Tidelines has decided to run feature articles on the people who staff Tidelines. Our readers may get to know the two staff writers for Tidelines, Barbara Burgess and Sally Kimball, as they are out in the community conducting interviews to write their stories or do their podcasts. However, it is the editors of Tidelines who work behind the scenes posting stories, correcting on line referrals, checking up on the facts of the story, that do all the hard work of bringing Tidelines to the readers. Therefore, we wanted to feature each one of them in a story that will tell you more about them and bring them from behind the camera to the forefront.
Our first such story is about Dennis Pescitelli, the founder and driving force behind Tidelines. His story appears below. Watch for this feature in the future and get to know the Tidelines staff.
Dennis Pescitelli has only been a full time resident of Seabrook Island since April of 2015, but he has already made an impact on the island and our way of receiving information. He is a native of central Illinois, having spent much of his working career in Springfield. He got his college degree from Purdue University in civil engineering, then went on to get a masters at the University of Illinois in urban planning. He worked for the executive branch of the Illinois government where he was also exposed to dealing with the state legislature.
Dennis and his wife, Susan, started looking for a second home in 2007. They looked at Florida, as they wanted to be close to the ocean, but not in a high rise. They started looking in South Carolina, starting in Savannah. They ultimately fell in love with Charleston and a realtor took them to Seabrook. They had found the place they wanted to settle, so in 2009 they bought a Spinnaker and started their regular hops from Springfield to Charleston. When they found they were spending forty percent of their time in Seabrook, they decided it was time to make it permanent.
When the island was considering the sense of place activities, Dennis volunteered to set up a blog on what was happening around the island because of these activities. Warren Kimball asked him to blog the sense of place meeting live, which he did. After the meeting, Warren asked Dennis to put together a team to make the blog a permanent part of the island’s communications vehicles. Dennis describes the Tidelines blog as being developed around Warren and Sally Kimball’s kitchen table.
There were a number of problems to overcome when the blog first started. First was assembling a team of editors who could post items to the blog, something the first team had no idea how to do. Shawna Jarrett came to the rescue of everyone, teaching team members how to blog. It was rough going at first. Then came the need to set up a system of guidelines to help the blog with what kinds of information they would accept, how it would be formatted and what kinds of rules would facilitate the blog in being consistent in what they presented. Dennis was the lead person in this process; he was also the only person, other than Shawna, who knew how to use a blog.
The blog quickly broke down into three separate categories. There was blog learning, headed by Shawna, then came our outreach to the community, followed by internal generation of news items.
Tidelines was launched at the annual meeting in February of 2014. Dennis recalled that when Tidelines started, the only followers were the Tidelines staff, but that began to slowly and gradually change. By October of 2014, Tidelines had 500 followers and in May of 2015, there were 700. The current number of followers is now well over 1200. There have been 216, 414 views and the most popular day is Sunday at 9:00 AM. It appears Seabrookers wake up with Tidelines
October 12 of this year saw Tidelines getting 12,657 views with the flood coverage driving the numbers. It was the highest viewing day ever.
The stories that resonate with Seabookers are the opening up of new restaurants, the Cap’n Sams inlet opening, POA activities and special events, such as the 4th of July. The latest flood problems closing various roads, led Tidelines into new territory, where they were able to keep Seabrookers informed of road conditions using input from various people in the community who took the time to let Tidelines know of the conditions of roads on which they were traveling.
Dennis feels Tidelines has now become part of the fabric of the community of Seabrook. They have just recently added podcasts to the Tidelines menu and they appear to appeal to viewers as well. If there is anything Dennis would like to see added to Tidelines, it is the contributions people in the community can make to stories published. He feels the cooperation of the community during the flooding problems helped make the information helpful and timely. The participation of readers was a big part of why the coverage of the flooding was so good. Dennis would like to see this participation grow and thrive.
Tidelines appears to be here to stay and we all have Dennis to thank for getting it up and running.
Tidelines Staff Writer