When Patch launched its blogging platform last month, it opened a door to an online community in Wheaton where residents could share their expertise, experiences, opinions and inside info.
Modeled after The Huffington Post, which merged with Patch's parent company, AOL, in February, these blogs are the beginning of a new chapter for Patch.com.
Founder last month to introduce the platform and invite local voices to the site. The idea with The Huffington Post, she wrote, was to take conversations found at parties and around dinner tables "and put them online, open them up, and invite interesting people to participate, creating a one-stop site for news and opinion with an attitude, in real-time."
Further, she wrote that these blogs reflect Patch's belief that residents feel passionately about issues affecting their town.
After reporting on the issues affecting Wheaton for a short time, I know there is passion, pride, collaboration, commitment, faith, friendship, history and hope all over Wheaton. Write about it to your neighbors, whether they're two doors, two blocks or two miles down the road, and complement the news we provide.
Maybe you like the idea of blogging, but just aren't sure what you'd blog about—so here are some ideas ... because I have tons of them:
- You own a business and want to promote it
- You work for a business organization (Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Wheaton Association), and want to share information about new businesses and upcoming events
- You're a photographer in the area and want to share your photos, build your clientele
- You're a realtor and want to share your listings and information on the current market
- You own a clothing shop and have great fashion sense—show us your stuff, tell us the trends
- You're an interior designer and can give decorating advice
- You coach a community sports team (maybe t-ball with the Wheaton Park District, or travel soccer), and want to share the news (we all those kids deserve the coverage)
- You're an editor or advisor on one of Wheaton's school papers—share your news stories with us!
- You're a teacher—or a substitute teacher—at a D200 school, and have also had kids in D200 ... blog about what students are learning, what's going well, what's new
- You're a stay at home parent with real, important advice (dads too, please!)
- You're getting married—you need an outlet for all the planning and can potentially help other brides by sharing ideas and resources
- You're pregnant, or just had a baby, and can share tips and resources with other future new moms—or even just meet other new moms
- You're going through a hard time, or coming out of one and are brave enough to share your experiences as a way to support others who may be in the same boat
- You're a personal trainer—you can share advice on fitness and weight loss
- You know food—and can tell us how to stay healthy
- You're training for a marathon, or a triathlon, and can help others train better
Nonprofits, churches, volunteerism
- You work/volunteer with a local nonprofit and want and need to get the word out about it
- You're active in your church community or youth group and want to share what you do
- You're an excellent gardener and can share tips on how you do it
- You are keen on improving the environment
- You're known to be a master at the grill ... tell us how
- You're active in your church and want to share your spiritual experiences
- Maybe you're even a pastor or minister or reverend, and you're willing to share your sermons with readers
- Or maybe you're searching for a religion, and can blog about how you're finding the right fit
- You have a lot of opinions (good or bad) about Hubble, downtown development, flooding, budgets, government operations, school operations, parks operations, etc. Share them.
- You're an elected and/or appointed official, and are willing to share your thoughts openly on the site. (like blog)
- You're a former official, and want to share your extensive knowledge about our city
This isn't a reporting job. It's blogging. You write what you want to say when you want to say it. Do it on your schedule, whether it's posting multiple entries per day or a couple times a month.
Patch won't own what you post, so you can repost your entries to your other blogs. My role as an editor would be to review blog entries submitted to Wheaton Patch to ensure there are no libelous claims. I might correct obvious typos, too.
Here's how: email me, Charlotte@Patch.com or call me, 630-589-7732, and let me know you're interested. That's all it takes. I'll give you blogging permissions on the site and give you a few simple instructions and you'll be good to go.