By John Anderson

 

2013 was a decent year for me. In April, my wife and I spent 8 days in the Galapagos Islands where we hiked, photographed, and enjoyed the company of 14 other guests on a small yacht. We snorkeled with penguins, sea turtles, rays, sea lions, and even sharks. This nearly undisturbed piece of nature is heaven for a photographer, and we came back from this adventure with unforgettable memories and a couple of decent snaps.

 

 

In June, we attended a family reunion in Wisconsin where my father grew up. This was the first time none of the 7 Andersons from Merrill, Wisconsin were present. My Aunt Kay in Wasilla, Alaska was the last surviving sibling and she passed away in 2012. The next generations are now keeping this going, a perfect example of what “family” means.

On August 26, Jeff LaBonte and I launched Auburn Mass Daily.com, and life has never been so busy. Publishing Monday through Friday, we’ve provided decent coverage of Auburn. I firmly believe that hyper-local online newspapers are the future, and that weekly papers have outlived their usefulness. As the generations that still need the feel of paper and ink stains on their fingers pass on, the Kindle readers and online subscribers will rule.

For the New Year, I would like to see better coverage in some areas, but that will require additional staff. That staff will only be affordable when advertising revenues pick up. After four months our numbers show we are competitive with our local competition, and we don’t publish irrelevant stories about Dudley, Southbridge, and Charlton. None of these communities even border Auburn.

We do plan to integrate some video into our paper which is something that can’t happen on paper. Our format was recently changed, and for the better. Jeff handles the technical side, and better slide shows are a goal. We’re getting closer to the product we envisioned.

Ironically, and as I finish this article, our web host is down. This happens from time to time, and is frustrating, like when a snowstorm hits and the newspaper doesn’t get delivered because the truck is stuck in Boston.

Thanks to all who read Auburn Mass Daily on a regular basis, friend us on Facebook or Twitter, or just pull up a story because it looks interesting. We’re enjoying this venture and hope to be around for quite a while.

Along with good health, three important things in my life are Adventure, Family, and Success. 2013 had them all. Happy New Year to all, and may 2014 bring you all you desire.