Happy Anniversary to Us!
Tidelines—the community blog of Seabrook Island—recently celebrated its third anniversary. Since its launch in early 2014, it has gained 1,743 followers, posted 2,354 articles, and has become an indispensable part of Island communications. Property owners now receive e-mail notifications of new postings or make checking Tidelines part of their morning ritual.
On Monday, March 20th, the POA Board officially congratulated Tidelines on its third birthday and praised Tidelines for its important contribution to the Seabrook community.
The sequence of events that has brought Tidelines to this point is an interesting story of how experimentation, risk-taking, dedication, and effort combined to launch a product that continues to evolve as it serves its readers.
The forerunner of Tidelines was an experimental blog that I launched as part of the Sense of Place Project that took place on the Island in October 2012. A small team of bloggers sat in on workshops and meetings, uploading status reports in real time to the blog. The effort was successful.
Some time thereafter Warren Kimball, who had chaired the SOP committee, approached then POA executive director John Thompson and me with the idea of continuing the blog, while at the same time broadening its perspective and reach. Discussions progressed to action.
Shawna Jarrett of the SIPOA staff was enlisted as the technical advisor to select and test the software Tidelines uses. Before and around the time of the launch, Sally Kimball and I recruited the core team of editors and writers. These trailblazers included Veronica L’Allier, Barbara Burgess, Judy Gimson, and Lori Leary. Bill Thomas and Lynn Kennedy, since retired, were also part of the first generation team. Lynn Crane provided valuable institutional insight during the formative period. All these endeavors culminated in the formal launch and announcement of Tidelines at the SIPOA Annual Meeting in February 2014.
A few others have volunteered and since retired, but the team has continued to expand. In addition to those already listed, it now includes Elise Haderer, Phyllis Harper, Cathrine Scully, and Marg Wildermann.
The Tidelines team prides itself on never taking a day off. This commitment was on full display during the historic flooding event that occurred in October 2015, and during Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. Editors worked constantly to post updates and photos as soon as they became available. The number of followers experienced sharp jumps during these events.
The Tidelines team functions in a self-directed and collegial manner, with written operating policies and procedures and robust tools for real-time team communications. It periodically reports to the POA’s Communications Committee regarding follower counts and policy guidance. Editors typically rotate responsibilities in weekly increments. Writers seek out or personally develop original content.
The team is open to receiving posts and news of interest to Seabrookers through use of the article submittal form, a link to which is on the Tidelines home page. Several followers also have notified editors of traffic and weather events by sending e-mail to email@example.com. The team is always thankful for these and encourages readers to submit more.
The entire Tidelines team remains firmly committed to maintaining its high standards while expanding and evolving its role as the best daily source of local news and events for Seabrook property owners.
Director, SIPOA Board