More Than A Thought by Judith Martin-Straw

To all our readers; Wow. Hey. Thank you very much.

I’ve worked on many websites, and I’ve never seen one grow as fast as this. In a small town already covered with free newspapers (The Observer, The Culver City News, The Wave), one long standing news site (The Front Page Online), and an ever-popping crop of small blogs (Culver City Living, You Know You’re From Culver City) the response to the first six months of Culver City Crossroads has been awesome.

With a trend moving through the country away from papers and towards local news sites, it seems we are keeping true to our code; whatever it is, Culver City can do it so well, that we are the role model of note.

While the old media is in a moment of transition, getting local news online is more popular every day. In another short while, we might be selling subscriptions for an RSS feed or charging for an app for your phone. Today, we are a growing part of the local economy, selling ad space, and keeping local business local.

The people who read Culver City Crossroads every day are the people who keep Culver City going; the PTA moms, the Chamber of Commerce, the classified employees union, the school board, the Friends of the Library, Transition Culver City, the YMCA, and the Neighborhood Watch.

In the past six months we have offered local news and community events; we have regular columns on cooking, dining out, and living in the present; we’ll point you to the local fundraisers and keep you informed during the elections. We have some thought provoking columnists, and we get a lot of comments in response to what we publish. We have text, we have pictures, we have audio and video. We have a You Tube channel. We have everything archived on the site. Our local ads are click–through, and you can go right from Culver City Crossroads to any of these businesses and buy a product, or book a service. At the end of this week, we will be stepping up our gateway function, so that in addition to being able to go to Culver City Crossroads and click through to the city website or the school district or you will be able to access any other the other local news sites. Just visit us first, and you can go from here.

Please take a moment to fill in the survey on the lower right side of the page asking about what you like. Send us your announcements. We want to promote your organization, we want to help you build your business, we want your thoughts to be posted as a part of our dialogue. Please take a moment to connect, and be an active part of this thriving community.

What we publish here is read by hundreds of Culver City residents every day, and thousands every week. We need your support to keep our online community growing. Write to us ! Send comments, send love letters, send your difference of opinion. Send pictures, or video. There isn’t any kind of media we can’t do here, and we promise to keep it green, keep it fresh, and keep it local.

The slogan “More Than a Newspaper” is more than a slogan. This is a forum for everyone in Culver City. I am honored to work for this community, and I will continue to do so as long as the community continues to honor me with its support.

Wow. Hey. Thanks.

www.culvercitysymphony.org

5 Comments

  1. Judith congratulations on your success, I have real estate blog that features a lot of the great residents we have that give up there personal time to improve their community in some way. Culver City is a special place to live because it has a lot of special people living and working in it.

  2. Yes, you say we can “send comments, send love letters, send your difference of opinion,” and having done that once before, I note that the “love letters” are the only ones you will post. Is that what you call journalism? I submit that your slogan, “more than a newspaper” should be changed to “not a newspaper,” and call it a day.

    Don’t get me wrong, I obviously read your site. I must be coming here for a reason. If someone wants to look through your lense at the community, your site is a fine place to be. If I want to know what’s happening at the Y, I read your site. If I want to know what Katie thinks I should buy at the Farmer’s Market, I read your site.

    If, however, a person wants NEWS, they still have to read a real newspaper. Calling your site a “newspaper” is like Bill O’Reilly calling himself “fair and balanced.” You can say it until you’re blue in the face, but it still won’t be true. Stick to what you are good at -fun and light entertainment.

    Fran Mac

  3. Dear Fran,
    If you sent a previous comment, it was not received. Like any system of information, this one isn’t flawless.
    If you have the time to scroll through the archives, you will find differences of opinion. The only ones I have not published have been explicit, obscene attacks towards me that did not merit publishing, and one suggestion that I take down a post that had been up for a month (as a policy, I don’t un-publish posts. You can’t fit the genie back in the bottle, really.)

    As for news, the stories we broke about the Superintendent Myrna Cote’s resignation, about the city manager Mark Scott’s departure, and the death of Albert Vera (to name the most outstanding examples) each received thousands of hits within hours.

    Word- Thousands. Hours.

    None of that was about fun or entertainment. That’s news.
    But good times and playgrounds are also news, and the folks who connect through Crossroads are the people who are actively involved in making Culver City the community that they want it to be. Straight journalism is a great way to report facts, but it’s not a great way to facilitate dialogue.
    Crossroads IS more than a newspaper. It’s a website, and as such, has an inherent responsibility to change and grow, and incorporate new media. It also has the ability to influence and inform the community without having to stand behind the barricades of traditional journalism.

    If you get nothing from Crossroads other than a free lecture on relieving back pain and some fabulous recipes for soup, I hope your life is richer because of that. I’m delighted that you have us bookmarked.

    So, thanks for reading, and thanks for writing. I am committed to building a community, not a fan club. That’s one of the reasons we stand at a Crossroads. As our favorite scarecrow once said, “Of course, people do go both ways!”

    Judith Martin-Straw
    Publisher and Editor,
    Culver City Crossroads.com

  4. Judith,
    I appreciated the information during the City Council election. You presented various viewpoints for all the candidates. You are the most well read person in Culver City. I respect you for many reasons, not the least of which being the way you addressed the last letter from Ms Mac. At the risk of sounding like a “love letter”, might I say that we are fortunate to have such a thorough, well researched intelligently written web site to read. You do your homework for all your readers. Thank you Judith for all your hard work, thoughtfulness and kindness. You are a blessing as well as a rare intellectual, talented writer! Keep up the great work! Susy Porter

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