“Just remember what was yours is everyone’s from now on.” ― Wilco
Two years ago this month, I officially moved to Biloxi to start Stry.us. In July 2010, it was just me, an apartment, some really expensive photo equipment, and an idea that was way bigger than myself.
A lot of people want to know if I was lonely in Biloxi. I wasn’t. I was so on fire with all the work I was doing that I never much noticed it. But I do remember wanting a team. I so badly wanted others to help me. I needed help. I was in over my head.
And a funny thing happened between Biloxi and now: I stopped wanting help and started looking for ways to share.
The difference has been enormous. What I wanted in Biloxi was selfish: Please, come copy edit this, fix that, do this — and do it all for me! In Biloxi, Stry.us was mine and mine alone. When you did something nice for the project, you were really doing something nice for me.
What I want in Springfield is totally different: I want to share this thing with everyone. I want to bring a community together to build something awesome for all of us. For the Ozarks. For journalism. For communities everywhere that want to learn how to better tell their stories.
When you help out Stry.us, you’re actually helping out everyone associated with the project — our team, our stakeholders, our readers, our friends — and everyone who might one day learn from the project.
At first, Stry.us existed to serve me. Now I exist to serve Stry.us.
See the difference?
There are so many people who own a little piece of Stry.us now, so many people who’ve come on board and helped take this thing far beyond me. I look at where we are right now, and I hardly recognize the Stry.us I launched two years ago.
What we’re working on now is really an incredible thing, and it all started the day I stopped being selfish and learned to share.
This thing is ours, and I’m so very thankful for that.
That gorgeous photo of a sunset over Biloxi via @katiewhite727