Plainfield Plaintalker began in June 2005, out of my desire to inform city residents and Barbara Todd Kerr's willingness to devise a way. Few people knew what a blog was then. Initially, I didn't either. Barbara set the whole thing up, with a "soft launch." As people became aware of an online source for news about Plainfield, readership picked up. One early reader told me he read the "blob" every day.
I had been a reporter, retiring in 2003, around the time that the newspaper industry began major shifts in focus. One editor decided coverage should be based on the mantra, "eat, shop, work, play." I felt there were things readers needed to know beyond that, such as how their tax money was being spent and how well their public servants were serving. This meant going to public meetings, researching documents, explaining what the City Council was voting on. My hope was to engage citizens in local decision-making.
Barbara was in charge of production and I provided most of the content. Initially, we both had free time to work on the blog, but Barbara later had demands on her time that led to my learning how to wrangle the posting. In January 2007, it became a solo operation. I gathered content, took photos and put up the posts myself. Once Plainfield Plaintalker became large and unwieldy, I created Plaintalker II. Readers can search either blog by putting a keyword in the box at upper left.
When Barbara was in charge, we did not take comments. In March 2008, I decided to allow comments. Initially, readers stuck to the issues, but especially in political season, some comments got out of bounds. As moderator, I decide what gets posted. Last month, I made a mistake. I apologized. For some, it was not enough.
Anyway, I moved on. This month marks nine years of blogging, with more than 500 posts per year. Please be advised that I will be taking a break and will resume as soon as possible. Thanks for all your support and encouragement over the years.