Digest>Archives> Mar/Apr 2012

Wickie’s Wisdom

Approaching Twenty Years

By Timothy Harrison

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In May of this year we will officially celebrate our twentieth year of publishing Lighthouse Digest, something that we are extremely proud of.

We started with only thirty-four paid subscribers with that first newspaper print edition in May of 1992. Amazingly, twenty-nine of those original subscribers are still with us. But since that first edition, we witnessed a dramatic growth in the public’s interest of lighthouses and everything associated with them. We even held a small celebration in the office when we reached a milestone of having subscribers in all fifty states, when the last hold-out state of North Dakota joined our ranks. Today, in 2012, we have thousands of subscribers in all 50 states, plus the U.S. Territories, and many nations around the world.

Yet, to this day, as we did in May of 1992, we continue to struggle to overcome many of the same obstacles that we have been challenged with twenty years ago. The foremost of those obstacles, as is the case with many niche magazines, is how to attract new subscribers. We still find it amazing that in twenty years of uncovering and saving so much lighthouse history and helping promote so many lighthouse projects, that there are still so many people out there that love lighthouses and history who have never heard of us.

The most disturbing obstacle is about some people who are involved with an individual lighthouse who refuse to subscribe, telling us they only have an interest in “their lighthouse” and they are not really interested in the overall history of other lighthouses or what is going on with other lighthouse projects. Although they are in a minority, they still compromise a disturbing percentage who we must work to convince differently.

Then there are those who think we are some big conglomerate with a staff of many with unlimited funds. This is obvious by many of the e-mails and letters we receive requesting “our staff” to help them with research, other projects, or asking us to send a reporter out to cover a story.

Well, we are still, as we were back in 1992, just a small staff of people who happen to love lighthouses and the history associated with them. We simply want to save and record as much of it as possible so that this vital information can be saved for future generations, especially for the history of lighthouses that will never have a group dedicated to them, or lighthouses that are no longer standing, as well as general lighthouse history that would most likely not be told about and saved elsewhere.

Fortunately, there are a number of people around the United States and the world that feel the same way we do; people who help us out with research, donate old photographs and other material, and those who continue to step forward to assist in so many other ways. You have helped us to make a difference. In turn, we hope that we have helped them and you to make a difference.

However, in order for a niche magazine such as Lighthouse Digest to survive in these economic times for another twenty years, we need to have more subscribers and more businesses willing to advertise with us. That’s where our loyal subscribers can help by simply telling others about us and especially through the purchase of gift subscriptions for family and friends to Lighthouse Digest.

But, most importantly, we are honored that so many of you have been loyal subscribers for so many years; we couldn’t have made it this far without you and for that, we sincerely thank you from the bottom of our hearts. And, if you have any suggestions for our actual 20th Anniversary Edition, which will be our next issue, please send a letter or e-mail us at Editor@LighthouseDigest.com.

And for the next 20 years, we’ll do our best to help keep our lighthouse history beaming ever so brightly.

This story appeared in the Mar/Apr 2012 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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