Thank you for reading yesterday’s post, “Behold the Booming Blog!” and for diving into the second installment of my 2013/2014 state of the Essex blog series.
Sounds fancy, right? Actually it’s pretty down-to-earth. My hope is simply to take a thoughtful look at the past, present and future of the Essex on Lake Champlain community blog. I appreciate your interest and patience.
Today’s mission is straightforward and looong overdue. I want to express my genuine gratitude to everyone who makes this blog possible. That’s you!
Essex Blog Readers
First and foremost, thank you, Essex blog readers. A blog isn’t anything without readers, and the surge in readership over the last year has inspired and honored us. Whether you began reading in June 2011 or just last week, you are the audience that makes this labor of love worthwhile. Watching traffic surge when popular posts are published; reviewing the daily newsletter analytics; reading your comments on blog posts, Facebook and Twitter; and talking with you face-to-face (when I have the good fortune of seeing you in person) is the feedback that proves publishing the Essex blog is worthwhile. Thank you!
Thank you, Essex blog readers for joining us on this creative adventure. Your support, encouragement and feedback have been vital.
We have been listening to your feedback and making changes over the last year to make the interface more user-friendly, but we know there’s still plenty more to be done. We will soon roll out a couple of website and mobile application improvements that will simplify navigation and search, and the newsletter format and Essex Events Calendar integration will be upgraded after that.
What else do you want? Please tell us how to improve so that the Essex blog meets your needs.
Essex Blog Writers
While it’s exciting to celebrate the progress we’ve made over the last thirty months, it’s even more important to celebrate the contributors who have made it possible.
At the tippy-top of my “People to Celebrate” list is Katie Shepard. Katie joined me a little over two years ago to tackle a few backlogged research and editing tasks. She had recently graduated at the top of her class from SUNY Plattsburgh, and I quickly discovered why she had excelled in the classroom. Katie is as sharp as a whip, a persistent and focused researcher, a skilled and extremely productive writer and a natural collaborator. Without her persistence and disciplined day-to-day blogging (read EVERY day blogging!) Essex on Lake Champlain would not be where it is today. Nor would a half-dozen other equally important projects that she diligently executes for me. I am honored and deeply grateful to be able to call Katie my colleague.
One of the most exciting changes in 2013 was an increase in community generated posts, dilating the scope and enriching the depth of content available at Essex on Lake Champlain. We are grateful to everyone who contributed, but we especially want to thank the following contributors whose creative output is especially prolific and/or popular:
- Aubrey Bresett (CFES)
- Kathleen Morse (Lakeside School)
- Sara Kurak (Full and By Farm)
- Kristin Kimball (Essex Farm)
- Racey Bingham (Reber Rock Farm)
- Kevin Cooper
- Lanai Monahan (Essex Inn)
- Mary-Nell Bockman (The Grange)
- Tom Mangano (Belden Noble Memorial Library)
- Courtney Anderson (NEW Health)
- Michelle Maron (Lake Champlain Yoga & Wellness)
- Margaret Gibbs (Adirondack History Center Museum)
- Beth Hill (Fort Ticonderoga)
The more community members contribute to the Essex blog, the better it will become. 2013 provided ample proof that diversity of content increases readership, and I hope that we can continue to the trend in 2014.
Essex Blog Boosters
In the world of blogging, audience and content creators are two-thirds of the “secret sauce”. The essential missing ingredient is blog ambassadors who spread the word and offer encouragement. The Essex blog has been very fortunate in this respect, and I would like to trumpet my gratitude for those of you who have helped spread the news about. Your verbal cheerleading as well as emails, social media “shares” and links from your websites are the secret of our success. Thank you. We genuinely could not do it without you.
I especially want to acknowledge some of the websites who send readers our way. While there are many websites who are generous enough to publish links to the Essex blog, the “Top 13” referring sites in 2013 deserve special recognition:
Thank you! It is a profound complement to know that you value Essex on Lake Champlain enough to act as blog boosters. Please reach out to us with suggestions for how we can return the favor. We are eager to show our gratitude, so don’t hesitate to recommend ways for ongoing, improved partnership.
Next: How to Get Involved & 2014 Resolutions
The truth is that this post could go on for a very long time if I listed everyone who deserves thanks for making Essex on Lake Champlain possible. And I will make every effort to honor those of you I’ve missed over the coming year. For now, please know that I appreciate your assistance and hope that you will let me know how better to serve you.
If you missed the first installment of my 2013/2014 state of the Essex blog series, you can follow the link below. And stay tuned for the last two installments on Wednesday and Thursday.
- 2013 Year in Review: Behold the Booming Blog!
- How to Get Involved: We need your help!
- New Year’s Resolutions: Our plans for 2014!
Thank your for reading what we have been up to and where we hope to go. Happy new year!
- 2013 Year in Review: Behold the Booming Blog! (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Praise for Essex Highway Department (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Photo: Essex Main Street Winter Scene (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Postcard: Essex Bay (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Postcard: Essex, NY from Lake Champlain (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Photo: St. Joseph’s Church (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Postcard: The Old Dock Coffee House, Essex, NY (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)