It was 365 days ago when Montgomeryville-Lansdale Patch premiered on the Internet and began covering the daily news of , Montgomery Township and the North Penn School District.
Here we are, celebrating our one-year anniversary today.
And it couldn’t have happened without you.
In December 2010, I left in Lansdale after six years to embark on a new, pleasantly-scary adventure of running an online-only daily newspaper.
I became a friendly competitor to my former employer.
But not to worry – nearly 15 years of journalism experience, a drive for challenging myself, a passion for writing and a love of my community are the reasons I wake up every morning and do this 24/7 job.
The proudest accomplishment of the site, in my opinion, is
My Patch year started off with a bang with
Two other big stories were the and the
We also broke the news on other big stories this year: , the , the , and the
I cannot pinpoint one specific favorite story of the year; I enjoy everything I write about. Although, and was entertaining.
I also love that I can write about my family, including my , and .
One year later, and myself and my freelance staff are still going strong, providing readers in the North Penn area – and beyond – the news of their community and more.
Our coverage doesn’t stop at the borders of Lansdale, Montgomery Township and North Penn School District – we provide insight and news on a variety of national topics, popular culture features and unique interests that piques the curiosity of our readers.
Here we are a year later, and our Facebook Likes have reached 789 and our Twitter followers are nearing 400. It can only grow from there.
Every day – literally – I receive an email or Facebook comment or phone call about how people love Montgomeryville-Lansdale Patch.
They love the people features and they love the fast breaking news coverage.
We are obviously doing something right, and we will continue on that path. If we’re not covering something that interests you, please let us know.
This site has even taken the initiative to cover features and events in areas that do not have a Patch site, like Towamencin, Hatfield, North Wales, West Point and Upper Gwynedd.
Whether it’s crime, accidents, school accomplishments, lost dogs, charitable donations, whiz kids or homes for sale, we cover it all.
And, being born and raised in Lansdale, I do it with pride and passion.
For those who may not be entirely familiar with what Montgomeryville-Lansdale Patch does, please let me take the time for a couple shameless plugs.
Nearly everyone I talk to tells me they rely on the 6 a.m. “Five Things to Know Today” daily posting.
I imagine them reading it with their morning coffee and bagel.
“Five Things to Know Today” is a rundown of five things – five best bets – going on in the community that day. It’s sort of a daily planner for your day.
There are some naysayers out there who like to call the site “a blog.” Well, it’s far from that.
What it is: a pop-up free, easily-accessible (on your computer and ) daily, easy-to-read news site that covers everything you want, plus that 20 percent more that doesn’t get covered.
Heck, we even have blogs under our “Local Voices” section on the home page. Popular bloggers include , Pat Achilles’ “Montco Chuckle” cartoon panel, and Kirk Waidell’s fitness features.
As far as Lansdale Borough goes, we cover every Lansdale Borough committee meeting and council meeting – and then some.
You may see my face or the face of writer Keith Heffintrayer at a 311 W. Main St. Task Force meeting, a Lansdale Parking Authority meeting or any special meeting.
The same goes for Montgomery Township. However, we are pushing to change our coverage of Montgomery Township in 2012 with more attention given to committee meetings.
A Lansdale Borough community event or Montgomery Township event? We’re there, usually with camera in hand.
With help from our police and firefighters, we are able to bring up-to-the-minute reports on crimes and accidents in our area.
There are places where we are lacking in coverage, which we hope to change in 2012.
Thankfully, you, the reader, let us know where and when we can find news.
Our passion also extends to North Penn School District, and St. Stanislaus Parish School.
We love covering school events, no matter how zany or dull.
This is your town, this is your school district. Don’t you want to know what’s going on in it?
The Patch site has also made a year-long start of features and stories people can expect on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
One such feature is the , which runs every Thursday on the site. This is a listing of local homes and properties on the market in the North Penn and Souderton Area school districts. You can send your listing for us to run for free by Wednesday of each week.
There is also the that runs every Wednesday, courtesy of the RE/MAX realty team of Scott Loper in Harleysville.
We also run “Montco Mommy,” a column on the trials and tribulations of being a mom, from our regional editor Melissa Treacy.
“The Lansdaleian” is a column written by me that runs on occasion as well, opining about life and growing up in the Lansdale area.
What some people may not know about is our free business directory on the site.
Think of it as a detailed Yellow Pages. The directory has information on businesses in the Lansdale and Montgomeryville area.
What’s cool is the business can claim their listing and own it, as if it was its own website. This gives them the freedom to post pictures and update information as they wish.
Here’s the deal: Patch wants to be a source for user-generated content, on top of what we do on a daily basis.
Part of that includes individuals posting events to our events calendar. It’s free and easy to do.
Got a photo from something in the community? Put it in the Neighborhood Gallery. Same goes for photos too.
A new feature to the site is our live up-to-the-minute local traffic map and gas prices. Check it out every morning and evening for your rush hour traffic.
And, yes, you can advertise on Montgomeryville-Lansdale Patch. All you have to do is contact advertising manager Nicole Mallon at 215-380-6685 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I don’t know what else I can say about this one-year anniversary except thank you.
Thank you to the readers, to the local businesses, to North Penn School District, to the columnists, to the photographers, and to my editorial peers who are running their Patch sites.
I do have some plans in place for 2012 to make the Montgomeryville-Lansdale Patch better.
All I ask is you stick with us and stand by us and wait and see.
If you see me around town, or see the Patch car driving around, say Hi or give us a honk.
I’m ready to listen to what you want to read about on your site.
Happy New Year to all our readers
And thank you for loving us.