I spent my first day of work as Davis Patch's editor chatting with people at the Chamber of Commerce's . My colleagues had gotten us a booth with hopes of reaching out to the community prior to the our launch.
A full year has since passed, with Celebrate Davis! 2012 happening today from 4-9 p.m.
When I worked last year's event, I had just moved from San Francisco back to my parents’ house in Winters. My then-fiance was still in the city, finishing out her job. I came early to find us an apartment in Davis.
I worked the booth with my boss and our salesperson. Thousands of people paraded by throughout the day, asking what “Davis Patch” was.
The site wouldn’t launch for another month and a half and I hadn’t done a lick of training. I stumbled through conversation after conversation for hours, introducing people to a website that didn’t yet exist. It was tiring, but also exciting.
In the month that followed, I reached out to community officials, sought freelance writers and bloggers, prepared articles for launch and everything else that goes into flipping a website’s on-switch. It’s been pretty much non-stop since then.
Most of our first readers were my family members and a few friends. But that changed quickly. Within a month or so, we had thousands of readers -- and that growth has continued.
In November, as I'm sure you remember, . I wrote 17 stories during that weekend, and I watched our readership spike dramatically (just like all other publications in town). Some casual readers faded away as the story died down, but others stuck around and continued participating and contributing.
And then in January, the , bringing $100,000 to our school district. Another memorable moment.
I’ll write a full-length anniversary story in late June, when Davis Patch reaches its actual one-year mark. But today I’ll enjoy my own personal anniversary at Celebrate Davis! ().
This time around I’ll have a year’s worth of solid stories to tell when people come by and ask me “What’s Davis Patch?" And this time I'll also get to chat with people who have already discovered the site and made it part of their routine. I'm looking forward to it.
If you’re at Celebrate Davis!, please swing by our booth and say hi. We'll have plenty of swag.