Reimaginations

New site owner and publisher Jen Arbo outlines her goals for a reimagined Tenth to the Fraser and fills you in on some of the plans.

The exciting news is out that Briana has sold Tenth to the Fraser to me. I am thrilled to be taking over as publisher. I want to introduce myself to those of you that don’t know me, share my goals for the site’s future, as well as provide a preview for some of the plans.

IMG_8616About me: I live in Sapperton with my family; I own Hyack Interactive, a digital communications consulting company; I blog occasionally on my own site; and I am active in our community. Currently, I am a director for Royal City Farmers Market, the registrar for KidSport New West, and I sit on the City’s Public Engagement Task Force. You can usually find me on Twitter and Instagram.

I started contributing to Tenth in 2008 with a grumpy post about people who don’t shovel their sidewalks. Over the past seven years I have written over 125 posts, and occasionally I’ve helped with site admin and social media.

It is no secret I am a fan of New Westminster and I consider myself a city booster. I like the direction the City is going in and I have friends on council I actively worked for during the last municipal election. I’ve always loved what Tenth to the Fraser has contributed to this community and I think its potential to continue to be meaningful to New West is enormous, especially as New Westminster continues to evolve into the ‘New New West’.

So, what are my goals for this new, reimagined Tenth to the Fraser? I’ve got four big ones:

  • Create and connect community and welcome newcomers
  • Encourage work / life balance for the residents
  • Provide a platform and services for non-profits and small businesses
  • Promote economic development in the city

I aim to properly relaunch Tenth in early spring 2016 and will spend the next few months preparing. You will probably see some of the changes rolled out as they are ready but I will be doing this work while continuing to service my clients’ needs, so it won’t happen overnight. Look for a launch event in the spring.

You’ll soon see a new visual identity for Tenth. I’m working with Johanna Bartels, an incredibly talented local graphic designer I’ve worked with on numerous projects, and we’re coming up with a more modern, lighter look.

I’m going to be improving the site‘s look, layout, and usability, and will be cleaning up all the archives. Over the course of seven years we have amassed a huge archive and the truth is there’s a lot of cleanup required – some posts are for businesses or restaurants long closed, or for elections long since past. I’ll select the ones I think best fit into the new Tenth, and the others will still be available, housed in a separate and accessible archive. I want to start clean, fresh, and simple.

I’m also adding a staffed calendar of events that I hope will become your go-to calendar of what’s happening in the city. The calendar will feature a simple form that local organizations can use to add their events effortlessly.

I’d like to pay contributors where possible, to improve the consistency and quality of the content I want to deliver. This means that I’m going to run Tenth as a business. I’ll be offering advertising and sponsorship opportunities that provide value to the advertiser and reader while being as unobtrusive as possible. I will still accept and value unsolicited contributions from those looking to have their words published here, but I believe defining the content mix also helps define purpose and some submissions may not be a good fit.

There are other plans in the works, but until they are more finalized and to avoid anyone being disappointed – especially me! – I’ll leave it there. I hope to collaborate with others in the community to bring really useful and valuable articles and features to this site. I’ve already reached out to some of you, but if you think your organization might have a great partnership potential, let’s talk.

Like so much of how New Westminster has been built, I intend to honour and respect the tradition and history that has come before me while still forging my own path. When Briana first launched Tenth, she was one of a very tiny group of hyperlocal bloggers in the region, and it wasn’t easy to find and shepherd contributors while maintaining a platform for people to speak freely. I have a great deal of respect for the work that has happened before me, and hope the changes I envision are an evolution, not a departure.

Past contributors and potential new contributors: please drop me a note if you’d like to be a part of the new Tenth to the Fraser – I would love to hear from you and would love to hear your ideas on how you can contribute to realizing those goals.

Readers, thank you for your past support and I hope you will all stay on board as Tenth is reimagined.

Regards,

 

jen

Jen Arbo

Jen Arbo is the editor and co-publisher of Tenth to the Fraser. She's been writing for the site since 2007 and lives in Sapperton with her family. A project manager at heart, she also operates Hyack Interactive, a digital communications company. Find her on Twitter or Instagram.

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