A few weeks back the Wallyhood Blog seemed to give up the ghost.
The founder had taken a leave of absence. Contributor and co-editor, Eric, took over, publishing frequently. Then a post on Ride the Ducks unintentionally offended. It was immediately edited with a follow-up apology. But the response was unforgiving. The internet can be merciless when it takes offense.
“I was feeling burnt out by the unrelenting commitment of posting every day for 7 years,” wrote Jordan in an email, “and having to deal with that vitriol on top of it was the straw that broke the camel’s back…. [T]he incident caused me to reflect on ‘why am I pouring myself into this?’”
Both posts received many supportive comments, but the blog lay dormant for a time.
Then like the coming of spring seemed to show signs of life. Articles on a helicopter over Wallingford and an arsonist alert were just too important not to share.
Then Jordan wrote that he was reconsidering the decision to put the blog to bed. A lot of people had contacted him about keeping it going.
Now a Wallyhood 2.0 is in the works.
Will it be as wildly successful as the original Wallyhood? Only time will tell.
Wallyhood 1.0 began seven years ago. Jordan started it, he said, because he liked to write, and he didn’t really feel connected to the neighborhood. All that changed with the blog, which today has some 2,000 subscribers and 14,000 more unique visitors each month.
His personable style won over some readers and seemed to baffle others at times. His goal, he once wrote, was to make the feel of the blog more like neighbors chatting over a fence than objective news reporting.
He began by posting two to three articles a day for the first year and half, a grueling pace, then hit a rhythm with about one article a day. Other contributors stepped up. The blog gets plenty of news tips, too many to chase down. It also got sponsorships without too much effort although those have been returned with the shuttering of the blog.
At a recent meeting at Murphy’s Pub to talk about the blog’s future, (it was one of two meetings set up to accommodate people’s schedules) nine people showed up. Jordan said he wanted to have more of an advisor role in the blog and get away from the day to day work of keeping it going. He’s definitely burnt out he added. He described how the blog had evolved, and people kicked around ideas for what to do next.
One of the biggest challenges was keeping people involved, Jordan said. But the group seemed undaunted, and one man voiced what everyone likely felt, “What you’ve built by yourself, it’s incredible.”
By the end of the second meeting the following night, Wallyhood 2.0 was germinating.