Posted April 9, 2013
The growth of guelphspeaks has prompted enlarging the scope of its coverage. For almost two years, the blog has grown in terms of viewers far beyond what was originally forecasted. In short, guelphspeaks has become the prime source of information and pointed commentary exposing the soft underbelly of our current civic administration.
Your editor has been covering Guelph politics since 2005 and the content, in a column titled “Between the Lines”, was carried in the Guelph Mercury for six years when guelphspeaks was created in the summer of 2011.
Since that time 276 columns or posts have been published in the blog. More than 807 comments, not including the spam that is eliminated, have been approved. GS gets a ton of views every day, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 day a year. To most folks this doesn’t mean much. But in a limited market, covering the city of Guelph, it is a remarkable performance compared, say, to similar numbers of blogs published in the city.
The two newspapers have far more resources covering the news than guelphspeaks. They also have access to the Toronto Star stable of columnists and the financial resources of TorStar Corporation.
Guelphspeaks is operated and edited by one person with the help of like-minded individuals who share the view that the current administration is creating excessive long-term debt that will stifle future growth and services.
The late Tip O’Neill, the canny Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, often said, “All politics is local.” That’s on which guelphspeaks has focused since its inception.
Starting today, guelphspeaks is broadening its scope of coverage. We live in a world that is rapidly changing. The impact of the Internet in disseminating information has changed our world forever, in lightning speed. The relevance of print media is diminishing as more people depend on the Internet for information that is accessible every hour of the day.
These changes are affecting every citizen of Guelph. It is the new mandate of guelphspeaks to inform and comment on events that are changing the way we live and prosper. Information has no borders or deadlines now. Welcome to the world of the Internet.
The evolution in demographics is astounding. As our population ages, younger people are eschewing print media to get their news and information and, communicate instantly with friends and colleagues.
How can Guelph’s newspapers, put together the night before and hitting the street or doorstep the next day, compete with the Internet?
First, they have enormous overhead in staff; equipment, real estate and they must use paper to communicate. Our 20 year-old granddaughters can access emails, advertising and important information with a few keystrokes.
This is the direction that guelphspeaks is going. The content is original and provocative. You won’t read it in your local newspaper.
So, here are the new features that will start to appear starting today on guelphspeaks.ca:
CITY VIEW – focuses on events and politics in the City of Guelph and surrounding area
QUEENS PARK VIEW– is commentary on the provincial government and its effect on Guelph
AMERICA VIEW – news and commentary from events around the Continent with the focus on Ottawa and its influence of Guelph
GLOBAL VIEW – commentary on those events around the world that directly and indirectly affect our lives
THE FUNNIES – A regular feature of satirical and humourous comment to entertain and provoke response that life is really not all bad. Enjoy!
Each post will carry the appropriate label to inform viewers of its primary content.
Now, my wife thinks I am biting off more than I can chew. Perhaps. But this is a project that is just getting started. I believe there are talented people out there looking for a voice to express their ideas and opinions. Welcome to guelphspeaks!
To accomplish the task will require resources other than the editor and his copy-editing spouse. There is ample evidence out in Blog Land that talent us bursting to get a voice. The blog has always invited viewers to participate and the door is always open. Letters to the Editor are welcome as posts.
If interested, contact email@example.com.
We are a volunteer organization composed of folks who love their city, their province and their country.
Guelphspeaks is willing to link up with other blogs to exchange posts and commentary. The usual rules apply: No profanity, off-colour material, personal attacks, promotional material or libelous statements. Community and non-profit events are welcome. The editor reserves the right to edit and approve all copy offered to be posted.
Thanks for your support,
And don’t be afraid to participate. It’s your voice. Gerry Barker, editor