Community-based website in danger

—  From NewScotlanNeighbors.com website

"With the New Year, comes an opportunity to start fresh and with a clean slate!" So says the homepage, illustrated with these blooming flowers, of Janna Shillinglaw's interactive neighborhood website.

NEW SCOTLAND — The Internet can be a powerful tool if harnessed correctly. New Scotland resident and active community member Janna Shillinglaw has created a website specifically to involve town residents.

The site, NewScotlandNeighbors.com, has been online since 2007, but Shillinglaw is thinking of shutting it down because of the cost of maintaining the site. She was paying $65 per month to keep it up, but recently negotiated with the company to give it to her for half price for the next year due to errors on its end.

Most websites stay afloat by charging people for ad space or to be featured on the site.

“I never felt like charging anybody for the site,” she said regarding having local merchants pay to be listed on the site. “But that may be what I have to do.”

“I felt that we didn’t have that many subscribers, and community groups aren’t posting events as often as they used to,” she said.

The website has around 150 subscribers to its monthly newsletter, which contains snippets from many parts of the website: an events calendar, new articles, and notices of new merchants added to the site as well as any coupons they’re offering.

There is also a photo page on the site where residents can post pictures of events around town, or just the local beauty.

Additionally, the site has a history page for New Scotland natives to tell stories about their experiences from past years in the town.

“It’s meant to be interactive for the whole community,” Shillinglaw said.

A real estate agent, she founded the New Scotland Business Builders in 2007, and currently acts as its chair. She is also a trustee on the Voorheesville Public Library Board.

She encourages everyone, even members of surrounding communities, to post on the events calendar. The more that are posted, Shillinglaw said, the more useful the website will be.

“We live in a great community,” she said, “and I’d like to give back to it.”

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