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I think 5,000 stories is quite a collection, we actually have a larger collection than the first library I worked in. When I started the site almost 3 years ago, I never imagined how far the site would go, or how far it would take me.
The best thing about LISNews is the people that run it, and that ain’t just me. I’ve never referred to this site as “Blake Carver’s LISNews” because it’s really not my site, I may keep it going, but I don’t think I make it great. Starting the site was the easy part, keeping it running isn’t always easy, but so far it’s been fun. The truly hard work is done by the people who do the little things that make LISNews great.
People like Bob Cox, Charles Davis, Aaron Turn, Jen Young and Gary Price with their frequent and very helpful story submissions. Ender, who catches all my stupid mistakes, and Nabeal who helped with the code early on, they are just some of the many voices that are LISNews. The authors, of course, are a large part as well, Steve and Steven who helped get the momentum started so long ago. Ryan, Ieleene and Aaron, who all manage to find time to post a story or two quite often. Ben keeps the polls fresh and interesting, and Celine, Rory, Matt, Brian, Jill, Aaron, and Hermit keep us on our toes with a post when they have time. Few of us have met face to face, we’re not even all librarians, but somehow we’ve managed to come together, and each of us bring our voice and own personal view point to the site each day. But, it’s not just us, it’s not just the authors, it’s the people who talk to us, and talk with us that really make things interesting.
Walt Crawford chimes in with his always appreciated comments, and lately I’ve been seeing comments from Michael Nellis, Fiona, The Ex Librarian, Ender, and many others who add their thoughts to our stories anonymously. The comments can often be the best part of the site, the wisdom and experience others bring to the stories we post is simply amazing. It’s wonderful when so many people take the time to share an experience, or their views on a story. This helps us learn from each other in some remarkable ways.
Looking at the most popular stories list, I am happy to see most of them are LISNews originals. Interviews, stories, jokes and even a song, a great mix, just like always, you never know what your going to find. Though, as I look deeper in the list, I still feel we are missing a regular original voice, a columnist, someone who writes for us and to us.
I’d still love to bring Susan back some day, some of you may remember she was scared off a year ago or two ago by some ugly comments. She was our first and only all-original voice. I’ve always hoped to bring in other people contribute their own writing, their own stories from the front lines, their own weekly columns, and thoughts. I think LISNews is best when it speaks in an original voice, when it has a voice, rather than just a pointer to someone else’s.
So far I’ve let the site grow slowly. I’ve done little promotion, few of those constant weekly announcements to the lists that keep us on everyone’s radar, no spam, no ads, for the most part the numbers show a slow steady rise, with a couple huge spikes when a story made a big splash. To be honest, most of the time I prefer things kind of quiet. I like the feeling of a small community of readers who care about the site, and the stories we post. I like to see the site stand on its own, with out a lot of marketing. I’d like to think the site has created it’s own audience, and for me that makes the numbers look so much better. I’ve let it sit, quiet, maybe it’s grown by word of mouth, or maybe it’s just the same old people are coming in more often, whatever the case, an average days brings in about 1,300 people, and that’s the only goal I’ve ever set for the site, we’ve made it there, so I am happy.
Thanks to everyone who makes LISNews a really special place. I owe you all for helping me grow both personally and professionally.