Editor’s Notebook: People-powered journalism

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_D5C5045brianby Brian Clarey

It started out as an idea, a notion, really: What if we could do better?

What if we could create something that really made a difference, a media company that engaged its people — advertisers, readers and even employees — on a different level than anything that had come around before?

We thought something like that might be genuinely amazing, a newspaper that existed for more than just the purpose of taking money for advertising.

We decided to give it a shot. What the hell.

It’s hard to pin down how I felt those first few weeks — it seems like the whole thing just happened, while also seeming to have been a very long time ago.

The weeks go by fast in this business, let me tell you. And with this issue, we’ve logged 27 of them, half a year of news and culture, art and music, food and ideas.

I’ve always suspected that hustle and drive can outperform money — not all the time, but some of the time.

It was hope and skill and hard work that got us through those first few weeks. But from then on, our fate was solely in the hands of our readers. If we couldn’t attract an audience then we’d have nothing to sell, just a bunch of noise piling up in newspaper boxes all over town.

Our readers found us on the streets, in their favorite stores and restaurants, and online, where nearly a thousand posts have attracted 165,000 page views and counting — people who care about their cities, engage with them, create the culture that motivates us all to live here.

We love you for it. And we’ve never asked for anything but your interest and your time in return for chronicling the things that are important to city life in the Triad.

But now, we want your help.

To launch us into the second half of our first year, we need a few big-ticket items, some hardware and software, and a few upgrades that, frankly, we simply can’t afford on our own just yet. And we’re thinking our people might want to pitch in.

So we’ve got a Kickstarter going — you can find it online — to coincide with our six-month anniversary parties in Greensboro and Winston-Salem this week.

Please come by. Both events are free, just like our newspaper. If you’d like to donate, we’ll put it to good use.