Yesterday was the second anniversary of the official launch of Easton Patch. And for two years now, “Muscato's Musings” has run in this space.
Here is a link to the first “Muscato's Musings” column.
(Just a note – you will see that the column has a posted date of October 4, 2010; this is because as the site was being readied for its “official” debut, some content was posted ahead of October 7.)
I am having lots of fun writing for Easton Patch – and I am so thankful for those who read Easton Patch and the column. As I tell people, I am fortunate to work on some fairly significant writing projects – and I write for established people in business – and this column brings me more enjoyment than anything professionally I do.
Easton Patch is just one of the hundreds of “hyper local” Patch sites that are in close to 900 communities across 22 states and the District of Columbia. Patch is owned by AOL.
In the rapidly changing world of news and media, Patch is a venture and a calculated and strategically evaluated bet. The venture and bet are that people will find high-level value in a place online – accessible at home and at work and when out and about – that has, and I'll use that term again, a hyper-local focus and which delivers news that is also highly relevant, fresh, frequently updated, and in vibrant and helpful multimedia formats.
Of course, a key facet of Patch is the interactivity it provides readers and visitors of the site. Easton Patch, just like all Patches, has public forums, channels in which it asks questions and recruits suggestions and advice from readers, and different types of areas and opportunities on the site for readers and users to write and publish their own content.
Easton Patch and Patch are winners. Patch is continuing to grow nationally – and its business model has solidly proven itself.
As described in the first “Muscato's Musings” column, it was a twist of fate and some nice karma that AOL chose as its editor for Easton Patch a recent graduate from the University of Delaware named Patrick Maguire. Patrick's father, Mike, a 1967 graduate of Oliver Ames High School, was the manager of several championship OA Tiger teams that my dad coached.
Mike and my dad stayed in touch and remained close after Mike graduated from high school. Mike had an older brother, John, who had a son Billy, who lived on Pond Street, around the corner from where my family lived on Andrews Street (until the fall of my sophomore year at OA, when we moved to a home on Summer Street). Billy became a close friend.
Patrick Maguire is doing a standout job for Easton Patch, and he is at the beginning of a standout career in media.
Mike Hardman is a regional editor for Patch; his responsibilities include nine Patch sites including Easton Patch. I have known Mike for a little more than 25 years. He broke into journalism around the same time I did, back in the mid 1980s, and also in the newspaper sector based in southeastern Massachusetts. Indeed, through the years, and through his work in media, Mike got to know my dad, my brother, and myself well.
Mike is an excellent journalist, and he is doing an exceptional job for Patch.
Both Patrick and Mike afford me considerable latitude as to what I write about – and how I write it. This is fundamental to the fun and reward I receive in writing the column – and also fundamental, and this I humbly submit, to the enjoyment and interesting information that people find in the column.
Patrick and Mike oversee a pool of area-based independent contributors that includes myself. This pool of editors and contributors includes strong writing and storytelling ability and a sense of and affection for Easton.
When you put people together, all of whom have a history with a place, and have a knowledge and empathy and a caring for that place – and their goal is to produce something of benefit and value for that place – then the chances of success are high.
Easton Patch is a testament to success.
And please remain assured that all of those who administer and edit Easton Patch, and all of its contributors, are dedicated to, and are excited to be a part of, the building and continuance of that success.