It started as an idea to provide history and context on the issues her town and county governments were discussing.
"Ten years later":http://www.dailytarheel.com/article/2013/09/orange-politics-0930, Orange Politics has become a volunteer-driven blog for community members and local politicians to debate and catch up on news in Orange County.
After a decade of debating, founder Ruby Sinreich announced earlier this month she will no longer run Orange Politics.
Sinreich said the decision was something she needed to do for herself .
“Nearly every day I can feel the impacts the site has had,” Sinreich said. “It has been really rewarding to have a platform to be able to speak out about different issues that are important to me — but it has also been a lot of work.”
Sinreich said she has been involved in activism since she was an undergraduate student at UNC in the early 1990s.
“I have been doing local politics and found you can really have an impact since the scale is so small,” she said. “You can actually change something and make the community better for everybody.”
She said she initially used the blog as a way to provide residents with the history and context of Orange County they need to understand local issues.
Now the blog’s editors and contributors live-tweet town and county meetings and serve as a source of real-time news for residents.
The website has always been a group effort, so Sinreich said she is not concerned about the future of Orange Politics.
Nobody will be stepping up to take Sinreich’s position. Instead, she said the current editorial board will collaborate to keep the website alive.
“There won’t be a new me, at least not right away,” she said.“I think the group is ready to take over. There have been so many great improvements and nearly all of them came from the group — not from me.”
Sinreich said she let the board know last fall she would be retiring but was not sure how editors would respond.
She said she worried they might let the website die, but they chose to step up and take over.
Carrboro Alderman Damon Seils, a former editor of Orange Politics, said he thinks the blog will learn to adapt to changes that have occurred since it was founded.
“When it started back ten or so years ago, it began at a time when blogs were really the way people were communicating online with things like politics,” Seils said.“I think now the online world has really changed a lot.”
He said he thinks the blog will develop a specific strategy to use social media as a way to engage more people in discussion about local politics.
“I think it will have a more deliberate strategy around social media and use it as a way to generate greater participation,” he said.
Travis Crayton, a member of the blog’s editorial board, said the editors will work to make sure Sinreich’s departure from the blog is smooth.
“We always kind of split the responsibilities among us,” he said. “Really since Ruby created the editorial team in 2011 it has been a team effort.”
Crayton said he does not think the blog will change now that Sinreich is not in charge.
“OP has been, since Ruby founded it in 2003, a place to encourage community dialogue,” he said.
“That’s certainly not going to change without Ruby. We are committed to keeping that alive.”
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