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Jerry E. Clark

It's Time To Get On With It
Thinking Things Over
By Jerry E. Clark
(Feb. 7, 2016) -

Lately, I’ve been giving a great deal of thought to how my company might be a better community resource. I admit that I do NOT possess “all the answers” to community development or even a few of them. What I do know is that I love this little town, have lived here for more than 40 years now and I just want it to prosper.

     And so it was in 2006 that I registered the domain name AlleghanyJournal.com. Even though I published The Daily Review here until 1989 and the Rockbridge Weekly in Lexington until mid 2012, I’ve always loved the name “journal” - a record of day-to-day events. Only recently have I started to transform this website into an effective communication device. The results so far have exceeded my expectations. Dramatically fueling the growth of our readership is the AlleghanyJournal’s Facebook page, a place where we publish a wide variety of topics, stories, obituary links and more.

     We developed an “inverse” electronic publishing system in 2004 using a sophisticated online database and php programming. (I use the term “inverse” to refer to the fact that our system was set up to deliver data to the Internet FIRST, and later, to be formatted for physical printing secondarily.) That allowed us to make stories and a wealth of other public information available almost instantaneously.

     Now, to the point of this letter: We want to dramatically expand the reach and scope of the AlleghanyJournal.com, despite the fact that the financial resources to do so are very limited. That’s where many of you might come in. Of course, we offer good advertising opportunities, but we also know that content of a far wider variety would create even greater readership growth.

Here are some ideas we’ll soon initiate:

1. An expanded number of local columnists. If you are a writer or wish to express yourself on a regular basis, my publication is open to you. Our goal is to achieve a reasonable “balance.” I am quite conservative overall, but I welcome opposing views and want regular, offsetting views to be featured prominently on our website. Actually, I’d like about 3-4 more regular columnists. You might be an author, pastor, public official or work at a regular job. I just want diversity of opinion supported by facts.

2. We will soon begin coverage of more public events, from town council to other items which promote this community. Our goal is merely to enhance public knowledge so that our residents may better understand what is going on, who is doing what, where, how much, and when.

3. We would like MANY more local organizations to submit items of interest to the AlleghanyJournal.com. Meetings, agendas, photos of awards and promotions, everything from church socials and speakers to events and other opportunities. 99% of these items are FREE to be listed or publicized. Email them to editor@alleghanyjournal.com and feel free to include photos or graphics!

4. I want to make sure that the many wonderful aspects of our town and environs gets the publicity they deserve. We have many relatives who are succeeding in a wide range of professions and endeavors and we have many projects which might more easily go forward if the light of day and some reasonable publicity resource existed to promote them.

5. We will include many more local videos to back up this effort as well. We also will accept videos for inclusion on our website.

6. Our free business listings page needs to have TRIPLE the quantity. You are invited to submit your data.

OK, I’m nearly done. I just wanted many of you to know that I plan to upgrade and expand our AlleghanyJournal.com and I invite your participation. I also invite your ideas. All you have to do is send me an email to:

editor@alleghanyjournal.com or send a text to 540-460-3513 or just call me at the same number. I want to do more to celebrate the advantages of this special place. I am committed to this.

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