It’s The Anna Maria Island Sun’s 18th birthday on Sept. 27, and, like most newly-minted adults, we are eagerly looking ahead to our future.
To help us get there, we launched our new website, amisun.com, into cyberspace during the solar eclipse last month.
Just two weeks later, Hurricane Irma offered us an ideal opportunity to offer important daily updates on our online edition in between weekly print editions.
We kept readers informed daily of emergency alerts, NOAA weather forecasts and where the sandbags were still available.
After the storm, we showed readers photos of the damage to Anna Maria Island and told stories about recovery, including a wedding that Irma wasn’t able to stop.
We had more than 75,000 visitors to our new site during the week immediately before and after Irma passed over AMI, an unprecedented record.
Some were people who had previously visited the Island and wanted to see what had happened. Some were people who had planned a trip here and wanted to see whether they should still come.
And many were people who reached the site through our Facebook page, read up on the news, then went back to Facebook and wished us well, letting us know we were not alone.
Technology works both ways.
We helped you.
You helped us, and we thank you.
On this birthday, we wish that all of you will keep visiting us on our new website. We promise to continue to provide the stories, photos, and all the other features you enjoy, only more frequently than ever.
Go ahead, look into The Sun!