Ten days after the official launch, the instant success of our village community blog has surpassed all expectations. New posts are appearing at least twice a day, usually more (to say nothing of static pages on the rest of the site), and people have been quick to grasp the concept of leaving comments. We have received many e-mails from people both inside and outside the village, offering extra written and photographic content, or simply expressing their appreciation. Our initial editorial team of three will have expanded to six by the end of next week; we’ve been mentioned in one local magazine, and are getting whispers about possible coverage in a national magazine; and as for the visitor stats, we pulled in a whopping 429 page views on Tuesday alone.
(It took me about eighteen months of solid, regular blogging to achieve a similar figure on Troubled Diva, and yet the village blog has got there in less than two weeks. Which isn’t bad going for a community with only 500 people on the electoral register.)
What I haven’t yet explained is that there’s a serious purpose behind all of this effort, which extends over and above the immediate benefits of providing an information service and community-building facility.
We are currently seeking funding for an ambitious yet necessary re-build of our memorial hall, and have already passed the first stage of the lottery bid, netting £23,350 in order to help us prepare for the next stage.
To support this application, as well as applications from other funding bodies, a lively and active blog provides demonstrable evidence of our strengths as an active community, that is capable of successfully organising itself. We also hope that it will help to attract commercial sponsors, who will see the benefits of being visibly associated with such a worthy initiative. Many companies set money aside to support projects in their area, and we hope that this will make us a particularly attractive box to tick.
It therefore helps our cause to have the blog being talked about, outside the immediate confines of the village – and we already know that this is starting to happen.
And of course, anything that you can do to help us along would be more than welcome…