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Christopher Grotke & Lise LePage
Brattleboro, VT

41 Cedar Street
Brattleboro, VT 05301
Work: 802-254-0129

"As far as what motivated us, it was not money. Money had absolutely nothing to do with it. It was a desire to build an online community based around a real place, where the people using the online community live in the place. And it was to start creating a way for grassroots journalism to flourish. It was so the stories in this town that The Reformer, which is a corporate paper, was not going to cover, got covered. And what what we discovered was that when you cover news at that grassroots level, you draw the attention of regular media. And so they then start scanning the site, every day, every other day, and when they see something interesting, they pick it up. So, in a way it is a really great way to bring news up that would otherwise simply not get out at all. Things that are embarassing to [town] board members, and various town boards -- things they don't want to talk about. And certainly points of view that are never going to be represented."
-- Lise LePage, iBrattleboro co-founder

One of the earliest web-only local news and community sites permitting "blog" posting and replies

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UPDATE, Nov. 2007:
iBrattleboro named in libel suit testing immunity under Communications Decency Act

UPDATED: Sept. 2006:
"Cho", one of the professional writers who is a key editor at ePluribus Media, posted a Q&A interview with Chris and Lise.

UPDATE: Feb. 24, 2006:
Chris Williams and Shayne Bowman interview Chris and Lise:

UPDATE: Oct. 31, 2005:
Grotke and LePage highlighted a panel on citizen journalism at the annual meeting of the Online News Association. LINK HERE.

UPDATE: One Sept. 23, 2005, The Vermont Guardian monthly profiles iBrattleboro and iBurlington.com, two community-news websites in Vermont. Kathryn Casa writes: "Since it debuted in February 2003, iBrattleboro has logged more than 1.7 million page views, posted 3,261 stories, 19,693 comments, and 353 web links, according to statistics available on the site. It has also conducted 89 community polls, garnering 3,068 votes." She quotes co-founder Chris Grotke that iBrattleboro now averages about 460 unique visitors a day, with an average visit length of nearly five minutes. Says Grotke: “In web terms, this indicates people are staying on the site for a long time. Many big, popular sites have average visit lengths of seconds, or partial seconds." Casa's story also talks about formation of The Brattleboro Commons, a new weekly newspaper that has been charted as a community not-for-profit. Casa, a former managing editor of the chain-owned daily Brattleboro Reformer(part of Denver-based MediaNews Group Inc. is among organizers of the Commons.

Web designers turn to community web journalism

iBrattleboro web-designers, Christopher and Lise, are the creators of one of the pioneering citizen journalism websites in the Northeast. iBrattleboro was funded Feb.2003 with 20 users. Currently they have over 800 users registered. With the concept of “everyone is reporter, everyone is at the scene,” Christ and Lise hope iBrattleboro, a community-based space, would enhance the vibrancy of independent media of their community.

Click the "read more" link below for a story about iBrattleboro.

For excerpts of a Q&A interview with iBrattleboro's founders, click HERE.

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