Photo history of the Northfield Historical Society’s Auction: a reflection

 The Northfield Historical Society is having their annual auction on Saturday night… dubbed the Magical History Tour (PDF poster). The Fab Five?

I’ll be there taking crowd/socializing photos like I first did waaaaaaay back in 2003 (see this new version of the 2003 album). I missed the 2004 “Wanted Ed or alive” auction but was there last year (see this new version of the 2005 album). (Full disclosure: the amazing Ed Kuhlman, auctioneer, is a client.)

The 2003 auction was significant for me. Just a few days earlier, we’d changed the website over to a weblog (see this Oct. 31, 2003 “coming soon” blog entry). Having a blog made it easy to embed a photo into a blog post. My Nov. 2 post was my first to do this — a photo of the NHS auction in the recently vacated Jacobsen’s store — and it included a link to a photo album of dozens more.

The serendipitous reaction I got from people over the next few weeks who’d viewed the dozens of photos convinced me that this was another way to “strengthen the fabric of the community” as I’m fond of saying. The people who WERE there wanted to see themselves and other attendees. And they, in turn, wanted others who were NOT there to see what they’d missed. And then I’d hear from people who said to me that so-and-so “told me that they’d seen my photo at the auction and that’s when I went to the album…”  And for months afterwards, the pageviews to the photos in that album continuously increased, ultimately into the thousands.

Yeah, I’m tooting my own horn here… I am proud of the thousands of photos of Northfield-related events I’ve posted over the past three years. But I’m also wanting to encourage more citizens to do this. has a photogallery page that explains the various ways to view the photos. And they encourage people to submit photos, too. So take your digital camera with you wherever you go and help “weave community threads” by adding community photos to the pile. It’s “citizen journalism” in every sense of the phrase.

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