Introducing GraftonTimes.com

graftontimesheaderThere’s a big news story that’s been brewing all week, and I’ve been unable to share it due to a number of factors. I’m not going to bury the lede: it all has to do with a new online news site called GraftonTimes.com.

GraftonTimes.com will be the online home for the people of Grafton. Want to know the results of the election? It’s going to be there minutes after they’re announced. What’s going on in local sports? It’s going to have that too. Fundraising events, engagement announcements, photos from around town — if it’s going on in Grafton, GraftonTimes.com wants to have it, and it’s going to get it all online in a timely manner.

It’s going to feature Grafton people, from the pols seeking office to your favorite school bus driver. Readers will have a chance to have their say through both online polls and comments. And, of course, it’s another venue for Grafton businesses, both big and small, to get the word out about themselves, because advertising is a big part of the overall product (there’s a contact form on the site now if you want to check the rates).

The site’s set to go online the week after next (I haven’t been able to pin down a specific date) and I’ve seen the mock-up — it looks incredibly professional and user-friendly. I’m looking forward to seeing it in action.

OK, maybe I did bury the lede. I’m now changing one of my frequently used tags to this: Jenn’s employed.

I’ve been hired as the editor.

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31 thoughts on “Introducing GraftonTimes.com

  1. GreaterGrafton isn’t going anywhere. The format will be changing somewhat, of course, but it will function more as a column than a news site. I’ll admit the posting probably won’t be as active once GraftonTimes.com goes live — I may prolific, but there comes a point where you start to worry about breaking the laws of physics!

  2. Jenn ~ fabulous! This gives us the perfect reason to cancel our subscription to The Grafton News, which frankly we’ve been wanting to do for some time now. Sounds like it will render TGN irrelevant, and it will feel good to know we’re not personally funding Kay Whynot in any way, shape, or form.

    You’re the perfect choice for editor… I look forward to being a frequent (daily) reader of the new site! Congrats!!! šŸ™‚ ~m

  3. Jenn,
    This is great news. Congratulations! I was concerned about what would happen to Greatergrafton.com once you became employed…but now we have two places to haunt…I mean…find you.

    As a side note…and completely unrelated…You know those “Possibly related posts” that wordpress “Automatically generates” for you at the end of each post?
    The first one here is “Gay Online Dating”. I guess I don’t understand how that is possibly related. Not that it’s a bad thing, of course. Just sayin’

  4. “Gay Online Dating” is also getting click-throughs, according to my stats, so it’s apparently a welcome link for Grafton’s gay community!

    I’ll be able to explain how this came about in a bit more detail once we get closer to launch. We wanted to at least announce the site this week so when I start calling around for stories next week I could explain exactly where the information would be going. It’s going to be a lot of work, but I relish the challenge.

    Hmm. Let’s see if I get a better call-back response rate when I’m editing something that isn’t “just a blog.”

  5. This is great news! Congratulations Jenn! I am looking forward to seeing the new site. And like the others who have responded, I’m glad to hear that GreaterGrafton will still be here. A little less active? That works for me because it’ll be easier for me to keep up with you, as I am usually reading them several days behind!

  6. Mom of 3 — not only is online the wave of the future, but it also reduces the waste stream. Think of it as a “don’t pay to throw” initiative. šŸ™‚

  7. All I have to say is…maybe you got lucky to get a job quickly, but the GraftonTimes.com is INFINITELY more lucky to get you as their editor. There is not a single peson on planet Grafton, other than you, that has the skills & knowledge to pull this baby off. Can’t wait to see it live!

  8. that was my lame attempt at humor.

    i’m all for reading news on line. that’s how i get all my info!!

    Reduce/Reuse/Recycle

  9. This is great news. I am excited to see the new site!!! It sounds like it will be a great online source for Grafton News etc… THANK YOU!!

  10. I’m hoping to go live the week of March 30.

    I want to stress that this step isn’t part of any vendetta against the Grafton News (although I’m guessing this means Kay Whynot is dumping me) and I have the utmost respect for Don Clark and Charlie Bolack. I do feel Grafton needs an online news source (obviously, I already created one and I’m about to embark on another) and I’m hoping this will be it. If I can get what I’m envisioning out of my head, it’s really going to be amazing.

    Plus, I’ve been in journalism for over two decades and I haven’t even begun to show off some of my tricks!

  11. Jenn,

    This is wonderful news for everyone in Grafton! Congratulations and best of luck at your new job! Seems like a perfect fit!

  12. Hey Jenn, Congratulations – that will be great and I hope you will keep letting me send you press releases about the Fine Arts and Music Festival šŸ™‚

    I would love to see you and Grafton News partner up. Let’s face it – they need online representation just like any other newspaper does today. And they will still have a lot of loyal customers who still like to get a paper in the mail (is that wasteful? that is a relative term in my opinion – I would assume the average party with throw away plastic junk probably creates a greater burden with non-recyclables than getting a paper once a week…. but I am straying here).

    I have really been thinking that if the Grafton News had at least a blog or two, this would benefit the online and ‘traditional’ readership.

  13. Congrats Jenn I guess the un-employment office will not be graced with your pleasure anymore???
    Will you be setting up ad space?

  14. There will be ad space, and lots of it. I’m hoping to have info on pricing (this is not my department) to share within the next week.

    Charlotte, send away on the Arts & Music Festival — it’s going to be one of the first stories on GraftonTimes.com since I’ll be out and about snapping away and taking notes for most of that weekend!

  15. Jenn, I realize that the new GraftonTimes.com isn’t part of any vendetta against The Grafton News, but I’d imagine Don Clark is feeling a little nervous right about now… and, I think, rightly so.

    Looking forward to the launch! šŸ™‚

  16. Let’s be honest though…if you strip out Kay, the Grafton News is a wonderfully valuable local newspaper. There is no question in my mind about that.

  17. You could have a column called “About Grafton” written by none other than Susie Soccermom who lives in a (gasp!) minicastle and drives a (shocking!) SUV! Susie could write the whole column in texting format!

  18. To Michael, What is it you find valuable about The Grafton News? The so called psychics, writing about their trips to the super market? JayWalker talking about clipping coupons? Or Whynot complaining about everything in Grafton, from Florida? I see absolutely nothing of value in that so called “newspaper”. But that’s just me.

  19. To Paul…ok, ok, I don’t want to overstate the case for the GNews, but I really do think it is an asset to our community (if you yank the destructive element). If you want to know what is happening-politicaly,schools, activities- it’s there. Also, I use their advertisers as my yellow pages because I know they are local. It is in print too, which for me isn’t a big deal, but for many it probably is. There are certainly quirky things in there but they are catering to a pretty diverse readership. I’ll be an avid reader of Grafton times but I appreciate the value of gnews.

  20. While Paul’s and Michael’s points of view are both well-taken, there’s another painful dimension to TGN for us English majors: it’s excruciating to read, from a grammatical and copyediting perspective. Truly cringe-worthy in almost every respect… not just for Kay Whynot’s (attempts at) writing, but also throughout the paper. It’s always a relief when I place it in the recycling bin.

    My thinking is that if GraftonTimes.com really takes off and becomes the central source for town news, we’ll just keep a back issue of TGN in case we need an electrician, and call it a day.

  21. Hey, Jenn, if you need any help, I’m still unemployed. Perhaps my web and writing experience could be of use to you?

  22. TGN is still of value to me as a information source for our town, despite Kay and his negativity and the frequent issues with grammar and the english language. Don Clark does a great job keeping up with official town business. The news of people I know and those I don’t help me remember why I love living in this town. We can celebrate the accomplishments of the students in our district, see what life was like long before we lived here, see what good goes on in our town. I like seeing the girls donating their hair to locks of love, all the local businesses, yard sales, etc. I agree with Michael. It is an asset to our community.

  23. Right now we’re a 2-person shop, but we may be needing more help further down the line. Until my new email is in place, you can email me items — yes, I’m talking about Locks of Love donors, info about your son who made Dean’s List, a plea for donors for your Boston Marathon run, and so forth — at greatergrafton (at) gmail.com. Story ideas are also always welcome.

    We’re going to have a running feature profiling Grafton people, so if you have an idea for someone to profile — someone unheralded in the community, perhaps, who you think needs credit — I’d love to hear your ideas as well.

    I’m not considering this an either/or proposition. I’m keeping my Grafton News subscription but then, I’m still one of those odd people who likes to roll around on newsprint every now and then.

  24. Hey Jenn –

    Congrats! I’m tickled “Grafton Green” that you are heading down this paying path.

    And for those who wish to debate the various aspects of the Grafton News, let’s not forget the legal ads. This is the only place (legally – so far) that town boards and committess advertise public hearings. So if you give it up and find bulldozers in your back yard one day, go find a back copy of TGN and there you’ll see that those legal announcements (anyone a fan of Douglas Adams’ “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”?)

    Jenn – if you’re ever interested in running a series of articles on “civic engagement and good government in Grafton” give me a call. I’ll mix up a batch of beverages and have you over for a confab(we’ll call a cab – no need for you to appear in the police log)!

  25. I have lately been thinking about the genre of the blog – this somewhat in connection with the Grafton News and the advantage / disadvantage of having an online discussion. In terms of the blog, its form is not very different from that which started in the late 1900s as a feuilliton (foo-ya-ton). I quote this from Wikipedia:
    “Feuilleton is the genre that allows for much freedom as far as its content, composition and style are concerned; the text is hybrid which means that it makes use of different genre structures, both journalistic and literary ones. (…) The style of this kind of publication, contrary to the style of most journalistic publications, is very close to literary. Its characteristic feature is lightness and wit, that is shown by play on words, parody, paradox and humorous hyperboles. The vocabulary that is usually used is not neutral, and strongly emotionally loaded words and phrases prevail.”

    In terms of the Grafton News, Stephen Halpert’s column is an excellent example of this kind of genre – something almost lost in today’s infotainment society. There is also no reason that this column wouldn’t fit well in an online publication. I love the Dada tradition in the arts and whatever gets me to laugh at this crazy world.

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