After more than a year away, I have finally decided to wake up this sleeping beauty of a blog. Two years ago, life got interesting and also hard, and the mission that had sustained the posts on Tenth to the Fraser through previous times of interestingness and difficulty lost its pull. For the past year I have been debating whether to formally pull the plug on this blog, but I never was able to steel myself to do it.
Tenth to the Fraser was born out of frustration with the sorry lack of an online community for New Westminster seven years ago. In 2008, a diligent search of the blogosphere found only a handful of people who admitted to being located here, and most rarely wrote about their community. On Twitter, the same. Almost no one set “New Westminster” as their location (most used “Vancouver”), and there was no substantial public conversation about the community on Twitter, only passing references to things seen or experienced here.
In 2015, things couldn’t be more different. Twitter is now an essential backchannel for political conversation, there are a number of thriving interest-specific groups on Facebook and there are many locals who use their blogs to spark conversations about community issues. Most of the major cultural organizations, businesses and nonprofits also have reasonably well-organized and regularly updated websites where people can easily find what they need.
So with the original problem that this blog was addressing essentially solved, I have been questioning whether there is a need for a site like this anymore. After all, why invest the time, attention and heart into blogging if your audience doesn’t care? But in recent weeks I have been realizing there is still a void that a site like this can and should fill.
No other resource exists solely to showcase the people, places and organizations that make New Westminster a better place to live, and show citizens how they can be more involved. While there are many places to go for conversation, and many sources of information, this site is still needed to be an on-ramp for newcomers to New West as well as those of us who live in the community without feeling a part of it. It is needed to celebrate and shine the spotlight on the people and organizations who are working hard to make this place better for all of us, and perhaps also to identify specific ways we are falling short and proposing solutions on how we can do better.
If you are interested in writing, volunteering technical or design skills, offering a financial contribution to offset the costs of running the site, or have other ideas on how you can help, please drop me a line in the comments or via Twitter (@10thtothefraser).
If you have ideas on what you would like to see in the next incarnation of Tenth to the Fraser, please leave a comment or send me a tweet/email/Facebook message to let me know. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you’d like to read about and how you’d like to see Tenth to the Fraser evolve.