The window’s wide open, and what a view!

Enormous e-changes are afoot here at Food for Thought at donigreenberg.com.

This Web site is barely four weeks old. If you’ve been reading this from the start, you may recall I began with a simple blog,. No idea where I was going. No clue what I was doing.

I followed your lead.

What cracks me up is that newspapers constantly wring their hands over this supposedly vexing question: What do readers really want?

You’ve taught me that readers will say exactly what you want.

We listened and responded as quickly as humanly possible.  

In no time we outgrew the simple blog site. We needed a place that offered more layers and content capacity. Within about two and a half weeks, we had a Web site, Food for Thought at donigreenberg.com.

We rolled out expert Q&As (many are waiting in the wings for their turns), and guest speakers, and printable recipes, and photographs and links to weather and road conditions and national news, to name a sample. I even offered cooking classes.

We also added death notices from Allen & Dahl in Redding, Anderson and Palo Cedro – a direct response to some of you who’d cancelled your subscriptions and missed reading the death notices in the newspaper.    

Perhaps one of the biggest and most popular recent additions are the community comments forums, where, thus far, you’ve posted nearly 346 articles, 17 topics and countless subject “threads”  about a wide range of life interests: Menopause, parenting, cooking, health and beauty, pets, seasonal thoughts, entertainment and dining, and one of the most viewed of all, general discussion. 

I continue to feel amazed and impressed by the forum discussions. They’re civil, they’re helpful, they’re intelligent, they’re articulate, they’re informative, they’re funny, they’re kind.

By the way, when I say “we” in reference to the blog and Web site implementations, I mean myself, my husband Bruce, my son Joe in the Czech Republic and my friend Jim Gore in Redding. And his wife, my good friend Darcie. And their son, Jeff, of Chico.

Since we started this Web site, we’ve heard a recurring question: How are you going to make money at this? Believe me, we asked ourselves that question, too.

At first, we weren’t sure. We didn’t know our level of commitment. But most of all, we didn’t know how you’d respond, or if there was even a need for a place like Food for Thought.

We gave it a little time. I kept writing food stories and opinion columns, much as I did when I worked at the Record Searchlight. And then we added other voices. (See above.) And links. And options. And lots and lots of interactive communication.

The results were – are – astounding. We are collecting more page views and new subscribers every day. (A note here. When I hear the word “subscribe” I think money’s involved. That’s not the case here. When you become a subscriber you are signing up to receive notification of new posts on donigreenberg.com – no charge).

Literally, we have readers all over the country, all over the world (and I’m not just referring to Joseph and Marie in Ostrava).  

We’ve had businesses approach us and ask to advertise on our site. We’ve had readers ask about sponsorship and underwriting opportunities.

After the holidays, you will begin to see advertisements on this Web site.  

However, know that when we do advertise, we will do our best to do it with class. Our focus will remain on local  businesses, not pop-up, national ads that have nothing to do with the north state.

A revenue source will allow us to bring you more talent, content and information to Food for Thought. We’ll take this as far as it will go.

Meanwhile, I think back to the depressing days that followed my firing from the Record Searchlight. Now, that seems a long time ago.

What remains clear are words of support many of you spoke or wrote to me then. You assured me that when one door closes, a window of opportunity opens.

You were so right. And oh my gosh, check out that view. It’s a beauty.

Doni Chamberlain

Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded A News Cafe in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain holds a Bachelor's Degree in journalism from CSU, Chico. She's an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She's been featured and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Washington Post, L.A. Times, Slate, Bloomberg News and on CNN, KQED and KPFA. She lives in Redding, California.

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