The end of Progressive Wayne County
In September of 2006 I announced the launch of ProgressiveWayneCounty.org, a website dedicated to promoting and chronicling the progressive efforts of individuals, organizations and businesses in the Wayne County, Indiana area.
I'm shutting the site down here in April of 2013 for a couple of reasons:
For one, it's been over a year since the last content update to the site. Some of the old content has even become confusing to users looking for recent versions of past events. Over the years I've tried various methods for keeping the site up to date and current: trying to post a lot of stuff myself, soliciting area organizations to post content, asking volunteer editors to write posts, paying people to write for the site, and others. That's not to say that there weren't times when the site was chock full of useful info, but just not in a sustainable way.
Which brings me to another reason I think it's time for the site to go: the way people consume information about what's happening in their community has changed since 2006. Between the increasing popularity of Facebook as town square and news source, the information overload that comes with lots of online news sites in general, and the appearance of a number of other related informational sites and projects in the Wayne County area, the PWC site and concept isn't as useful or relevant as it once might have been.
Lastly, and maybe this is more about a change in me than a change in the environment, but I think some of our local news sources are doing a much better job than they used to at telling the "success stories" of the community, including some really progressive goings-on. While PWC was never intended to be a news alternative to the Palladium-Item or others, I'd had some sense in launching it that there was too much focus on sensational negative headlines and too many untold stories of good things happening here. While I'm sure there are still many of those, there are more tools than ever for individuals and organizations to tell their own stories directly, and PWC just didn't have the critical mass of daily eyeballs to make continuing its operation worthwhile.
I enjoyed the time and energy I put into this community improvement project, and I think it met a need in its time. I put it to rest thankful to everyone who contributed to it, linked to it and read it over the years.