End of the Line for This ARRC Blog

Back in early 2009 I recognized that the Akron Railroad Club needed a better presence online.

A member had put up a website devoted to the ARRC, but technical difficulties and other issues prevented that site from being effective or up to date.

I learned from a former colleague of my wife about WordPress.com. That ex-colleague helped me set up what became akronrrclub.wordpress.com.

That ex-colleague also offered me a useful piece of advice as we set up the blog. Treat it a publication that comes out on a regular schedule.

That meant providing content on a regular basis just as newspapers, magazines, newsletters and broadcasters do.

At the time I saw this site as doing nothing more than providing news about the Akron Railroad Club and its members.

I quickly learned that the ARRC doesn’t make much news or make it very often.

What news is did make was supplemented by some members providing photographs and stories about their railfanning adventures.

But those contributions could be hit and miss and I sensed that more content was needed if the site was to fulfill my vision for it.

That led me to begin posting news about the railroad industry, most often about railroads serving Ohio and the immediate surrounding states of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana and Michigan.

At times I also ventured into other transportation news. I have a particular interest in airline service so I often wrote about that, too.

It became part of my daily routine to check my usual sources of news about the railroad industry and write the posts. It was a good way to stay current on what was happening in the industry.

But now that has come to an end. No, the railroad industry is not going anywhere but I am.

As those who know me already know, I’ll be moving away from Northeast Ohio sometime next year and I have chosen to retire as president of the Akron Railroad Club.

I’ve said for some time that when I retired, this blog would also be retired.

A new crop of ARRC officers was elected on Nov. 16. The ARRC constitution and bylaws are silent on exactly when their terms of office begin.

As a practical matter, that date is Jan. 1 because they are elected to serve during a specified calendar year.

As I see it, though, my last duties as ARRC president came to a close when the November meeting adjourned. There remain some administrative matters to address as part of the transition to new leadership but otherwise the ARRC will be dormant until January, the upcoming end of year dinner this Saturday notwithstanding.

I am no longer posting railroad industry news to this blog. I maintain another blog titled Amtrak in the Heartland that is devoted to intercity rail passenger service in the United States.

Some of the news that I once posted at akronrrclub.wordpress.com can now be found at csanders429.wordpress.com.

I once said that I would eventually be removing this site and that may happen in time. For now I’m going to let it remain live as an archive of the years that I was an officer of the ARRC.

There is also some historical information on this site about the ARRC and the railroads that serve or once served Akron.

But no longer will this site be used to support the Akron Railroad Club. I believe that communication with members and the public is the responsibility of an organization’s leadership.

It will be up to the next class of officers to decide how best to communicate about club affairs.

I’ve had a blast overseeing this site. Some ARRC members were regular contributors and I appreciate the photographs and stories that Roger Durfee, Ed Ribinskas, Jeff Troutman, Todd Dillon, Bob Farkas, Richard Thompson, the late Richard Jacobs and others contributed over the years.

Although WordPress provides blog administrators with certain statistics about how many visitors and views a site receives each day those don’t show the identity of those readers.

It has long been my impression that many, if not most, of those who were regular visitors to this site are not ARRC members. Many are simply railfans who found the information presented interesting enough to view.

Others probably found the blog while doing a search on Google. On occasion, others have linked to this blog specific content that caught their eye.

I’ve heard from some of the regulars at times and it always felt good to know that they appreciated what I was doing.

Akronrrclub.wordpress.com has always been and always was destined to be a tiny goldfish in the railfan world pond.

The number of hits that content on this site received is minuscule compared to such sites as Trainsmag.com, Railpictures.net and Trainorders.com.

And then there is Facebook, which is the 100 pound gorilla overshadowing everyone who posts content online at sites such as this one.

The higher visibility of those sites probably goes a long way in explaining why contributions from ARRC members and others have been relatively few and far between, particularly in recent years.

Aside from csanders429.wordpress.com, I maintain another blog known as Seeing Things, Saying Things at craigsanders.wordpress.com.

That blog was created as a way to promote my railroad history books, but has received virtually no attention. Of late I’ve used it to post photographs of things other than railroads.

I hope to spend more time in the coming year developing that website as well as my site Amtrak in the Heartland. Hence that is another reason for my moving away from maintaining akronrrclub.wordpress.com.

Of course I’ll miss my routine of maintaining this site, but it is time to move on. Likewise, I’m going to miss interacting with the members of the ARRC and attending its meetings and events.

I’ll always have my memories of what great times those were. I might even visit this site down the road when I’m feeling nostalgic.

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6 Responses to “End of the Line for This ARRC Blog”

  1. Bob Farkas Says:

    THANK YOU! I don’t know how to say how much I appreciated the blog and all your hard work, so I’ll just say THANK YOU again.

  2. joelowry1982 Says:

    I found this blog a few months ago. As a former Youngstown resident now in the DC area whose interest in railroading was recently reignited, this blog filled a void of NEO-specific railroad information. The photos and information provided here will be missed.

  3. Chuck Ashton Says:

    Craig you have done so much for myself & all other railfans reading your blog. I’ll sure miss reading your insights on railroading. All the best to you in all your future endeavors. Maybe one day I’ll bump into you track side.

    Thank you & all the best,

    Chuck Ashton

  4. wildbillfromusa Says:

    I am one who has appreciated the posts on this site and have checked it periodically. Thanks for the links to the sites you will continue to maintain as I will start visiting there, especially “Amtrak in the Heartland”!

  5. Phil Linne Says:

    I’m one of the non-member, non-regular visitors to the ARRC website. Thanks for the fine reports and skillful writing over the years. I’ve enjoyed each of your pieces and photos. As a past president of Ohio Valley Railcars-NARCOA, I’ve experienced many of the same things as you have. Though we elect officers yearly, we’ve found that 2 or 3 years is about the right term of service. Congratulations on your retirement! You will be missed by many.

  6. Eric Schlentner Says:

    Craig – many thanks for running this blog over the years. Although not an ARRC member, I did check in here often just to see what’s been happening in the area. Enjoy your “retirement”.

    Eric Schlentner
    ORHS

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