Welcome! Again ...
Welcome to Grand Lancaster! Most of you reading this around the time it will be published were previously fans of my work on AmishRoadShow.com. Unfortunately, technical issues eventually brought the site down to a point that was beyond my ability to rehabilitate.I'm not one to give up easily, so I viewed this as the perfect opportunity to reimagine my goals with the site and revamp portions that I was previously unhappy with. While I have continued to share on social media I have been giving this a lot of thought. As many loving and supportive messages continue to find my inbox I've decided to get my butt in gear and start taking action.
New name, expanded mission
When I started Amish Road Show in 2011 it was a very exciting time for me. We were about to have our first child, and that was a huge motivator to begin the site and start pursuing some ambitions of mine. I set my sights on sharing Lancaster County and begin creating content every day. It was an exhilarating experience as I begin to see the likes and comments roll in.
With the Grand Lancaster blog we plan to continue and expand the original mission of exploring and sharing Lancaster County and the surrounding area. One of the problems with soley using social media the last few months was the diversity of the types of content I could offer on each platform. We needed that central anchor from which we could branch off that the blog will offer us.
I also want to be able to offer more perspectives than just my own. I've met so many wonderful and creative people through this experience and I would like to be able to help spread their work as well. Ultimately, I believe that offering more perspectives will make the big picture clearer over time. I greatly appreciate all of the feedback and compliments on my work over the years, but I think you'll like my friends a lot too!
All of that relates to the name change as well. Initially Amish Road Show appealed to me because I was traveling and capturing the roads of the Lancaster County countryside. There is so much more going on in and around our area that it didn't take long before the name didn't quite fit. While Amish Road Show was a catchy name to many, some people immediately thought it would be all Amish stuff. So many people wh may have enjoy me content either never looked at the site because they thought they wouldn't be interested, or they came to the site expecting all Amish stuff and were disappointed.
With all of that in mind I began slowly changing my profile names to Grand Lancaster back in 2015. It is my hope that this will reflect the more all encompassing nature of our work, the broadening of our perspective with more content creators and content types, and a subtle motivator for us to pursue excellence in everything we share.
What to expect ...
I have decided to archive the data from AmishRoadShow.com for now. That means we will be starting a new chapter on a fresh page. Fear not, I have a lot to share and so do my friends. Here's what you can expect to start seeing:
- a minimum of 2 blog posts per week while we get settled in
- continued daily posts on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, and other social platforms
- weekly challenges to embrace your inner-explorer
- regularly updated Grand Lancaster Maps
The Path Forward
The old and nearly cliche adage is true, "if you ever want to make God laugh tell him your plans". Since starting this adventure I've made many plans and laid many to rest. The important thing is that around every turn was an opportunity to learn and grow.
With that in mind, here are some areas we hope to expand into moving forward:
- Daily blog posts. I will never utter the following words again "I will be blogging every day". I would like to, but I have learned how much work that involves. I am currently looking for a few good explorers interested in sharing their stories. If you or someone you know might be interested please have a look at our Grand Lancaster Explorers sign-up page.
- Workshops/Live Events. In addition to photowalks we would like to expand into other types of live events including group workshop sessions, private tours, inside access tours, bike rides, picnics, group photo critiques, and road trips!!
- Exhibitions. We look forward to being able to organize opportunities for local artists to display their work to the public. We've met so many wonderful and talented people that we can't wait to share with you here on the site. There's just something extra special about artwork being on display in a physical format. We want to open up that opportunity to these talented creators.
- 360 Tours. Over time we have been collecting 360 photos all around Lancaster County and beyond. These panoramic images are currently being fed into a program to create a variety of visual experiences that will come to light here on the site. We have been fascinated with 360 technology since the introduction of Google Streetview. Now we are able to use that technology to show you around in a whole new way!
- Educational/Resource Materials. Providing you with accurate and usable information about our area is our entire reason for doing all of this. So we have a list of ideas for small books, field guides, and informational pamphlets we hope to publish one day.
- Community Service Events. We would love to organize some events to clean up public spaces in our communities such as parks, rivers, hiking trails, etc.
- The Grand Archive. We our thoughts in the distant future we're already thinking about where all of this data will end up. Not just our blog posts and photos,. We're talking about the whole massive body of data captured by us, our friends, our neighbors, and everyone touched by this area. We should have a place other than social media to store this data and make it available for future generations to access for a clearly image of our space and time.
- Youth Programs.