The Digital Age in Cecil; Some People Are Remembering

Since we queried readers about the digital age in the county, we’ve received some information and we’ve done a little digging on our own.  Here’s what we’ve found so far but Someone Noticed still thinks someone else should put the piece together.  It  would be a valuable contribution to the historical literature of late 20th century county history. 

County’s First Community Blogger

One of the Chesapeake City bloggers posted earlier today, telling us that CanalSide was the first citizen journalism site in the area.  When we first discovered it, the site quickly become one of our favorites as we saw the advantages a community oriented blog brought to a town.  The creative way the editor captured the goings on that weren’t being covered elsewhere and turned the phrases made for enjoyable reading. 

Here’s what she said:   ” . . . We started posting in February 2006, right after Schaefer’s Canal House farewell/going out of business party.  It was a sad event for many folks and I wanted to document the event and other things that were going on in town. At that time, the only source of local news was the Cecil Whig, and people’s front porches. I figured the blog would be a great way to disseminate pertinent information quickly, and indeed it has been helpful to many people in that regard. The most fun for me has being able to showcase events through photographs, which is my all consuming hobby. . . .”  Thanks for providing this interesting commentary and insight on what a community blogger is capable of doing.

County Newspaper Goes Online in 1996!

Wayne Fenstermacher, still a regular commentator on Cecil County happenings some 15-years later, has reminded us about the pioneer print newspaper to make use of the World Wide Web.  The first edition of the County Post hit the street on Oct. 24, 1996.  Within a month (Nov. 21, 1996), Wayne made a historic announcement in his lead editorial:  “In the ever competitive news field, you’ve got to stay on top of the technology or you’ll get run over by it.  We are proud to announce that beginning with this issue of the County Post, Internet surfers all around the world can see what’s going on here in Cecil County.  What’s that mean to you, you ask?  Well it also means that w’re not limited to the printed pages we distribute throughout the county each week.”  Photos that didn’t fit in print, breaking news, the full story, and access everywhere were some the advantages Wayne cited. (Our earlier source, the Internet Archive, first recorded the presence in 1998, but that research site was probably just coming on line at that time.)

Think of 1996 in terms of the rapid pace of Internet years.  Cell phones were a rarity and many Cecil Countians had dial-up connections or they weren’t wired yet.  The tremendous popular growth in the net only started about 1995 or 1996.  There’s more to this story, and we do hope it gets pulled together, but thanks for the information that’s been shared thus far.


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