I’ll cut to the chase first: It looks like Wallyhood will live to see another day! Or more, if things work out.
At least some of you know that the editors here have been trying to figure out a path forward and ways to make the site both more accessible and more sustainable for the long term. We gathered at our default meeting place, Murphy’s, after contacting our stable of writers and inviting anyone else who might have an interest in Wallyhood. When the editors first began discussing this, we were a little worried that it would be just the four of us sitting around drinking beer, as we regularly do. But to our surprise, delight, and relief, over 20 folks showed up. Some were interested in writing, and some came as a show of support and to suggest ways to improve the site and increase readership. Many thanks to all of you who took the time to visit with us.
Fellow editor Jack took some notes at the meeting, and the major points that were brought up included:
- Conduct a survey of readership to see what types of stories they would like to see;
- Hold more get-togethers with writers (once a quarter?);
- Can we or should we work out an agreement with other blogs (e.g., Fremont and Greenlake) to post some of each other’s stories?
- Provide more coverage of local politics, e.g., City Council candidates;
- Get regular input from Wallingford organizations (e.g., Wallingford Community Council, Senior Center);
- Create an easy way for story ideas to be submitted (Google Forms?);
- Create a schedule for writers. This could either be blocks of time when particular writers were responsible for writing all the stories appearing on the blog, time slots when individual stories were pledged to be ready or both.
- Editors should offer a tutorial on using WordPress, our publishing platform;
- Continue trying to engage Lincoln High School to establish regular reports on sports, theater, other activities of interest to the broader community;
- Would some other platform (e.g., Facebook) serve us better?
In the short term, here is what we are doing:
- Those who provided their contact information on our sign-up sheet are being added to our email alias (a google group) for writers and other interested parties. Automated invitations went out (from the address [email protected]) on Friday, but many have not responded. If you think you should have received one, but did not, check your spam folder. If you do not find the invitation there, contact Jack ([email protected]).
- Information on how to start writing for wallyhood will be distributed via this email alias.
- An online tutorial will be scheduled for those that need or want additional help
- The editors will be meeting at the end of the month to discuss how to incorporate the many ideas and suggestions into our writing and publishing process.
After months of drought-like conditions in the city and the region, we scheduled our meetup to occur not only on Trivia Night at Murphy’s, but also coincidental with a true evening downpour. Our meeting location was outdoors on the back patio, but we were (mostly) sheltered from the storm. Waiting for the rain to subside a little gave us the opportunity to chat with people before we all headed out, which was great. It reinforced the notion that there is both value and fun in getting together with the community, so we will likely try to schedule more regular gatherings with writers and interested folks. Until then, or in lieu of it (for those who prefer other ways of communicating), we encourage you to contact us with ideas and suggestions here at Wallyhood either by emailing us (email [email protected]) or by posting a comment on this article.