Happy New Year! – Now, Let's Take 2024 by the (You Know What) And Kick It (You Know Where) – JP
As GraniteGrok rolls into its 17th year at the helm of New Hampshire politics, we wish you and yours a Happy New Year. We hope you have some fond memories of the old year and great plans for the one ahead, regardless of how the political wind blows.
We will, of course, work to provide some direction and try to punch a few holes in our political opponent’s bilge barge. Changes are planned, but some things never change. We’re still your ‘Grok, so plenty of hyperbolic bomb-throwing will ensue.
Site updates are planned for Q1—a slightly different look. The ad-free VIP feature will build out from that—changing commenting systems. and new ways to sort content that addresses our expanded audience. The MicroGroks will be there, but you’ll be able to sift from any page by NH, New England, the Nation, and the World.
We’ll also be adding MaineGrok.
That Mobile App I’ve always wanted is lingering in the wings – and yes, I still want that, and I want it in 2024.
We are still hoping for a few generous sponsors willing to support independent media annually. ‘Grok can grow, but we need funding, and the consensus is no one wants more ads, including me. Ideally, we raise enough from subscribers, donors, and sponsors to make the Ad-Free VIP portion not just Ad-Free but premium content-only and the regular site Ad-Free. We need donors to do that, and it’s on the list.
Better search is still on the update bullet list, as is a dedicated Op-ed page that works a bit better than the way we do it now.
Given the new silo content sorting scheme, we’ll be moving toward – with a few exceptions – limiting MicroGrok content to articles about those towns or regions. No more general dumping of statewide, regional, national, or global content on those pages. They are useless as locals if the content isn’t local. And yes, I need to recruit more or newer creators willing to provide that focus for all of them.
We need them for Nashua, Manchester, Hollis, Windham, Cheshire County (MonadnockGrok), Rockingham-Strafford County (SeacoastGrok), Belknap and Carrol (Cty Lakes Region), North Country (Coos – no site until we find writers), as well as Derry Londonderry (no site yet), Concord (No site yet) and perhaps the River Valley (Belknap and Sullivan Cty. no site yet).
It may make more sense to do Greater Nashua, Greater Manchester, and GreaterConcord -regional pages. This would roll Derry/Londonderry into Manchester and Hollis into Nashua – and no, I’m not married to that idea yet.
VermontGrok needs more contributors, as will the newly minted but not yet live MaineGrok – both states deserve our attention as they have significant policy impacts on New Hampshire. What happens there, they want here.
The budget to run all of this will be more than we failed to raise in 2023, so anyone who is good at fundraising and will work on commission should contact me. I know – in an election year, good luck, Steve – but that’s what we need, so we’ll try to get there from here.
We’ve made a few strategic content-sharing arrangements so ‘Grok can help local independent media grow its audience while we grow ours.
It seems like a lot, but it all comes down to this. There are outlets repeating the news and those who will do more than challenge that status quo. We are the latter and can do more, but we’ll need more help and, yes – more financial support. I’m not linking to it here. The donate link is at the top of every page (GiveSendGo has no fees if you care). But there are plenty of ways to contribute that don’t include money. Content, contacts, content, relationships, and did I mention content?
The world is out to shut independent media down. We see that as no less of a challenge and intend to rise to meet it. We hope you can do more than just come along for the ride, but if your contribution is reading and sharing, we’re more than just happy to have you. We love our readers, even the ones who don’t always love us.
Now put your phone away and enjoy whatever New Year’s Eve thing is your thing. And if you are reading this on New Year’s Day or later, welcome to 2024. Let’s kick some ass.