It is hard to believe, but the Bethlehem Patch was launched into cyberspace one year ago today.
On that first day, we had a diverse offering of stories including coverage of City Council’s , a photo gallery of the on Payrow Plaza, a , coverage of an and a on the unlikely discovery of Count Zinzendorf’s personal Bible in Bethlehem’s Moravian Archives.
I was proud of the new hyperlocal Website that I was placed in charge of. And I was hopeful Bethlehem Patch would be embraced by this great community
A year later, I remain proud. And hopeful. The community’s support for the Patch has grown steadily over the first 12 months. And we have continued to bring you diverse coverage of our community – including our wide array of and the , the opening of the , the new and other , havoc-raising , , and, of course, the doings of , a core component of our mission.
Of course, in any pursuit, there is always room for improvement. To that end, I am writing here to ask you, the users of the Bethlehem Patch, for help.
You see, Patch is not just about the news. It is about community. So in that spirit, I am going to ask all of you, Patch users, to consider doing one or more of these six things:
- If you value Patch, tell everyone you know about us! Believe it or not, there are still a lot of people in Bethlehem who don’t know that we are a useful community resource that everyone can use. Ship e-mail links of stories to friends, “like” or recommend stories on Facebook.
- “Like” us on Facebook. It’s easy to do. Just click the Facebook icon at the top of the page. Then you can keep getting Patch updates and the occasional piece of unique content even while you’re chatting with friends or playing games.
- Comment on stories. Everyone’s opinion counts. Saw something that got you riled up? Tell us about it. Have a question about something going on in the community? We have a Q&A section that all are welcome to use.
- Post your own events and announcements for free. It’s easy. At the bottom and on the right side of our home page is a list of links under the heading "Contribute. Just below "Send us news tips" are links for “Put an event on the calendar,” and “Announce something to everyone.” One click will take you to a page where you will be prompted to type in the information needed to get your announcement or event posted on the Bethlehem Patch.
- Follow us on Twitter. If you Tweet, this is a great way to get fast breaking news updates, including links to newly posted stories and story updates before they are published. It’s also a way to communicate directly with me.
- Are you passionate about local politics? Do you have a hobby or pastime that you'd like to tell others about? Are you a representative for a local non-profit organization that is looking for volunteers or a way to dispense information? If you've answered "yes" to any of these questions, then you might want to blog for Patch. There are no minimum blogging requirements and getting set up with an account is easy. For more information, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have suggestions about how we can do better, do not hesitate to send an e-mail to me at email@example.com.