Opening Letters

Get Connected

the launches with articles, calendars, blogs, podcasts, photos, videos ...

Nick Meyer, illustrated by Ryan Carpentier |

News flash: The internet is jam-packed with tons of really cool stuff. Really funny stuff. Really important stuff. And of course, really dumb stuff. We here at Volume One know all that, just like you do, because like you we’ve wasted a few dozens of workday afternoons sitting at our desks guffawing at those same web videos and marveling at the latest online applications. That newfangled interweb sensation just continues to amaze.

But one thing that’s always been a little frustrating for those of us who love living local – the ones seeking out local content, ideas, and online conversations – is that the full awesomeness of the web has yet to truly be felt on our own local level. For all the great blogs, podcasts, and videos viewed around the world – after a while you just want something more meaningfully related to our day-to-day lives right here in the Chippewa Valley.

After helplessly observing this unfortunate lack of local web community development for the past few years, we here at Volume One (finally) got our act together and made plans to do something about it. As of this issue, we’ve officially launched a breathtakingly revamped, totally new website at where the concept is basically this: Take all that is good about current web technologies and aggressively apply it ... locally. Seems simple enough.

More than a year later, our newest project is finally ready to unveil, but before you drop the magazine and head to your PC to check it out, let us prime you with a quick rundown of what to expect and why it will change your local online life.

    Most of Volume One’s print content can now be found online – going back for years (eventually) – but that’s not all that special. What we hope will make truly stand out is that we won’t stop at simply throwing all our print content online – we’re maximizing the medium by adding tons more web-only content than most local media websites. Every day dozens of new blog posts, user comments, video and photo uploads and more will be added, and a massive chunk of that will be unique to the website. This means our main blog, The Daily Shakedown (one of several on the site), will truly be your daily source for local flavor and updates on community happenings.

    Video, photos, podcasts, audio tracks, slideshows – it’s all there. We’ve developed custom galleries that are prepared for massive amounts of local multimedia. Not only can you see videos and photos produced by the folks at Volume One, but also from general community members as well. We’ve even developed partnerships with other local and regional organizations – radio stations, TV networks, bloggers – to create custom and repurposed media including podcasts, video galleries, and more.

    Taking a cue from some of the most interesting websites around the country, is the only website in the area that will prominently feature user-generated content. Anybody can log in through their personalized V1 Dashboard and write restaurant or event reviews, upload photos and videos, post to the community blog, and more. Even casual users can post comments on any content at any time. This means in addition to content from core contributors, a substantial part of our website’s content will be created by you and hundreds of other people like you who use it across the valley and beyond. is designed to be a living, breathing community website that gets richer and richer with each passing day.

    In print, Volume One is known as having the most complete community listings found anywhere in the Chippewa Valley. And now the same is true online. With just a couple easy clicks, you can peruse a highly searchable and user-friendly format of listings for hundreds of events, groups, gatherings, and ideas. It’s the most interactive and attractively designed online calendar in the area. You can filter searches by day or category, look up movie show times, and more. You can even save events and listings to be reminded about at a later date via email or on your own dashboard. Perhaps one of the biggest resources on the new site is the dining guide. Our entire Eat Scene restaurant guide has been loaded onto the web to become a powerful tool for discovering local eats. There are photos, user ratings and reviews, and even menus if restaurants want to include them.

    All the web features I’ve listed here from the new are all fine and good, but quite frankly, they’re going to mean nothing without a contingent of savvy locals stepping up to really use the site. What we’re so excited about is that is basically an online platform for the community to build on – a partially blank slate ready for the thoughts, ideas, and creativity of the local masses. The more involved you are with the site, the more dynamic and locally groundbreaking it will become. We need your opinions on local restaurants and recent events. We need your photos and videos of local happenings. We need your insight on community ideas and topics. In short, we need you.

So now, with your mission of participation bestowed upon you, go to and check it out. Root around and see what has just begun – come back a couple days later and see what’s developed since your last visit. We’re just getting this thing off the ground and will be adding new content every day – and it’s going to be a work in progress for the rest of its existence. Come be a part of it and help make it something great.