Huntiful Next in Growing Number of Storytelling Sites
A group of Huntington residents are spearheading a local storytelling web site. It’s an idea that’s spreading all over the state.
Huntiful, that’s the name of a new site based in Huntington telling unique and positive stories about the Huntington area. Jessica Pressman works for the federal government during the day and along with a group of others helps run and provide material for the new site. She said it’s about showing that there are other things going on in the town that aren’t related to being the unhealthiest or having some of the worst problems with drugs.
"It’s basically a forum for us to tell our stories in our own voices," Pressman said. "It’s just people who live here who have a passion about Huntington writing and telling their stories about their lives."
The site is just the latest branch to grow from a state-wide, local story-telling endeavor that first sprouted in Wheeling.
In May there will be one more, SyNRGetic, which serves the New River Gorge region. Jason Koegler, along with others, started Weelunk.
"We don’t want to stop at the five number, we would like everywhere to have their own site, because we feel that the great thing about these sites and what’s proven successful is that we’re not sending someone from Charleston to somewhere else to do a story," said Koegler. "We’re collecting the stories from the people, from the souls of the town’s themselves and they’re bubbling up if you will."
We don't want to stop at the five number, we would like everywhere to have their own site. - Jason Koegler, Weelunk Founder
That number five Koegler speaks of is an umbrella site that will feature content from each of the individual sites. It will be called Vandaleer and launch sometime in June.
Koegler says since Weelunk started in 2014 it’s had contributions from over 150 people.
Back in Huntington, Pressman works with 10-12 others on the Huntiful site. It’s still in its infancy, only having started a few weeks ago. One of those other contributors is an entrepreneur named Chris Wallace. He owns Brand Yourself in downtown Huntington. Wallace says the stories on Huntiful won’t be like those anyone else is telling.
"There is new and interesting stuff that’s popping up all the time and we’re also trying to come up with regular story ideas, there is so many places you can go and enjoy the outdoors, I think we’re going to be doing, every couple of weeks come up with a different hike and photos and maps," Wallace said.
Huntiful is looking for contributors that can help tell Huntington’s story.