Old Town Hall after a fresh snow fall

Well – here it is – FINALLY!  Creating the Ancaster.com website has been a dream for us for a number of years and we’re finally ‘officially’ getting it off the ground. It took us a few years to actually get ahold of the domain – and a few more after that to launch this website.  During that time we’ve had a number of different ideas for the site – a directory, a social site, breaking news site….none of which we could really get excited about. And hey – if the creators of the site couldn’t get excited about it how could we expect all for you to be excited about it?

We’re life-long residents of Ancaster and what we always agreed on was that this had to be a site about Ancaster by Ancaster and for Ancaster.  We have in the past been solicited by different organizations to make it about ‘part of Ancaster’ or about a specific Ancaster business – but those propositions where exclusive and that didn’t fit the bill for us. It’s supposed to be about and for everyone in Ancaster.

So what is it then? Good question! And the real answer is we’re not really sure yet other than to say we’re starting with a base of bloggers to talk about what we felt were of interest to the general community. We fully anticipate that where we are starting is not where we will end up over time. The site is designed to evolve as we hear back from you as to what resonates, what doesn’t.

Maybe it would be helpful to describe what the site is not (at least not yet). It’s not breaking news – while we do hope to cover newsworthy topics we do not have a team of reporters breaking news. We do however hope to update you with regular twitter posts if there is something you need to know about immediately (like a 403 shutdown).  It’s also not a full directory – however we do intend to profile some amazing local businesses and their services. It’s not a comprehensive events calendar – however we will be telling you the best of what’s happening in town, what you should be looking forward to, and the great places to eat. It’s also not Facebook want-to-be – however we do hope you use these social media tools to interact with the site and other users.

Some of you may be asking “How can you I get involved?” Many ways in fact:

1)   Read, enjoy, come back, and tell your friends!

2)   Comment, tweet, share, like, and participate by giving us feedback.

3)   Contribute – with a story, post, comment, or better yet, Become a regular contributor by signing up to be a ‘local expert’.

What’s a local expert? Glad you asked! While we’re certainly looking for one-time contributions from members of the community we are also looking for regular contributors to sign up with us and blog about what you are most passionate about. If that’s the local hockey team (Go Avalanche!), community issues, cars, dental care , or any subject matter that has an appeal to Ancaster residents, we’re welcoming you aboard.

In Hot Topics we’ll let you sound off on local issues – be that why the baseball diamond never seems to get finished, or those stupid roundabouts that no one really know how to use, or why Wilson Street is closing down for the spring, the closure of Ancaster Highschool, or why Ancaster will never really be part of Hamilton no matter what the politicians say…

It’s a great way to get your voice heard in the community. We’re also welcoming students to participate from grade school to university. Want to be your official school’s correspondent – let us know.

Oh – and we’re also mobile! That’s right, you can take Ancaster.com with you wherever you go as the site is designed to be mobile friendly. It will automatically reformat to whatever device you want to use – iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry – whatever your preference.

We have a lot of other ideas in the works to round out the site including a dining section and photo galleries. Keep coming back to see the site evolve!

In the end Ancaster.com will be what you make it. We’ll continue to foster this as long as there is interest and involvement.  While we will be looking for advertisers and sponsors to help cover our costs, this isn’t our full-time job and we’re happy to help fund this. We’re in this because we’re proud to call Ancaster home and passionate about all things Ancaster. We’re hoping that enough of you feel the same way.

Leave us a comment below to let us know what you think! Any and all feedback is welcome.

The Ancaster.com Team

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