On Saturday, we “flipped the switch” and activated 1808Delaware.
You may have some questions. What exactly is 1808Delaware? How is this place different from other online news and information sites? Why is it is called “1808Delaware?” Are there sites like this in other communities?
All great questions. Here’s what’s up.
All across America, the media landscape is changing at a rapid pace.
Traditional news operations, particularly those that published daily print newspapers, have had to adapt to new ways in which “readers” consume information. As a result, traditional newsrooms have shrunk as they experience circulation drops and falling revenues.
In response to these changes, a variety of new media have been springing up in some places you might not expect. Many of these are housed in America’s urban centers. Some of the most successful, however, have appeared in small to mid-sized cities. These include news operations that are not tied to so-called “legacy” products (usually existing newspapers or television stations) but instead are independent and exclusively online.
Perhaps not surprisingly, most of these new sites are still repeating the approach of traditional newspapers – exclusively publishing their own material and then competing against others who do the same. It’s basically the same old approach in new packaging.
That makes little sense for modern news consumers, who have access to a wide variety of sources, literally at their fingertips. It’s hard to stay on top of it all. Social media like Facebook attempt to bring these sources together, however if a news feed is not accessed during the time a particular post makes its way down the page, it can easily be missed. Independently checking each and every news site — the Delaware Gazette, ThisWeek News, WDLR, even the Columbus Dispatch and the city’s television stations — can be a time-consuming task. Add to the number of area residents on Twitter, and Instagram, and Pinterest, and Snapchat, and other sites and well, you get the picture.
It seems to us that there’s got to be a better way. There’s got to be a way to emphasize local in the middle of all of this.
One innovative model has recently emerged in a handful of urban settings which combines curation of news, independent reporting, collection of publicly posted items, and more. For the first time we know of, this approach was attempted in a small to mid-sized community through our site called 1812Blockhouse in Mansfield and Richland County. 1812Blockhouse launched in September of 2016. Because of its success, we are bringing that energy to central Ohio through the very site you are looking at.
And, like 1812Blockhouse, we are using a significant year for the communities we serve. Both the city of Delaware and Delaware County were established in the year 1808.
We are mobile-focused, social media-driven, rabidly pro local, and ready to roll. Thank you for reading this, and we invite you to visit often. We’ll be adding new content as we go, new series, and new features.