As we wrap up the publication of Raleigh Convergence, here are some highlights of the last three years told through a timeline of launches and top read stories.
- Catch up: Why Raleigh Convergence is stopping publication, next steps and a final note from the founder/editor.
- About Raleigh Convergence: Raleigh Convergence was an independent local journalism organization that helped Raleigh area residents understand, enjoy and engage in civic and cultural life. Through weekly newsletters, digital content, community storytelling and events, Raleigh Convergence connected residents to actionable information and grew empathy between neighbors. [learn more]
RALEIGH CONVERGENCE TIMELINE
April 18, 2019: The first edition of Raleigh Convergence, a weekly newsletter in beta, is sent to inboxes, including an interview with Chika Gujarathi.
June 5, 2019: Raleigh Convergence hosts its first event, Women Making Raleigh, at the Flourish Market. The free event included conversation prompts for networking, a live Q&A with Liz Kelly of Liz Kelly Pottery, and shopping at the mission-driven and woman-owned business.
August 2, 2019: Raleigh Convergence officially has a website (DIY’ed by yours truly + WordPress). [announcement]
September-October 2019: Newsletters increase to 3x/week, with Ideas launching in September and events/activities in October. Raleigh Convergence launches out of beta.
January 2020: Raleigh Convergence receives a Facebook Journalism Project Community Network Grant for an ambitious project focused on welcoming newcomers to Wake County with guides, meetups and social media communities.
February 2020: The first live storytelling event in the Converging Stories series is held at Transfer Co. to a sold-out crowd. Four community members shared their true, first person stories on the theme of First Love.
March 2020: The New Neighbor Project launches. Community ambassadors for Southeast Raleigh (Troy Johnson), Cary (Maggie Mae Whittemore), Knightdale (Arlene Brown) and Raleigh at large (Susan Murphy) write local guides to history, can’t miss experiences and how to get involved.
They also create clues and share stories for socially distant scavenger hunts which become self-guided tours in late spring and summer 2020 (pictured below). Virtual trivia nights based on the guides take place in August.
Mid-March 2020: Raleigh Convergence shifts to actionable information for the pandemic, with regularly updated resources of how to help each other and what you need to know today.
March 26, 2020: Raleigh Convergence begins a series of virtual events to connect, called the Raleigh Convergence Social Club. The first event features Max Trujillo and Matthew Weiss of NC Food & Beverage podcast.
April 22, 2020: Launch of the COVID-19 Local News Fund for Raleigh Convergence, administered by the Local Media Association, to raise funds for local reporting. It funds two projects: Why are COVID-19 cases in a Southeast Raleigh ZIP code so high? by Courtney Napier and pandemic portraits by Keenan Hairston.
May 25, 2020: Converging Stories’ first all-virtual event connects people through storytelling on the theme of “What If?” The 2020 season continues with virtual events in August and October.
December 2020: Raleigh Convergence’s Jobs Board launches.
January 2021: Raleigh Convergence Membership launches for individuals. This reader-supported revenue stream ends up being the most reliable, largest revenue source.
February 2021: A crowdfunded project publishes. Raleigh photographer Keenan Hairston captured portraits of people whose everyday realities changed in the last year. We asked two questions: What does recovery look like? And what are your hopes for the future?
March 2021: The next Converging Stories season kicks off, with themes of Second Chance, Distance + Exploration, The Fall and Tradition.
April 2021: Converging Topics, a more audience-driven editorial process kicks off with a series on local climate change action. Reader feedback drives the questions asked about the community action plan and other content, such as ways to take local action and learning more about composting with a live virtual event.
Corporate memberships launch, with perks tailored for businesses.
July 2021: A self-service newsletter promotions portal launches, giving businesses an easy way to advertise local.
Converging Stories is held in person in July at Transfer Co. Ballroom for the first time since the pandemic. Future events in September (pictured below) and November are held outside at Pine State Coffee and virtually live.
December 2021: Solopreneur maternity leave begins. Newsletters continue weekly (that made for two deliveries one Thursday in December!) with a series of ideas for the future.
March 2022: We announce we will be ceasing publication, with the last newsletter on March 31 and these last stories on April 1, 2022.
MOST READ STORIES at RaleighConvergence.com
(Aug. 2019-March 2022)
- Weekly analysis of COVID-19 numbers: Each week, this page was updated with our unique analysis of the latest COVID data, for 99 weeks. Until December of 2021, the data included ZIP code-level analysis in addition to big picture trends at a Wake County level.
- What to know now about COVID-19 in Wake County: In the newsletter and online, Raleigh Convergence shared changing local and state rules, how to support local businesses and organizations, and information to help you navigate local life. A separate article about vaccinations was the 10th most read. Since these articles are out of date, we’re not linking.
- Wake County voter guide: We answered your questions about voting in fall 2020 to create this guide, our third most-read article on RaleighConvergence.com. Because you sent us your questions, we were able to create a relevant guide to local elections!
- An important Greenway connection: You’re passionate about the Greenway and the trail system. Funding for this section of the Greenway helps connect the Triangle at large, so we reported on it.
- Esteamed Coffee in Downtown Cary will be a place for different abilities: Coffee + an inclusive local business resonated with you.
- Why you should know Fenton, a future destination center in Cary: Back in 2019, we identified that the Fenton development would be a big deal. It will have its soft opening April 29, we shared recently.
- Which restaurants are open in Phase 2: As restaurants were allowed to open for on-site dining, we shared their news in May 2020.
- North Hills’ new innovation district: What to expect in the next phase of North Hills.
- Why are COVID-19 cases in a Southeast Raleigh ZIP code so high?: Thanks to your support of a crowdfunded COVID-19 Local News Fund, we were able to commission work by the talented journalist Courtney Napier to report on why neighbors in a Southeast Raleigh ZIP code were seeing more than double the number of COVID-19 cases than any other area in Wake County in August 2020.
- 5 Raleigh area hidden gems: Your input on local exploration shaped this 11th most-read article.
Editor’s picks of additional favorites: Outdoor activities in Wake County to explore, all of the 2022 ideas for Raleigh’s future, pandemic portraits, Wake County’s long term transit plans explained, How BallotTrax works: A use case, the Raleighites Agenda + events + results of the 2019 city council election.
Do you have a favorite? I’d love to hear it. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.