Today, “06880” turns 5 years old.
What a wild, wacky and wonderfully Westportesque that half decade has been!
When I hurled my 1st post into cyberspace on March 6, 2009 — click here for that baby — I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
I thought I’d offer some moderately interesting stories about the people, places, events and history that make this town our home. My goal was 1 post a day.
I had no idea — even though my tagline was “Where Westport meets the world” — that I would find connections everywhere: from Broadway to the Boston Marathon bombings, from Sochi to Syria.
I did not realize that — right here at home — so many amazing people are doing such amazing things. Children, teenagers, busy businesspeople, retirees, merchants, volunteers — this town rocks the universe.
I had no idea either that so many talented, accomplished people could suck so bad at driving and parking.
I could not imagine that my vision of a nice “comments” section would explode into a snake pit of controversy, as packs of anonymoids turned the milquetoastiest stories into rants about Obamacare, socialism, and that big bad socialist, Obama.
I also could not predict that after pulling the plug on anonymous comments (click here for that epic post, last April), “06880” turned into a far more thoughtful, civil place to hang out. A discussion last month on climate change/global warming — always a hot topic — was certainly intense. But it ended with the blog equivalent of “Kumbaya.”
I’ve kept my promise to post at least once daily. Sometimes I post 2 or 3 times. Thanks to ever-increasing tips from readers, and increasing bad weather (thanks, climate change!), I occasionally post 6 or 8 times a day.
That translates to nearly 3,400 stories. Hopefully — if you’ve read this far — you realize you like at least some of them.
For me, “06880” is a labor of love.
But, like any love, it takes work.
As “06880” has grown, so have the hours I spend on it.
There’s writing, sure. But also interviewing, researching, responding to comments (public and private), moderating comments (removing those from people who do not use full, real names), taking and sizing and framing photos, and scouring the web for appropriate (and occasionally inappropriate) graphics.
I spend a few bucks too. I pay to keep “06880” ad-free. I pay for domain mapping. I pay for photo-editing software.
So, once a year — on my anniversary — I put out my tin cup.
If you like what you read, please consider supporting “06880.”
Am I worth $1 a month? $1 a week? Perhaps (my choice!) $1 a day.
If my 3,400 stories are worth a penny each, that’s $34. If half of them are worth a dime each, that’s $170. I’ll leave other calculations to you.
I hope that if “06880” has ever
- made you laugh, cry, think or wonder
- spurred you to go to an event, read a book, try a restaurant or patronize a store
- kept you up to date in a blizzard, hurricane, windstorm or power outage
- delivered news about a favorite person or store
- galvanized you to support a cause
- helped publicize your event, book, appearance or concert
- published your photo
- paid tribute to someone you loved or admired
- connected you to your hometown from many miles away
- opened a window on Westport’s history, helped you think about its future, introduced you to someone in town you never knew, or helped you look at someone or someplace in a new way
- given you a voice in the “Comments” section
- inspired you
- made you sit up and say “Wow!” (or “holy f—!”)
— you will consider tossing something my way.
Thanks for 5 great years. I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, whether anyone sends an anniversary gift or nice.
And we’ll still have our now-annual summer “06880” party at the beach.
But hey. You tip a taxi driver you don’t even know for a 5-minute ride, right?
You can donate by PayPal: click here. It’s easy (and safe)! You don’t even need a PayPal account. If you get an error message, try www.paypal.com; then log in, create an account, or send money from the drop-down menu by entering this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or click the “Donate” button on the home page of “06880.”
Checks (or cash, if you’re paranoid I’ll find out who you are) may be mailed to: Dan Woog, 301 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880. Put “06880″ on the memo line. It won’t do anything for the IRS, but it may help you remember at tax time why you sent me something.