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NOTE: Sussex Beat is a mix of news, analysis and commentary by Eric Magill, publisher of Sussex County Online.
For the past 15 years, some of them spent at daily rags like the State News and Daily Times, I've often felt Sussex County didn't get the attention it deserved or needed from the regional newspapers and TV stations.
As Sussex Countians, we needed our own voice, I thought. And then along came the Internet ...
The idea to create a news service just for Sussex County has always been in the back of my mind. I just couldn't afford to act on it until the Internet and online publishing were invented.
So now we bring you Sussex County Online, an Internet-based news, information, discussion and marketing service for you, fellow Sussex Countians, and local businesses.
As publisher, I want Sussex County Online to become an online community as much as a news service. I want you to participate in Sussex County Online, not just read it. I want you to respond to what we write, and respond to what others write, to create a highly interactive experience that informs, entertains and solves problems. Our discussion areas will allow you to do just that.
In the coming months, you'll see new features including analysis of and editorials on county, state and national issues, the web sites of Sussex County businesses and organizations, more news and information from Sussex County's communities, and more breaking news like our continuous coverage of Hurricane Floyd.
But enough about what I want. I want to know what you want from Sussex County Online, as well, so drop me an e-mail at email@example.com.
As for my background, I lived in Ellendale and Ocean View as a kid as my father served as pastor of the United Methodist churches in both towns. I graduated from Indian River High School in 1978, and then left Sussex County to pursue my dreams to become a sports writer covering a professional sports team.
I eventually achieved that dream at the State News and at the Daily Local News in West Chester, Pa., but then the recession of the 1980s hit, and my 76ers beat at the Daily Local eventually became a victim.
In 1996, after owning a couple of businesses in Pennsylvania, my wife and I decided to move back to Sussex County with our daughter since we spent virtually all of our time trying to get to the beach.
My wife, Kerin, went to work at the Wave newspaper in Bethany Beach, and I helped a company called Coastal Images Inc. in Fenwick Island launch a business on this Internet thingy that only had about a couple million users worldwide at the time.
The idea was to put together an online travel guide for the Delaware-Maryland beaches and design Internet sites for local businesses. Since then, Beach-Net! has grown to 200 clients and 150,000-300,000 visitors a month, and I'm proud to still be involved in its success as a consultant.
In January 1999, I wanted to see how the Beach-Net! formula would work for a weekly newspaper, and after setting up a similar online publishing business for Jersey Shore Publication in Monmouth County, New Jersey, I decided it would be possible to fulfill another dream, this one to bring Sussex Countians their own voice online.
So here it is, a continually evolving online news, information and discussion service just for Sussex Countians. I urge you to participate. Sussex County Online's success will depend on it.
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