I’ve written before about the transition — one that I believe is certain, as much as anything human can be — from Old Whitewater to New Whitewater. A summary of my thinking:
- There’s a transition taking place, slowly but ineluctably, from a stodgy, stagnant Whitewater to a more hip & prosperous one.
- We’ve probably about ten years to go (a period likely to be one of greater change than the last twenty years’ time combined).
- New Whitewater will be freer, more diverse, and fundamentally multiethnic and multicultural.
- Although I’m a libertarian, I don’t believe Whitewater’s future politics will be fundamentally libertarian – it’s more likely to be, mostly, a mix of confident progressives and confident opportunity conservatives.
- There’ll be futile resistance to these changes, and more than a few bumps along this road. We’ll see more than one disappointment between now and then. (There will some afterward, too — just not as many). Still, scores of past and current practices will find their way only to the dustbin.
- Whitewater’s diversity will emerge from people and in ways not yet heralded – our city will be less centralized.
- For it all, we’ll be much better off.
This transition will be harder for some than others. Along the way to a more diverse and open city, one can expect that some will insist nothing’s changing, and that nothing can change. Some of this insistence will be sincere but mistaken, but at other times dishonest and self-deceiving. Those who don’t want change will declare that there isn’t any, and then pretend that there isn’t any.
We’re well into the pretending stage, actually.
I’ve been writing for nearly five years, and I’ll happily write for fifty, or perhaps one-hundred fifty, more. (That would give me 140 years of a hip & prosperous Whitewater — I’ll take that, gladly.)
But I don’t believe — and will never believe — that the present or (certainly) the future revolves around one website, one blog, one city official, one politician, or one group. Of course not — our city is 14,622, not a few or even a few hundred.
One should not be deceived about what Whitewater’s like even now. It’s already more diverse — from so many forms of expression, of so many residents — than one website. It’s much more diverse than that.
The champions of the status quo will herald a single website “receiving on average over 50,000 hits” or being “read throughout the US and world by those with ties to the community,” but that’s only a fraction of what this blog (FREE WHITEWATER) receives on a slow month — FW receives 4.8x as many even on a slower month like this March.
To this website’s readers — thanks so very much.
What does this mean?
Most importantly, this traffic comparison means that when one considers all the other ways to communicate — telephone, mail, email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, in person, via video, text messages, etc. — the total communication of our 14,622 neighbors dwarfs any website or blog.
That doesn’t bother me — I like it, and hope for more and still more. Each and every thoughtful person in this city will benefit from an expanding marketplace of ideas.
Second, my traffic comparison should give heart to those others who are considering their own publications – one can take one’s own path, write from one’s own convictions, and be larger than an insider’s publication. A dissenter embracing America’s free traditions can build a bigger audience than any defender of the status quo. I am convinced that there will one day be efforts far grander than anything we’ve yet seen, from people of whom we’ve not yet heard, and I welcome that future.
New Whitewater unfolds, around and ahead of us.