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Content facilitator eager to begin new year with Rapidian

Underwriting support from:

Dear readers, reporters, collaborators, sources and supporters,

Whether you already know me or not, I'd like to extend a greeting as the new content facilitator of Grand Rapids' hyperlocal news source, The Rapidian.

Not long ago, I was introduced to The Rapidian by my good friend Drew Storey, who embodied the spirit and ideals of this publication before passing away in October. As The Rapidian's first content facilitator, Drew set much of the groundwork for the position. I can only hope to complement The Rapidian as well as Drew did. His exuberance was so contagious, it pushes me to love this work every day.

In keeping with the philosophy that news can be a conversation and not merely words on a page, I plan on being as engaging as possible, speaking candidly and honestly.

This past year has seen its share of hellos and goodbyes, and already we find ourselves in a new decade. What comes next is up to us, the Grand Rapids community, and—to no small extent—chance. As the Rapidian staff, we extend these questions to you: What are your hopes for the upcoming year? How will 2010 affect our community? Will new rules change the way you live in Grand Rapids? What are you looking forward to? What would you like to avoid? Let us know what's happening in your area of Grand Rapids for this month's story theme.

I'm excited to see what stories will come out of our community in 2010 and equally excited about connecting with all of you as Rapidian contributors and friends. It's true, our lives may be different. I ride a bicycle everywhere and usually make cupcakes before going to bed every night. My father comes from a line of hardworking sharecroppers of Aztec heritage and my mother is descended from Thor. Yes, that Thor.

It's hard to imagine you and I share any of these qualities. However, we are bound together in community journalism, a love of Grand Rapids, a thirst for truth and the belief that the Internet is pretty rad.

I'm reminded of that old adage about keeping your friends close. I'm never more than a phone call, e-mail, Tweet, Facebook message, telegraph, hobo code or bird call away. I know about three bird calls, so text me first to find out which dialect to use.

The Rapidian is a testament to the power of community and positive grassroots involvement. I'm proud to be a part of it with all of you. Let's have some fun.

Matthew Russell aka Mattsimoto
Rapidian Content Facilitator

Photo credit: RichardD72

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

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If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.


Good luck my wishes, Dee