The Measure N debate in Dixon is a good example of how things can get rowdy during election season.
In some ways, I’m very much impressed and amazed by the way members of this community have grabbed a hold of Dixon Patch and harnessed it as a tool for this often-heated debate. But as we proceed, I want to remind you that the site functions best when it's a place for thoughtful conversation in which all can participate.
In addition to being a news source, Patch is a community hub where Dixonites are encouraged to share and interact with one another. Doing so can help the community connect and collaborate, and it ensures that people know what’s happening in town. That’s all very productive stuff.
Lately, though, that dialogue has sometimes looked more like an argument.
I'm referring specifically to issues surrounding Measure N and Mike Ceremello, both of which seem to drive our readers and bloggers to extreme ends of the spectrum.
The fact that people feel so strongly about both of these topics make them very worthy of discussion on the site. But it's important to remember that Dixon Patch users aren’t just random Internet commenters and bloggers whom you’ll never see in person.
These are your neighbors, and that’s what makes Patch unique. That’s also why it’s important to avoid letting the conversation devolve into something that becomes totally unproductive.
The Growing Importance of Blogging
My colleague, Carlos Villatoro, built Dixon Patch up from nothing, and he carried the banner for more than a year and a half, breaking some very important stories in Dixon and making this site his whole world. His hard work paid off, and now he’s overseeing a handful of Patch sites in west Solano County and the North Bay.
I’ll be the first to tell you that Dixon Patch does not have a large newsroom of reporters sitting around and waiting to cover everything that happens in Dixon. We just don't. It's a modest operation, which makes your participation even more important.
And since you can post on Patch with just a few clicks (it’s so easy it’ll blow your mind), we invite you to help tell Dixon’s stories. Not only can it make the site more interesting, but it can make the town a better place.
BLOG ON PATCH: BOOKMARK THIS LINK AND POST ANYTIME!
These Two Bloggers Are Role Models
Gary Erwin and Bil Paul are two great Dixon Patch bloggers, whose content I always enjoy reading. I come away feeling like I know more about Dixon every time I read their work, regardless of whether or not I agree with them.
Both Gary and Bil manage to maintain their own human voices and personalities while sharing valuable information with the community. That's a beautiful thing, in my opinion.
When Gary talks about the studio and Morning View, it’s clear he’s in support of the project, but he lays out facts and strings together thoughtful opinions. He doesn’t force the studio in your face or take stabs at people with whom he disagrees.
And when Bil talks about Measure N or the mayoral race, he tells a story from his own perspective and he leaves the matter open for discussion. This kind of writing tends to be more effective in guiding readers’ thoughts anyways.
Telling people that “Measure N is idiotic and you should vote No!” is usually far less persuasive to people on the other side. (That's not a real quote, by the way. It's hyperbole).
Let's Keep this Conversation Going
Blogging has become increasingly important on Dixon Patch since Carlos moved on. I’m here to tell you that it will continue to be a huge part of the site, probably even more so in the future. We'll always be a strong local news site, but we want you to be a part of the process.
Whether it’s a one-paragraph piece about a car accident downtown, a 600-word column about the election or a few photos from a Rams game -- please don’t hesitate to share. All you have to do is click the link below, and then click “Post on Patch.” We look forward to hearing from you!