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!

Erin Schultz 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 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 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 July 24, 2011 at 07:58 PM
Thanks much Cristina — glad to know you are finding the site informative! -- Erin


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