October 2
It had been a slog for some months before that, getting the background content prepared and the online technical side sorted. And there’ve been the usual hiccups since going live.
This is a site run by volunteers, of course, with none of the resources available to the big media companies that once catered (and no longer do) to suburbs of Auckland like Mt Albert.
I get a hand from a couple of good people and greatly appreciate their support. But one of my Christmas and New Year wishes is that someone with journalistic background will emerge to share the load in 2018.
The traffic has built steadily and there are days where up to 1200 people are drawn to the site, with regular (and growing) days of 600 or 700 visitors and more.
Not bad from a standing start, though the support has been pretty passive. While it’s nice to receive a pleasant note or a Facebook “thanks” to make the commitment seem worthwhile, it would be even nicer if the community became a bit more active in its support.
By that I mean going to the site direct two or three times a week as a mater of choice, rather than relying on Facebook links – in the same way people used to go to the letterbox to pick up your Herald or Leader. Of course, some of you do that now (thanks!), but a lot are fixated by Facebook and don’t bother unless they are prodded with a shared link. And then they come pouring through the door. I mean, Facebook is great. But is it everything?
Supporting your local website is one click away, and makes daily news updates worth the effort for the volunteers who provide them. How hard is that if you value local news?
And what does it take to contribute – to persuade you to send in your best pictures for the “Our place” spot on the homepage or, say, email an opinion column for the Forum section or “growing up in Mt Albert” personal story to help enrich our history pages? You guys can be hard to budge! Please give us a hand.
We hope you’ve found the website helpful, interesting and useful and that you’ll support it in 2018.
In the meantime, best wishes for a lovely Christmas and a happy, safe and healthy New Year – and do come back to see us later in January..
Bruce Morris, publisher/editor