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Happy (belated) birthday to us – NoN is 2, and needs your help

We hate to ask, but...
We hate to ask, but…

NORWALK, Conn. – This is a little embarrassing: I missed our anniversary.

On, no, not THAT one. Nancy and I celebrated our 37th last May 28.

No, I mean Nancy On Norwalk’s anniversary – we passed the two-year mark Oct. 29. Two years of pursuing a mission to shine a light on Norwalk’s government, keeping taxpayers informed about how their money is being spent and how their elected and appointed officials are doing their business.

Two years of a two-person editorial staff being ready to respond 24/7.

Nancy pointed out that she has now been Nancy On Norwalk longer than she was Nancy covering Norwalk for that other website.

What makes this doubly embarrassing is that there were two anniversaries missed. Our first site, Englewood Edge, turned 5 years old Oct. 26 – that’s right two in one week – and I missed that, too. I guess it had something to do with election run-up, and maybe hitting the Halloween candy a bit too hard before the fact.

Englewood Edge lives, albeit in a much reduced state, a mostly upcoming event-oriented site with police news and no politics (it covered government at first). It has a small but loyal following. It looks great (thanks, Eric – you do great work!). And it provides a trickle of cash – more like a drip.

Edge started in 2009, and Florida was still reeling from the economic crash. It still is. Englewood is small and filled with ma-and-pa businesses that cannot afford to advertise, or hire help. We did the site for six months with just a few very cheap ads as we collected unemployment and tried to find jobs with paychecks. We finally moved to a subscription-based plan, charging $7 a month for all access. We had built a strong readership in six months, with about 600 visits a day, and 1,500 pageviews.

Most of them left not long after we asked them to pay. Somehow, they believed that Internet news just happens and no one has to work to provide it. That’s how we wound up in Norwalk. The Hour and Main Street Connect came through and we had paychecks for a while. But, in this business, nothing is permanent…

Today, with just two staff people, we have passed the 1.5 million-pageview mark. We have about 4,000 readers a week – fewer than The Hour, for sure, but educated, focused and engaged. We don’t cover cops and sports and all those other things that drive traditional newspapers. Then again, we are growing and … (you can finish that sentence…).

So this had to turn into a donation pitch. Sorry. We need you, our readers, to help us do what we do. A relative handful of readers are helping to support us (our son is doing the rest) and subsidizing the thousands who do not help out.

We have covered, in depth, two elections and two primaries. In a few short months, the next local election will begin to take shape. Who will challenge for mayor? Will the Common Council see change? What about the Board of Education? Crucial decisions all.

If you want us to be here to help navigate the muddy political waters, we need your help. Without it, you will have only the daily paper to rely upon.

Consider helping us keep you informed by donating today. You can set up a recurring donation or make a one-time contribution. You can do it through the DONATE button on the right or by sending a check to Nancy On Norwalk, P.O. Box 64, Norwalk, CT 06856.

We have a 501(c)(3) pending with the IRS. If approved, all donations back to the April 2 formation of Chapman Hyperlocal Media as a Connecticut nonprofit corporation will be tax deductible.

And save the date – one or both: We will be having a pizza party fundraiser Dec. 3 at Fat Cat Pie Co. and a home-based fundraiser gathering on Dec. 13.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Mark, Nancy and Eric

Comments

8 responses to “Happy (belated) birthday to us – NoN is 2, and needs your help”

  1. cc-rider

    Donation sent!

    1. Mark Chapman

      @cc rider

      THANKS!

  2. Suzanne

    I encourage all readers, that 1.5 million viewing audience, to step up and pay for this valuable resource.

    I have checked with other communities: no one has the emphasis, the quality nor the participation like Nancy on Norwalk.

    I believe that, without it, the constituency of Norwalk would be less informed and less able to engage in their City government and corresponding services.

    Informed citizens hold their elected and non-elected officials accountable: to me, that equates to taxpayer benefits, all around.

    What if you did not know the development details behind BJ’s, the Mosque or Rowayton? Guaranteed a lot of citizens would be adversely affected.

    NON provides us with crucial information about Zoning, Parking in SoNo, Development, Education Expenditures and programs and this is just a few of the topics.

    A lot of people make comments – pay for the keystrokes and the privilege. Give to Nancy on Norwalk. (And I have no affiliation with them other than being an enthusiastic reader.)

    1. Mark Chapman

      @Suzanne

      Thank you for that. It is greatly appreciated and humbling.

  3. sofaman

    I can only hope that everyone who enjoys such quality reporting pays their share. It’s easy, and just a little from everyone does the job. Thanks Nancy, Mark and Eric for all you do.

    1. Mark Chapman

      @ sofaman

      Thank YOU. 🙂

  4. Been there done that

    Nancy & Mark,
    Congratulations on your two year anniversary. It is refreshing to see journalism is alive & well through your writing. NON’s reporting keeps the politicians honest and you aren’t afraid to report facts.If it’s a choice between reading NON or the hour NON always wins.

    1. Mark Chapman

      @Been there…

      Thank you!

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