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Plainview Patch Celebrates First Birthday

One year ago today, Plainview Patch went live and there's no turning back.

One year ago today, a senior editor on a teleconference from New Jersey hit a button. 

went live. Poof: Just like that. Beats me how.

I'm a guy with on his hands. I come from the days of smoke-filled newsrooms and editors who still cursed at their reporters. Sometimes the reporters cursed back.

The editors cursed as they read the stories and the copy editors grumbled about butchering the language. Phones got slammed and chairs got tossed and nobody thought there was anything wrong with any of this behavior.

Then the colleague who cursed at you would

Other times you'd linger late and hear a rumble through the building. Thundering presses were spitting out an assembly line of news, the Paragraph Factory's first draft of local history. Big men on loading docks chucked bales of them in the backs of idling trucks.

And it felt like victory to watch them pull away into the night, speeding my words to readers sound asleep in their beds.

Today we deliver the news with a touch of a button. On my computer, it's blue and says simply: "Approve." Touch it and the story goes live. Poof. Beats me how.

I often stare at that icon and hesitate a moment. No cursing editors; neither ink nor paper. No pounding press to accompany a cyber-news symphony.

But each time I do it I still get that old thrill: I get to hit that button. 

I think of it as an honor: Because somewhere there are readers, asleep in their beds, who'll wake to that first draft of Plainview's history. It is a .

In the past year, we've posted more than 2,200 stories to Plainview Patch. We've covered and a , and . We added a section for local people to . We've developed an extensive calendar of events and announcements.

In that year, I've had the chance to I grew up in. I've met people and that I possible.

You have been and continue to be an integral part of Patch; in fact, we need you.

Help celebrate our birthday by thinking of Patch as a daily information necessity: Help us write that first draft of history. Here's how:

Comment on articles: We love discussion and smart debate. We welcome reader comments about small issues we may have missed. Tell us about new initiatives, school accomplishments, neighborhood issues. Don't like our coverage? Tell us. (No cursing.)

Add photos: We want your best shots. Add them to our gallery. You can also add photos to articles by clicking "Upload" near the photos we've featured. (Poof.)

Sign up for Newsletters: Get a daily summary of Plainview-specific news delivered directly to your inbox daily or once a week. The site is updated multiple times each day, so news is always fresh. Scroll to the bottom of the home page and click: "Newsletters."

Post events to the Calendar: Get the word out about your events by adding them to the calendar. Or use the calendar to browse what's going on around town.

Become a blogger: Plainview experts in their fields blog weekly on the site. Have a subject area of expertise? Email joe.dowd@patch.com and have your voice be heard.

Rate local businesses in the Directory: The Places tab features every business, school and organization in town. Use the section to find phone numbers, addresses, hours or to rate your experience there.

Track traffic jams and local gas prices: This newly-added tab features a live map of how traffic is flowing in Plainview. There's also a real-time listing of the least expensive gas in the area.

Make Announcements: Need volunteers? Get married? Lose a pet? Announce it in our announcements section so the community knows. 

Somehow, all of this is possible with the touch of a button or two.

Beats me how. Still amazing, though.

Poof.

Jason Molinet December 20, 2011 at 04:04 PM
It's been a memorable year in Plainview. Great job by Joe Dowd capturing it all.
Adina Genn (Editor) December 20, 2011 at 04:05 PM
Happy Birthday, Plainview Patch!
Liz Marmer December 20, 2011 at 04:08 PM
Happy 1 Year Plainview Patch!
Pam Robinson (Editor) December 20, 2011 at 04:09 PM
Marvelous, Joe--you manage to look back and forward at the same time. Congratulations on your first year, with many more to come.
Leah Bush (Editor) December 20, 2011 at 04:14 PM
Happy first birthday and many more, Plainview Patch!!
Edward Robinson (Editor) December 20, 2011 at 07:20 PM
Congrats Joe!
Pat Giles December 20, 2011 at 08:26 PM
Happy Birthday Plainview Patch, and congrats on your first year. It's been an honor and a pleasure contributing!
Joe Dowd (Editor) December 20, 2011 at 11:21 PM
Thanks to all my friends and the readers of Patch for making this a year to remember. I have never felt luckier to be a newsman than this year.
Vanessa Canner December 21, 2011 at 12:18 AM
Just read this. You are such a talented writer! I enjoyed this very much. Happy one year!
Barbara Mars December 21, 2011 at 10:02 PM
No cursing? Doubtful. Writers still curse, but the editors can't see or hear us. Let's hope they'll still take us out for an occasional beer or a fat-free latte. Love seeing my local news light up the screen in the morning. Appreciate the Breaking News Alerts too. Often share the news with my neighbors who ask, "How'd ya know that?" Congratulations on a great first year. I hope Patch is a long-time Plainview "resident."
Mitchell Kessler February 24, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Congrats to Joe and Company.
Nancy "O" March 22, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Just joined, looking forward to receiving daily updates from Plainview Patch
marsha elowsky March 29, 2012 at 12:39 AM
Birthdays are wonderful! Happy Birthday!

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