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Paige Schoengarth | Back home and online for The World

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I first came to Wenatchee when I was 11 years old. Two years ago, I graduated high school and almost immediately moved away. I came back home this summer to work as an intern at The Wenatchee World in the digital department and, upon returning to this valley, I realized how much I missed the community I left behind.

This summer, I have had the chance to work with everyone in the digital department and see what they do. Russ Alman, our social media director, went on vacation a few weeks ago and left me in charge of posting for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+, on top of my usual platforms — Pinterest and LinkedIn.

Running all of these pages gave me a chance to see what makes a post successful.

For example, I posted a link on Facebook to a “Summer Activities in the Wenatchee Valley” Pinterest board. Within the next few days, 75 people followed the board. This wasn’t the only Pinterest board I posted to Facebook, but it was the most successful. I believe this is because the summer activities board had to do with this community. Obviously, people here love their home.

During my time running the World’s Facebook page, I read a lot of passionate comments and arguments. It is clear that people here care about their community. Sometimes the Facebook discussions became heated, but mostly people had intelligent conversations about real issues in North Central Washington.

My most successful Facebook post that week was a picture of The George Sellar Bridge taken by Maria Legarda — it received 752 Likes. It was a beautiful picture of a landmark of our area.

For the most part, the people in The World’s online community are proud to live in NCW, and they want the rest of the world to see how good we have it here.

Every person following The Wenatchee World on social media is part of our online community. As I scroll down the Facebook page, I feel as though I am strolling through town listening to my friends and neighbors discuss the day’s news. I see a large group huddled together in a heated debate about the opening of The Happy Crop Shoppe in East Wenatchee. I can see the passion on their faces as they make their arguments. I hear Debbie Deardorff raving about the Take a Break Cafe’s bread pudding french toast, Amy Skelton agrees, saying, “Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding French Toast! So good!” They make my stomach rumble. Hundreds of people surround me as I continue through town. I smile to myself, happy to be back here in such a great community with passionate people who care deeply about this place.

Paige Schoengarth will return for her senior year at Washington State University in the fall. She is majoring in communication.

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