New Nebraska Network: Year Twoby Kyle Michaelis
I'd planned on doing something special to celebrate the New Nebraska Network's first birthday, but the massive redesign to make the site more visually appealing quickly gave way to other commitments. A possible review of my "Top 10" favorite posts has also gone by the wayside....because, quite frankly, I don't have the time to scour the archives when I'm hardly producing enough material that there even needs to be an archive.
Still, despite such persistent disappointments, I don't intend to denigrate this site or what it has accomplished. Though I'm yet to take on cohorts to help this site achieve its statewide potential and the site clearly hasn't broken into the public consciousness in the manner I might have hoped - for the effort I've put into it, this last year has been a success.
When able, this site is offering an alternative voice, and, when necessary, it's asking questions of politicians and the press to which the people of Nebraska deserve an answer. We're still not in a position to force that answer but I trust my contribution is at least adding to the pressure that might one day result in accountability from our elected officials and actual honesty from our unelected, self-appointed ministers of message control in the local media. What role the site may ultimately play in building Nebraska's progressive community into a true political force with an actual identity will only be icing on the cake.
Of course, I look back to my three posts that first day and my more than 30 posts those first two weeks, and I can't help but be disappointed that I've been unable to maintain that level of output. It is not for a want of material, as there is need for the sort of criticism we provide on so many levels and on so many issues that are currently passing under this site's RADAR. That is unfortunate, but I can only hope that my example, along with the wave of personal empowerment following the natural evolution of the Internet, might encourage other voices to rise up and fill the critical shortage for progressive Nebraska alternatives.
In one year, the New Nebraska Network has seen 332 posts - if I were able to do this as more than a hobby or if there was an entire team working across the state, I have no doubt that number could have easily been in the thousands without those posts ever repeating themselves. Such is the desperate state of Nebraska's unquestioning and generally complacent press - that someone, somewhere must rise up and do their job for them if this state is ever going to get back on the path to righteousness and political sanity.
Please stick with us for our second year - when I will perhaps finally decide, once and for all, whether to write in the first or the second person ("I" or "we"). It's also an election year, so you can hopefully count on some human drama to help liven things up a bit.
But, at the end of the day, it's ideas that matter, as well as the changes they are able to bring about. The New Nebraska Network will continue to contribute, as best it can, to the debates that stand before us and that are still to come. But, the site is nothing without its readers. I thank you for your interest, your time, your trust - maybe even a bookmark in your web browser. I promise to continue doing what I'm doing - always welcoming your comments and your criticism - and maybe even getting better with experience and old age.
The queen is dead; long live the queen. Let "New Nebraska Network: Year Two" begin!