Following the recent Bloxwich Telegraph/BNN news service poll, and the low response to that poll, I have decided that, moving forward, the website will now become more of a feature-based magazine, with much less emphasis on time-sensitive news content and more articles on local topics, especially heritage.
This means that over the coming weeks and months there will be a number of changes in site design and content, notably more new local history related articles, plus upgrades to current content, and there will also be more links to other locally and regionally-relevant sites. All these features will be added as time permits.
It may also be possible, I hope, to do more to feature local organisations and institutions, so if this sounds like you, please do get in touch via the Contact page!
No news is good news
Old-style news will now take a back seat here on the website, though we will continue to maintain the site’s news archive and put out site announcements through it. The social media-based news relay service through the Bloxwich News NetworkTwitter feed and Facebook page will also continue to operate as long as there is a need for it.
More as it happens – and meanwhile, watch for the ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!
We’re looking to tailor The Bloxwich Telegraph and the BNN social media more to meet the needs of our readers and followers, so we’d be grateful for some feedback about what you’d like to see (or not) on the website and via Twitter or Facebook. This first poll is to find out how you like to receive your local news.
Please be honest with your answers – it’s particularly important to us to find out whether you need this service from us or not – after all, there are many local news services and there’s no point in us duplicating these unless you actually use ours. Please tick only those options you really prefer to use, then click on Vote.
The amount of feedback we get will also prove a useful indicator of the actual level of interest in these facilities. Can you please fill in this first LOCAL NEWS poll accordingly, and many thanks for your help!
I am delighted to report that, thanks solely to the generosity of a small number of readers of The Bloxwich Telegraph, our domain name has been saved for another year!
I would like to send a massive thank-you to kind-hearted local people Alison Ball, Terri Gergely (all the way from Canada!), Barry Crutchley and Fay Gleeson, who have all chipped in following our appeal for support through these pages on 24 June.
This means that the basic costs of keeping the site online with its present URL have been assured for the next twelve months, as well as a very useful contribution towards the cost of internet access.
It would be wonderful if all of our readers felt able to send in a pound each through PayPal; that would make a great difference to what we can do, but of course there is no obligation to do this, and we do what we do free of charge, in support of the communities of Bloxwich, Little Bloxwich, Blakenall Heath, Leamore and Birchills.
Meanwhile, we could not be more grateful to those donors named above – thank you again!
If any more donations are received, additional funds raised will be set aside towards any future expenses and improvements to the work of The Bloxwich Telegraph.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the two Bloxwich Telegraph readers who have made donations in support of this site via PayPal, following our appeal on 24 June. Their help is greatly appreciated.
Thanks to their kind generosity, we now have almost enough funding to cover the cost of renewing this site’s domain name registration, which is set to expire on 7 August, 2015.
I have added a donations box to the front page in hopes that this will continue to enourage further support from local people in order that The Bloxwich Telegraph can continue publication after this year’s Bloxwich Carnival, which is currently the last event we are scheduled to cover.
I hope that more readers will feel able to support this site with any donation, no matter how small, they feel is appropriate, so that I can continue, and hopefully build upon, the support which The Bloxwich Telegraph has given freely to local people, businesses and organisations since 2006.
I am making a personal appeal, as the editor and publisher of The Bloxwich Telegraph, to ask for our readers’ support.
I would like to invite you, if you have enjoyed reading The Bloxwich Telegraph in the past, or have found it useful, to consider making a small donation in support of this hyperlocal website to ensure its future.
Since the site was first created by me, originally as The Bloxidge Tallygraph, in summer 2006, it has been funded personally by myself, as a contribution to the communities of Bloxwich, Little Bloxwich, Blakenall Heath, Leamore and Birchills. Next summer will see the 10th birthday of the site, now in the form of The Bloxwich Telegraph.
WORK FOR THE COMMUNITY
I have also undertaken the vast majority of the work needed to produce it, including designing, researching, writing articles (both news features and local history), reporting, and photographing events all across Bloxwich and district, especially Bloxwich Carnival and other village events, as well as publishing numerous news features which local newspapers either could not manage or did not consider a priority. Through this site, I have even provided full coverage of the Olympic Torch Procession in Bloxwich when the local papers’ and other media focus was on Walsall town centre, helping raise the profile of the area internationally.
Unfortunately, I was made redundant from my ‘day job’ earlier this year, and was obliged to take a part time job. Now the financial crunch has come, and I can no longer fund The Bloxwich Telegraph entirely on my own. This is having an immediate effect.
DOMAIN NAME COULD BE LOST SOON
Unless funds are found to renew this site’s domain name registration and hosting in time, this will expire on on 7 August, 2015.
I should say that The Bloxwich Telegraph site as it is right now will still be here after the domain lapses, just under a different URL, but the loss of the domain name will make it more difficult to find, and less distinctive. It might even be hijacked by someone else.
Apart from site costs, I have had, and continue to have, other costs to cover, inevitably, including equipment, internet access, transport and other expenses. I have never charged for coverage or for my time, and have no wish to do so.
Over the past year, due to family illness (I care for my elderly disabled mother), I have had to reduce my workload with The Bloxwich Telegraph. I would, however, like to do more with the site and, if possible, increase local coverage in future. I am already planning extensive coverage of Bloxwich Carnival, for example.
Having said that, if it now proves impractical to continue the work of The Bloxwich Telegraph for financial reasons, it is likely that the site will cease updates after Bloxwich Carnival, also in August. Things really are that tight at the moment.
The only way in which I can now retain the site’s domain name, and continue the work of The Bloxwich Telegraph in the long term, is to invite donations from any of our readers who may think that The Bloxwich Telegraph is worth continuing.
Any contribution, no matter how small, could make the difference between shutting up shop altogether, keeping the site going as it is now, or, if there is enough interest, continuing to add to and improve it in the future.
Local people are not, of course, under any obligation to support the site, and if there is not enough interest to keep it going, then we have our answer.
If you feel, however, that you would like to make a small donation to the upkeep and future of The Bloxwich Telegraph, I would be very grateful if you could do so by sending any amount you feel appropriate as a gift via PayPal to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
24 June 2015
Covering Bloxwich, Little Bloxwich, Blakenall Heath, Leamore and Birchills