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Executive Directors Report for October 2, 2002

Thank you, Chris,

Tonight we're celebrating a birthday. WayNet is five years old - and since Internet years are sort of like dog years - that's comparable to 35 years of serving the citizens of Wayne County!

During those five years we've welcomed nearly 1 million visitors (906,822) who have visited nearly 3 million of our web pages (2,951,340). We currently average 35,000 visitors a month who access over 105,000 web pages a month.

We've seen the Internet change from an elite form of communication, used mostly by the wealthy and highly educated to become an expected format for distributing information to the majority of Americans.

We've been excited to watch as our local businesses, community organizations, schools, and government agencies stepped up to the plate to share their unique perspective via web sites, offering our citizens and visitors an easy way to learn about and access services and ideas seldom shared with the majority of the public before. And we've been proud to help in the process of helping people locate this information.

Once upon a time, people believed the "if you build it, they will come" philosophy of web sites. They put up a web site and expected the world to flock to their door. Well, we're all a little older, a little wiser, and we know that web sites must be marketed just like any other business venture.

I think we need to offer a special thank you to those folks who stepped forward five years ago, put in the time and effort to create a local community network for Richmond and Wayne County, an organization that can assist all areas of the local community in marketing their web sites and email addresses at a very reasonable cost.

One of those people I would like to recognize specifically tonight is Pam Frantz, who passed away unexpectedly this past spring. Pam served on the WayNet board of directors from its initial creation. She was a visionary in seeing the need for an organization such as WayNet and supported the organization wholeheartedly. We have chosen to honor her by creating a web page for the HELP the Animals Shelter, another organization that was near and dear to her heart.

Even as we look back and celebrate how far we've come, we have no intention of resting on our past accomplishments. This year we added fun new features like the local trivia quiz, updated the software engine behind our community calendar, and added the "Treasure: Buried Gems" section to help our visitors locate interesting pieces of local web sites they may not have had time to "dig" to find.

We plan to continue with our quest to make the place to go for "one click to all things local on the Internet!"

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