The other day, while stopped at a traffic light, a young woman pulled up beside me. She spent a few moments staring at me while we waited for the light to turn green. Then her passenger side window slid down and she yelled across to me, “I love your Web site. I moved here because of the things I read on the site. Thanks!”
Then the light turned green and she drove away.
(It isn’t my face that told her I was responsible for wickenburg-az.com. As anyone in town can tell you, my red Jeep is a mobile advertisement for several of my business concerns. The spare tire cover is customized with “Look for me at wickenburg-az.com, the virtual community of Wickenburg, AZ.” She’d obviously read it as she drove up to the light, then spent time getting up the nerve to talk to me.)
The woman’s comment made me feel really good all throughout the day. It made me realize that although wickenburg-az.com takes up some of my time and money and gives me absolutely no financial reward, it does indeed make a difference. By providing objective, non-commercial information about Wickenburg, wickenburg-az.com provides a service far beyond that offered by other area Web sites and even a few organizations that are supposed to support and promote the town. All without requiring membership, registration, or advertising fees.
I’ve been told that I’m crazy. That I’m wasting my time. That no one cares about what we publish here. That no one reads it.
I’d even begun to believe them. Over the past nearly four years, I’ve asked for editorial contributions to the site to build its content. Jim Cook and John Aabbott are two of the few people who have provided a steady stream. Can it be that no one else has anything to say about the town? About life here? About anything? When you offer a free platform for publishing comments and information but no one takes advantage of it, what can you assume?
But when strangers thank me for the information on the site and tell me how it changed their lives, I know we are making a difference. wickenburg-az.com is an important part of the information dissemination in Wickenburg. And the statistics accumulated by my Web stats program prove it — the site consistently gets over 300 page hits each and every day. (This isn’t total hits, quoted by many Webmaster, which are inflated by the number of graphic images that clutter up many Web sites.) Obviously, someone’s out there, reading what Jim, John, and I wrote.
So I’ll continue to work on and build wickenburg-az.com. And I’ll continue to ask visitors like you to contribute to our content. And I’ll continue to publish appropriate pieces.
After all, it’s my time and money. If I want to waste it, I will.