Hello, all. If you’ve made it to this post, I want to thank you for visiting iLoveKent.net. I appreciate your support of or interest in the Kent community. It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about who and what iLoveKent.net is all about. With so many new fans and followers, it seems like it is time to do that again.
Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Dana Neuts. I am a freelance writer and editor based in Kent. I write for a number of news outlets, including 425 magazine, South Sound magazine, and ShowCase magazine. I’m a community volunteer and I serve on the national board of the Society of Professional Journalists.
I’m originally from Indiana, but made my way across the country sight unseen in June 2003. My daughter and I are about to celebrate our 10th anniversary in our new state. We started our Washington journey in Bellingham, but moved to Kent in 2005. Once we acclimated ourselves to the community, I fell in love with it. [She likes it too, but she's a teenager so I don't want to speak on her behalf - you know how that is!] I was intrigued by how small the town felt despite its size. Everyone seemed to know everybody. I met volunteers, business owners and community leaders who were very passionate about Kent, and I can see why.
Kent has so much to offer. Not only are we ideally located between Seattle and Tacoma, we are within hours of the ocean and the mountains. We have art, culture, history, shopping, dining, outdoor recreation and so much more. We are also a very diverse community, welcoming dozens if not hundreds of international languages and cultures. For the most part, we embrace and respect our differences, and we’re willing to work together to build our community.
That’s why I started iLoveKent.net in 2007. I felt like there were so many people and places to write about, but the major media outlets were not covering Kent anymore. The Seattle Times discontinued SE Living (for which I used to write), the King County Journal closed its doors and the Kent Reporter went to a weekly paper. No one was telling our stories, but we still had so much to say. So I started a blog. Fast forward six months and I was getting a lot of positive feedback about the blog, and was asked if I’d consider expanding it. In spring 2008, I turned the blog into a website with more content, resources, and a calendar and I created Twitter and Facebook accounts. In six years, it has grown into an award-winning website and a trusted source for community news, information and resources. I’ve stayed true to that mission over the years, and I don’t plan to deviate from it.
For those who are new to the site, I want to clarify what iLoveKent is and what it is not.
- A place for community news, though I don’t often cover breaking news. I don’t have the resources to do it well, so I leave that to the experts.
– A safe place for members of the community to engage with each other in a respectful way. It is a safe place to respectfully disagree with each other or to propose other points of view.
– A family-friendly website. As the owner & publisher, I reserve the right to delete comments and ban users if they aren’t appropriate for the iLoveKent.net audience.
- A source for community information, resources and events – mostly nonprofit in nature.
- A news outlet for unique stories related to the Kent community.
- A one-man show for the most part. I do 90 – 95% of the work on the site, but I cannot cover everything or know every event or news item related to Kent. My readers help fill in the gaps.
- A politically neutral site. As a journalist, I must remain objective.
iLoveKent is not…
- A breaking news site (see the first bullet above)
- A place for individual businesses to promote themselves, their products, services or events. That’s what advertising is for. [It might surprise you but I get asked by businesses all the time to promote them. I won't. That's not who we are.]
- A commercial website. Yes, I make some money from site advertising and sponsorships, but it isn’t enough to cover the time or resources I invest in the site.
- A place to criticize a specific business or person or to campaign for or against a political candidate.
I give iLoveKent as much time and attention as I can, but sometimes my family and my other work have to come first. That means that I don’t always have the capacity to post everything sent to me, or to post it as quickly as submitters would like. I also can’t answer every question my readers ask, particularly when a quick Google search will deliver a more accurate answer than I can provide. Like you, I have a lot of different responsibilities and roles, and I do the best I can.
The bottom line is that I am the owner and publisher of this website. I decide what gets published and when. I welcome ideas, news and calendar items and resources, but I reserve the right to publish or not publish anything submitted for consideration. So far, my readers have trusted my judgment, and I feel good about that.
Thanks for reading.