By Mandy Sliver

I’m going to be honest here, Virtual Applause may or may not be for you.  If you are the type of person who tends to complain about the world around you and tear people down when you don’t agree with them, it is probably not for you. If you feel that good people and random acts of kindness happen everyday, but seem to go unnoticed far too often, I hope you’ll join me each week.  My mission with this blog is to tell stories of the people I encounter in my daily life that deserve a round of applause in my opinion. In other words: good stories about good people.  For my first shot at this, I figured it was fitting to applaud the person who actually offered me this platform in the first place.  Get ready, Meghan!

If you know Meghan Pierce, you are already aware that she is a talented reporter, storyteller and photographer, but you may not know that she is a huge fan of the Monadnock Region.  When she told me her idea of creating a hyper-local news website, I didn’t have to ask why she wanted to do it.   It has always been obvious to me that she loves our region, its people, its nature, its arts community and its cultural diversity.

Yes, I said arts community and cultural diversity.  If you think those do not exist here in the Monadnock Region, I will respectfully disagree with you but I completely understand why you think that way.  Many of the people that make this community diverse try very hard to share their message and their community events, but there is so much competition to be heard and there are so few formal methods of reaching the local masses.

With monadnockbeat.com, Meghan is offering another opportunity for those voices to be heard and there are two things I love about her idea: she is accepting story ideas and tips from everyone so that all of us can read about the things we want to read about and she refuses to charge money to read what she posts.

Her strong belief that everyone has a right to know what’s going on in their town regardless of their ability to purchase a subscription is such a simple concept and I can’t thank her enough for saying it out loud.  Obviously, there are costs to running a website and monadnockbeat.com is no exception, so there are opportunities to support her cause if you feel the same way (shameless plug: see the Support Us & Advertising pages on her site for more info.)

Personally, I am excited to see more of Meghan’s photos and stories on a regular basis and I applaud her determination to provide this service to all of the people of the Monadnock Region.

Meghan, I know that you prefer to be backstage, but now is your time to take a bow!