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Question of the Day: What Do You Think Of North Fork Patch?

Editor Erin Schultz celebrates one year with North Fork Patch on Tuesday and wants to know what you think of the site so far.

One year ago today I was drenched in sweat, walking the misty streets of Soho to my first day of training at Patch headquarters in New York City.

Despite the city's muggy July heat, I was excited, knowing that I was about to help launch a new era of journalism — a network of online-only hyperlocal hubs for neighborhood news and information with regional and national ties. North Fork Patch made perfect sense to me, and, judging from our growing readership and active commentary, the community is catching on.

I spent about two and a half months with a team of dedicated people building up the site's directory last summer (still free to anyone who wants a listing — email me if you're not in there), taking pictures of pretty much every single business, school, church, park bench, beach, tree, and rock on the North Fork and Shelter Island, gathering information in real life and updating that info on this often horribly inaccurate monster we call the Internet.

Hard work that never seems to be finished.

Since the site went, we've been through floods and blizzards, enjoyed festivals and wine tastings, talked music and art, and engaged in some great discussions on important issues such as traffic control and other changes you'd like to see in the community and local government.

We've also experimented with format changes over the months, focusing on what's important to families, adding more video to coverage on traditional community topics such as school budgets and local elections, driving traffic and engagement through various forms of social media, and recently adding a "Local Voices" blog feature to give everyone from business owners and winemakers to artists and astrologers a chance to spout off on any topic. Email me if you'd like to sign up as a blogger — the more the merrier!

So, after a year of slaving away at this thing, I want to know what you think of North Fork Patch — what we're doing right and what you think we could do better. Do you visit the site every day or just once in a while? Which section of the site do you find most useful and/or interesting? How do you end up here — through the email newsletter? Facebook or Twitter? How did you hear about North Fork Patch in the first place?

Feel free to comment in the boxes below. And thanks for sticking with us!

Lisa Richland July 12, 2011 at 01:38 PM
You do a fine job of "getting the word out" as well as entertaining us with your special features. The horoscope column is well written and thoughtful, and I like being able to scan the list of "5 things to do today." I also enjoy the slide shows, and the links to the nearby Patch sites. Thanks for being a community friendly website.
Amy July 12, 2011 at 02:48 PM
I love North Fork Patch!! always keeps you informed with professional articles. Patch tells it like it is. Check everyday and read most of there stuff. :)
Amy K. Martin July 13, 2011 at 02:31 AM
North Fork Patch is an enjoyable quick glimpse of what's going on, well written easy to read, enjoy & share...great for both businesses & communities...keep up the good work!
Kate July 13, 2011 at 11:05 AM
Congratulations, Erin! You're doing a great job. I look forward to Patch waiting for me in my inbox every morning, and seeing what's new. I use the listings for updates and news of events. I look forward to joining "Local Voices" (eventually) and I appreciate the opportunity to list my business for free. The community-minded spirit and hyper local approach is very appealing, and entertaining, too! Keep up the good work Erin!
marla July 13, 2011 at 01:17 PM
I like 'the Patch' and think you're doing a great job Erin. Congratulations. I usually get interested in checking out an article via the e-mail update and frequently check out what's going on with your Events search. Keep up the good work.
Ruth Fisher July 13, 2011 at 01:50 PM
Keep up the good work! Patch is fun to read.
Claudia Karabaic Sargent July 13, 2011 at 01:50 PM
I love it. It keeps my favorite place in the world in front of me, while I'm in front of my computer, 90 miles away. I hope to live there someday, and North Fork Patch reminds why I love the North Fork so much. ♥ Thank you!
phyllis atkinson July 13, 2011 at 03:15 PM
Great job! I usually real 2 or 3 articules thru to the finish each day; others I scan to see if I'm interested...... all by e-mail
Lea July 14, 2011 at 12:47 AM
I do visit the site daily, and look forward to the articles--and esp. the photos, which I send on to friends often--so they see what they're missing out here! Keep up the good work.
Liliana Nealon July 14, 2011 at 01:09 AM
I love it, especially when I am in Argentina, where I spend the winter, and I can stay up to date on all that is happening on the North Fork. Now that I am back , it's fun to see it live and in person! Thanks for a great job, Erin
Erin Schultz (Editor) July 17, 2011 at 12:09 AM
Catherine Meinhold wrote on Facebook: ":I really think you have done a fantastic job, Erin. I have referred to the FB page and the website many times, and gotten info I couldnt find other places."
Erin Schultz (Editor) July 17, 2011 at 12:10 AM
Freddy Markham wrote on Facebook: Good stuff erin & team... you created a zone that was never there
Erin Schultz (Editor) July 17, 2011 at 12:11 AM
Colleen Pickering Clark wrote on Facebook: Congratulations Erin! We are lucky to have you with Patch here on the North Fork!
Erin Schultz (Editor) July 17, 2011 at 12:17 AM
Dan's Bike Rental Greenport wrote on Facebook: Love it, it's like a homey small town newspaper, but better. You can get the story in hours instead of days. I check McLean, Va Patch too and it's so boring compared to NFPATCH. You hit all the right notes!
Erin Schultz (Editor) July 17, 2011 at 12:20 AM
Thanks to everyone for their encouraging comments over the past week. Looking forward to another year! -- Erin. PS: Be sure to vote for us for a Small Business Influencer Award at http://influencers.smallbiztrends.com/small-business-journalists/erin-schultz/
cristina como July 24, 2011 at 01:38 PM
I congratulate North Fork Patch! We moved from Southold to Cary, NC two years ago and it is great to get daily news from a place we love. Keep up the good work! Cristina and Joe Como
Erin Schultz (Editor) July 24, 2011 at 07:58 PM
Thanks much Cristina — glad to know you are finding the site informative! -- Erin

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