George Musing


Eagle Harbor Web

An unofficial source of Eagle Harbor, Michigan news, views and information.

Editor Muses On The Response To George's Eagle Harbor Web

March, 1997



Earlier this evening I linked into a video cam shot of a view of Pike's Peak from a camera located on a building in Colorado Springs. A beautiful shot, updated every two minutes, of the sun setting behind the mountain -- a mountain that in a more youthful and mindless moment I thought I might conquer as a participant in the annual Pike's Peak Run. (I didn't.) I quickly jumped to another link -- a Sydney dockside visit with the skipper of Toshiba Wave, the 67' sailboat I'm " Internet crewing" in a ten month around the world sailboat race. There were thousands of other places I could have gone, other Web experiences I could have shared. All at just the click of a few keys, and all from the fireside of my Eagle Harbor winter camp. As my friend Eino would say, "'Holywha!"

Such is the magic of this thing we call the World Wide Web -- now the home of our Eagle Harbor Web. Not nearly as fancy as most on the Web, but a site that has become what I hoped it would become -- no longer mine. It is truly "ours". My initial hope was that the site would become a "connector", a stimulator of good vibes about the little place on this earth that we Eagle harborites share, and a celebration of our family and neighborly bonds. That hope is being fulfilled.

The response from the folks who live here, spend all or part of their summers here, or have some connection with the area, has been gratifying. There seems to be a yearning for this tie to a place, to a time of good memories, to the bonds of family and neighbors. I sense this in the feedback I'm getting; in the stories and memories people are sharing with us. It's powerful stuff!

A friend now living on the west coast but with strong midwestern ties and I sense a yearning to return to her "'roots", sent me her critique. "The Eagle Harbor site is so corny and so midwestern...I can almost hear the yoo hoo...It's cool...Sort of an authentic snapshot." I liked that, but would prefer to think of it as a "live shot", like the Pike's Peak video cam but trained on the everyday lives, thoughts and adventures of those of us who share this place. It's real! I suppose for many of us that's why the site is so appealing. Electronically assisted for sure, but in content and delivery, more like swapping news and stories with a neighbor while out picking berries, rocking in the fishing boat, or basking on the beach...or, in the midwest vernacular, chatting over the backyard fence.

While the basic tenets of the site have not changed, reader response has altered many of the original site formats and to some extent, site content. The "home page", or what I refer to as "Page One" has, and is still evolving into a capsulized version of the entire site... a "teaser" perhaps, but a way for the many who seem to check in daily to quickly determine if there is anything new. More recently I've started to include the most recent reader contribution to Favorites on this page ... to reinforce the sense of immediacy and the interactive style that is so central to the site's purpose. Reader Feedback is shared daily for the same reason. There are a lot more pictures, images in the web world, because they are always welcomed and add life to the pages. I work hard to keep things "simple", so that getting around on the site is easy and quick. I try to avoid doing anything "cute" or "cutting edge Web". It would be out of character for our site. (Also beyond my ability.) A decision early-on to keep the site focused on the Harbor, its environs, its people and the things that interest us while we are here, poses a daily challenge in finding enough new content to keep the site lively. Reader contributions to the site are essential . Fortunately, many site regulars are making major contributions and more seem to be coming on-board everyday. The increasing participation is the source of my greatest satisfaction from this labor of love.

As we continue our annual jaunt around the sun and appoach equinox and finally summer solstice, the intensity of our Internet exchange will diminish . The lure of open water, lush green forest, and warm rock and sand will have their way with us. Friends, family and "'down south" neighbors will and camps will be tended to...berries and firewood harvested. All far more essential and gratifying than the best the Web can offer. The Eagle Harbor Web will move into a state of semi-hibernation, poking its electronic sensor out of the den occasionally to capture and share the joy of a Harbor summer, but generally storing up stories for telling as another winter arrives.

But we are still several weeks and perhaps another four to eight feet of snow away from the first wild srawberries. For now, the Eagle Harbor Web continues to be our electronic Harbor "beach day". So gather around. Enjoy the comradery of our internet home. Share a story, an idea, a memory, an opinion, a favorite pastime, or whatever.

I suppose the true test of whether this Web adventure is working for all of us will be whether we can occasionally sign-off from a trip on the Eagle Harbor Web and like our friend Eino, exclaim "Holywha!"

Earlier Musings

Purpose and Potential Of George's Eagle Harbor Web, November, 1996(Click)

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