Happy 6th Birthday to us!

GOOD Morning Wilton is turning 6-years-old today. Like many parents marking the birthday of a child, it feels like I blinked and the six years since Aug. 19, 2013 flew by in an instant.

The idea to create a hyperlocal news website wasn’t new when I started GMW. In fact, I had been a freelance writer and columnist contributing to one of the original hyperlocal sites, Patch.com, for more than three years when I felt that Patch was no longer providing Wilton with quality news and sense of online community that the town deserved. With my laptop, cell phone camera and a bit of chutzpah, I said, “I can do it better.”

My first article defined GOOD Morning Wilton in a way that still rings true today:

Wilton, CT is a great place to live. Young families, rich history, beautiful landscapes—there is so much that is GOOD here.

The town deserves a really GOOD source of news.

So today we’re launching GOOD Morning Wilton, with just you in mind.

The kind of news you want to read, with the kind of information you need to know. News that’s reported, written and told by writers who live here and care a great deal about your town—about our town.

There’s no police blotter, there’s no news that doesn’t involve Wilton or the people who live here. And most importantly, it’s a news source about the community that respects what the word ‘community’ means. This isn’t the place to cut down your neighbors, and it’s not a place for mean-spirited comments or commentary.

GMW is a place to connect with people who live and work here and who make Wilton an amazing town. It is a place to engage in Wilton in the way you need to—supporting businesses here, learning more about what’s happening in your children’s schools, helping organizations and neighbors in need. Most of all, it is a place to help make Wilton even greater.

GOOD Morning Wilton is the news you want, the news you need and the news we all deserve.

In the six years since starting, I’ve clicked ‘publish’ on 6,638 stories–this one makes 6,639. I’ve sent out 1,523 email newsletters. Close to 1 million different people have visited the website–in fact, GOOD Morning Wilton has notched 5.6 million page views over 2.7 million visits to the website.

But it’s not just all numbers and stats. GMW has played a role in some really good events. There was the time that our article about a Wilton school bus driver whose apartment was destroyed in a fire helped generate enough donations to raise first, last and a third month’s rent on a new apartment. We’ve also been told countless times about how a story we’ve published has put an organization over its fundraising goal, or helped sell out tickets to an event. And readers have sent emails of thanks for telling them about what’s going on in their community, letting us know the difference GMW is making in their lives.

In the six years since starting GMW has sponsored many non-profit organizations; live-blogged town meetings and live-streamed election news and debates; filed dozens of live reports on location; and most recently started a podcast. We’ve worked with student interns to help pass on what we’ve learned in the news business. And often we’ve been the first news media to bring readers breaking news stories, including our reporting on Aquarion’s failed efforts to take water from the Norwalk River or the recent arrest in a case of money that disappeared from the high school football booster organization, to name just two such instances.

It’s my turn to say thank you–thank you to readers who open up those email newsletters, visit the website and click on stories every day. Thank you to people who have become GMW members, whose financial support helps make sure GMW can continue to bring readers independent, local news in an era where that’s more at risk every day. Thank you to advertisers who help us keep the lights on and the website live. Thank you to writers who have helped populate the GMW pages with compelling and well-written stories. Thank you to colleagues and community members who trust GMW with bring their news to the public. And most of all, thank you to my family for understanding the crazy hours and just how important it is that Wilton has a trusted source of news from one of its own.

We ended our first article by asking readers to consider saying, “Good Morning” every morning with us. It’s something we hope you’ll keep doing for the next six years, and beyond.

 

Heather Borden Herve
GOOD Morning Wilton Editor & Founder