Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Plaintalker Marks Four Years

In June 2005, Barbara Todd Kerr launched Plaintalker.

We had talked several times about how to spread city news in a better way than what I did to alert citizens to a major redevelopment proposal. I was actually handing out copies of a hand-crafted news article on the Downtown Station South proposal in hopes of getting citizens to speak out at a public hearing. The proposal involved many blocks between the main train station and East Seventh Street and would have radically changed a wide swath of the city's heart.

Several people did attend the hearing and raised questions that might otherwise not have been heard.

But Barbara said there was a better way - a blog.

In 2005, not many people knew what a blog was. I wasn't too sure myself. But soon we had a format and a means to publish, at no cost and no pay, a news vehicle. I learned it was what was called a hyperlocal blog, meaning just about Plainfield.

Early on, I submitted content and relied on Barbara to provide images and graphics. As Barbara's other interests took precedence, it came about that I learned to post stories and images on my own. Eventually, she turned the operation over to me and so it goes today.

The blog could use an overhaul soon or maybe a whole new direction, but it has been a thrill and an honor over these past four years to help you, dear readers, understand issues of city government and redevelopment and for a while, the intense changes in the school district.

Plaintalker has scooped many a story before the print media, partly due to this writer's proximity to City Hall and willingness to attend municipal meetings, something the dailies dropped for a while.

While the future of both the print media and hyperlocal blogs is dependent on a number of factors, Plaintalker hopes to chug on for several more months. Since its inception, many more bloggers have come forward to lend their facts and opinions on life in Plainfield. An interested citizen now has a whole roster of blogs to read, ranging from those of elected officials to observers, naysayers and newsgatherers focused on Plainfield. I think it is a very good thing to see all these views.

Thanks for all your kind words and interest since June 2005 and kudos to Barbara for making it happen.

--Bernice Paglia


Blogger Rob said...

Happy Anniversary..and Thank you !

6:29 AM  
Blogger olddoc said...

You two have created Plainfield's most valuable "IT" asset. Good reporters like good soldiers never die, just don't fade away. We need you.

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few months! Perish the thought. I cannot tell you how much I enjoy and rely on your good reporting. Happy Anniversary, and I hope we have many more together.

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be back for the Sept 5th Art show at the Plainfield Library Park !!!

2:12 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

Thank you for your four years of work on the blog! I only found it two years ago, but backtracked and have read it all. You're doing a great service for the folks in Plainfield and I hope you continue for a long time although I know it's hard work you don't HAVE to do.

8:35 PM  
Blogger RASRAHMATAZ said...

You are an inspiration to us all mate!

10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bernice,

Thanks for the credits and kudos, but it´s your digging into details that really makes The Plaintalker what it has become.

Do keep it up. And I am available for whatever tech (or other) directions you might want to explore.

Best, Barbara

1:34 PM  

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