Come September, the Rappahannock News is planning to start making short news and community-announcement posts here on what we hope to be a daily basis, likely cross-posted on our Facebook page. At that time, it will also be possible for anyone to sign up directly on our site to become a contributor and to be able to post their own news, announcements or calendar items. We’re hoping the result — a community blog, or forum, which actually already exists (it’s The RappNews Blog, found in the right-hand column of the home page, and you’re in fact reading a post from it right now) — would come to serve some of the community bulletin-board purposes people have requested, both here and on the county’s email list-serve (see rappnet.org), which already serves many of those purposes (for those who sign up, that is, and who don’t mind getting a lot of email.)
But I also hope it would be a place where Rappahannock folks can just tell Rappahanock-related stories — based on something that just happened — or that happened a decade ago, or 50 years ago. This being the web, they can be contributions of words but also images, video and/or sound.
Comments on existing posts on the site can be unsigned (or signed with a name that is not your own), but these community-contributed items would run with what amounts to bylines. (We hope the best of these will feed into the printed weekly newspaper — which is, by the way, available for home delivery, at fine stores everywhere, and online as our eEdition.)
Unlike Rappnet, the resulting forum would be public, its archives public and searchable. You wouldn’t have to sign in to read it — only if you wanted to add to it. Posts would be “moderated,” which is a high-tech word for “edited” — though we hope to do so in a way that stifles neither creativity or immediacy but basically keeps people from, say, sneaking into the local radio station and belching into an open mike. (Not that I wouldn’t be one of the listeners who giggled like a fourth-grader if I heard it.)
I should make clear that our only certain plan is to start posting in September short items here as often as we can, at least once a day, and to open it up for others to be able to do the same easily, but that everything else is completely up in the air. So, your input and ideas are welcome. You can post a comment below or use our contact page to send me an email.
— Roger Piantadosi