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Reflecting On One Year of Patch

Oak Creek Patch launched on Dec. 28, 2010.

It was exactly one year ago today that Oak Creek Patch began changing the world.

Or not. But today does mark our one-year anniversary. I don't want to spend a whole lot of time talking about this, because I think it's super lame when a media outlet waxes poetic about itself. But at the same time, I didn't want to let the day pass by without a few thoughts about both our past and future.

It has been a pretty awesome ride for me personally, building a website from the ground up. A lot of technical aspects were in put in place by Patch HQ in New York for all over the 850+ Patch sites across the country. But growing an audience from 0 up to a steady stream in the hundreds (and on big news days, thousands) each day has been incredible to see.

Patch is certainly more "unknown" than it is "known." But it's still crazy to go out into the community and talk to this many people who know what Oak Creek Patch is, when at this time last year, people had zero idea who I was or what on earth I was talking about. I even get recognized sometimes in Oak Creek as the "Patch guy," which makes me feel awesome because it means people really are reading.

I think we are in a pretty good place right now with a long way to go. In my view, the site is on its way to accomplishing my central mission - to make it the place where, if you want to know something about Oak Creek, you can find it here. We're getting there. We had a lot of good stories, and we had some hiccups along the way. All to be expected. I certainly wouldn't want to consider myself "finished" after just a year. I still have a ton of things I want to accomplish with the site.

Above all, today I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for reading, commenting, emailing, calling, liking Patch on Facebook, following Patch on Twitter. It sounds cliche, but it really is the readers that have driven this thing and will drive it throughout 2012. I think the next year is going to be exciting and Patch is only going to get better, so I hope you join us.

This also seems like a good time for you to tell me what you think. Love it? Hate it? What do you want to see more of? What is it you dislike and want me to trash? (Sorry...my mug at the top of the page can't be removed.)

Thanks again for reading, and hope everyone is having a good holiday.

David Cotey December 28, 2011 at 05:05 PM
Congrats Mark. It's a great site. Glad to be on this ride with you.
Mark Schaaf December 28, 2011 at 05:08 PM
Ditto. Not too shabby yourself, find sir.
Jeff Klass December 28, 2011 at 08:08 PM
Still astounding that Patch has decided to forego a "patch" for the LARGEST suburb of Milwaukee - West Allis. I've sent many requests - but I guess an Oak Creek patch or Germantown patch is more important.
Mark Schaaf December 28, 2011 at 08:30 PM
I hear your frustration. Unfortunately, I don't have a great answer for you. Several things factor in as Patch thinks about where and when to launch Patch sites. Most importantly they look for towns and neighborhoods with especially engaged residents and vibrant business communities. They look at population, the school system, voter turnout, civic participation, and a number of other factors. Trying to do something like this is incredibly tough anyway, so I think Patch has to be selective in where they are putting their resources, and that means not being able to go into every single suburb.
Sharon Armstrong December 28, 2011 at 09:13 PM
Love Patch! What I like most is the UP TO DATE news - we have NEVER had that here in Oak Creek. What I like least is some of the comments people leave and I know that is out of your hands. I do appreciate the "Flag as inappropriate" option. Keep up the great work!
OC Mom December 28, 2011 at 11:11 PM
As a fellow journalist, I admire your work Mark and all the contributors and bloggers of the Patch! Keep it going and have a great New Year!!!
SJT December 28, 2011 at 11:24 PM
Happy first anniversary. Your work is outstanding in searching out the news and activity in this community, and very succinctly reporting it. It often clears up any misperceptions, misrepresentations and ignorance. Engagement of the citizens can is enhanced through Patch. Take care
Molly Wierzbicki December 29, 2011 at 02:41 AM
Love the Patch I have learned so many things I never would have known without you. Here's Romany more years.
Catherine A Roeske December 29, 2011 at 03:23 AM
The Patch is great! I read it everyday and intend to continue doing so moving forward. The reporting is fair, honest and fact based. When the JS discontinued the NOW in general circulation, I found the Patch. Much more informative and up to date. Thanks for all your hard work. Oak Creek is better a place with the Patch in it!
Susie Platt December 29, 2011 at 05:35 AM
I get a great deal of my news from Patch. You are so fast at reporting breaking news! I really appreciate it!
Jacob Crawford December 29, 2011 at 07:00 AM
All this Patch love is great! Congrats Mark, you deserve it!
Jeff December 29, 2011 at 02:54 PM
Happy Anniversary and THANK YOU!! The up to date OC news is very much appreciated. The old Oak Creek Pictorial, which became OC Now lost touch years ago - they never have up to date OC info. Thankfully Mark brought us Oak Creek Patch and has maintained a high standard of up to date and reliable news and interesting blogs. Keep up the great work and thanks for always being available and responsive
Mark Maley December 30, 2011 at 01:01 AM
As a former longtime Oak Creek resident who still cares a lot about what's going on in the city, I applaud the great work you've done over the past year.... Whether it's big news or small, I always seem to find out about it first on Oak Creek Patch!

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