Thanks for taking the time to visit The Nunamaker Group site.
As noted in the About section, this site highlights Ross Nunamaker's professional, contract/freelance, volunteer activity, speaking, education, and training.
The blog is a place where I'll share more opinions and personal posts.
I have had several different blogs through the years. Unfortunately, the most recent one I only have on my hard-drive. I'll see if I can find a way to upload those files at some point. It was on Drupal Gardens, and when that site closed I moved to a hosted environment.
Prior to that I had a Blog on Word Press available here.
I began blogging in the early 2000's. At first I did it to understand it. I had a vanity blog and posted on a range of topics. I met other bloggers online and started commenting on other people's blogs and they in turn visited my site and did the same.
In 2005, I started thinking about how a community focused site could help share information that local residents could use and that was often hard to find.
I couldn't get any traction, so I reconsidered how I could make it work. I re-launched in 2006 as NewsOverCoffee: Nazareth, PA Edition. I focused on the townships and boroughs that comprised the Nazareth Area School District. I attended Nazareth Borough and School District meetings and started posted to my site.
Word of mouth, coupled with a few local controversies made my site pretty well-known locally.
At the time I decided to create a companion blog that was to be a 'handbook' for others to do the same in their community.
I had good relationships with the local media and I managed the comments with the focus being on its okay to debate the point, just don't attack the person.
Nazareth residents stepped up (excerpts)
by Bill White
The Morning Call
January 6, 2007
...I've also been encouraged by what has happened in Nazareth, where vocal residents helped persuade their leaders to scale back a secretly hatched plan for new municipal facilities in favor of something more reasonable. They even persuaded borough officials to emerge — kicking and screaming, in some cases — to begin complying with the state Sunshine Act.
One of the big factors in this public pressure has been the blog NewsOverCoffee (nocnews.blogspot.com), which has been meticulously chronicling community life in Nazareth since last April. Although it often includes links to stories in the local newspapers, it offers much more detail than space or time permit in the daily press.
Originator Ross Nunamaker says the site has been averaging about 150 unique visits a day. The municipal building controversy and the threat of a teachers' strike in the Nazareth Area School District guaranteed that there were hot issues in the first year to attract readers.
Here's how Nunamaker introduces the blog on its home page: ''Welcome! Go ahead and take a sip of NewsOverCoffee. Life keeps getting busier, this is a place where people, neighbors and friends can connect to share news and information that is important to them at their own convenience. A place where Nazareth news and goings-on are posted for everyone to see and comment on. In short, it is where Colonial Hospitality meets information technology to ensure a better and stronger community.''
Unlike some of the blogs originating in other communities, NewsOverCoffee focuses more on straightforward information than on wisecracks and commentary. That makes it somewhat less entertaining to nonresidents, but more credible, I suspect, to those who haven't made their minds up. Nunamaker said his readers help police the comments portion of the site for anonymous personal attacks, keeping things constructive.
Still, when editorial comment is needed, Nunamaker isn't afraid to provide it. I suspect his strong voice played a big part in the positive changes that have taken place over the past several months.
His biggest need, he said, is more people to help him cover meetings, both in Nazareth and in other parts of the school district. If you're willing to help, let him know.
I've praised other local bloggers for bringing important issues to light in an entertaining way. But I can't think of anyone who has done a better job of putting the Internet to work in the service of his or her community.
We need more NewsOverCoffees. And we need more residents who are willing to speak up and force positive change when their leaders are out of line.
Steaming Cup of Joe
Joseph P. Owens, Editor
March 27, 2007
"The best community blog I've seen hereabouts thus far has been NewsOverCoffee."
Valley Bloggers Fill Niche (excerpts)
by JD Malone
July 29, 2007
...Today more than 30 Valley blogs are live and kicking...Leading the way are borough residents Bernie O'Hare, with Lehigh Valley Ramblings, and Ross Nunamaker, with NewsOverCoffee. Although they approach blogging differently, they boast large and growing audiences.
Nunamaker said his first blog flopped in 2005. He re-launched in March 2006 with the intent of delivering local news and information to people in the Nazareth Area..."I wanted a site to aggregate the information lost because people don't go to meetings," Nunamaker said. "(NewsOverCoffee) isn't about the person. It's about the place."
"We occasionally read them just to find out what's going on or what people think," said Nazareth Area Superintendent Victor Lesky.
"I never read them. I'm just not into that type of media," Nazareth Mayor Earl Keller said. "I hear some things that are on there. I hear lots of people talk about (the blogs)."
"Of course I read Ross' (blog)," O'Hare said. "I live in Nazareth."
Jeff Pooley, Ph.D.
Asst. Prof. of Media and Communication, Muhlenberg College
Steering Committee Member, Media Action of the Lehigh Valley
"I've continued to add a number of local blogs that I've stumbled across to my links page. One stands out: NewsOverCoffee, from Nazareth. It's an exciting experiment in citizen journalism that, in theory, permits posts from any number of citizen volunteers."
"NewsOverCoffee is the Valley's foremost example of authentic citizen journalism."
"I regard his News over Coffee site as a truly innovative model of an interactive community site. And I completely agree about the counterintuitive ways in which the internet is going local--and paradoxically bringing neighbors, blocks apart, together."
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Ross R. Nunamaker