Madison Voice turns “1”!
January 1, 2010 marked the one year anniversary of the Madison Voice online news site. It’s been a long, hard learning experience.
It started with the idea that Madison needed an alternative news source. With no webmastering experience and very little money – “The Voice” was born.
Quickly I realized that trust would have to be gained with the community. Madison had never known any other local media than a paper. Though people were welcoming the idea of something new, the “online” part was hard to accept as a source. “How will people find your website?” I heard that question a lot. I wondered myself for a short time. I passed out business cards everywhere I went. I spoke with many business owners, attended social club meetings, government meetings and events with my camcorder in tow. Word of mouth was my best advertiser.
The camcorder would become my signature. At first, people were leery of being on camera. They weren’t sure why I was filming. Video seemed to be the best way to show news the way it actually happened instead of a biased interpretation of the news. I soon found that to be a challenge. The “human factor” is hard to turn off. I’ve chosen not to cover stories because I couldn’t figure out how to present them objectively.
Nic Christie, the guy that filmed the Cowboys football during the 2008 season, who followed them around all season and produced a DVD of it all, never got paid for any of his work. The man he was working for, Joby Smith left Nic without paying him anything. Smith left a trail of debts in Madison too but his debt with Nic was over $8,000.
It already sounds one-sided. It’s the facts though. Each time I wrote the article and used footage of Nic speaking, it came across as a Joby bashing editorial. It’s hard to be objective.
I’ve had help with this site along the way from many people. Thanks to John Bullard, this site has a sports section. John volunteered to handle the sports and has done an excellent job. He got me in the door for filming the Cowboys. It rapidly became a big hit with the players, parents and coaches.
Tim McDonald, an experienced journalist whom I met early in 2009 at a Madison street festival, covered some stories that I never would have been able to touch. I’m very grateful for his stepping in.
Pat Lightcap has saved the day many times when I couldn’t be in two places at once with his quick response coverage and just as swift sending me the news.
Lauren Searcy and Heather Biance from WCTV taught me basic rules and legalities that have kept me out of trouble. They also allowed me to film with them side by side which really meant a lot. We formed great working relationships and friendships.
I have loyal advertisers that have been with me from the beginning and the advertisers list is growing. Some paid for the year in advance. I’ve received so many donations it’s unreal! It shows that Madison appreciates having another news source and that I must be doing something right.
There are too many people to list individually when it comes to saying thank you. I speak from my heart when I say I appreciate each and every person that has helped make Madison Voice what it is today. I plan on making this company grow and maybe even produce a print version for those without computers. I emailed out a printable test issue of it and heard 100% positive reactions.
For those who are advertising with me, I thank you for having faith in me. For those who have yet to advertise here, I can assure you that it is a great place for exposure and reasonably priced. The amount of individual IP addresses that visit this site daily is growing in leaps and bounds.
In case you missed the Madison Florida video showing clips from many of my videos over the last year, it’s posted below.
Thank you everyone for a great year and I look forward to many more.