Hi there! I took an interest in this Wiki when I saw the posting at Chico State. I've been working on an online social networking community where one of the concepts is to network geographically. You are welcome to check it out www.arealight.ning.com . The phenomena of online networking is really taking off, especially with the introduction of high end platforms such as Ning. However, one of the things I found lacking was traditional networking by community. So I knew I had something to start with being out of NorCal/ Chico.

I actually left Chico for about 7 years and travelled the world as a U.S. Marine. When I was done, out of all the places I could have gone to establish my family, I chose Chico. For one, this is one of the best places I can imagine to raise kids. I've always liked the friendly and cooperative culture. So it's not too surprising to see ChicoWiki, started by another prior service military guy, taking the lead on this platform. My site will probably compliment this area with user interaction. However, in terms of building comprehensive collaborative information, this is where it is at. I will be creating a group on Area Light with a focus on promoting ChicoWiki and the idea of getting others to do the same in their own respective locations. Hope to see you there. Beyond that, I will do my part to support the integrity of this project by not plugging my site, but rather contributing what I can offer to the information.

While I was in the military, one topic of conversation that always came up with the thousands of people I met was, "Where are you from?" I found it interesting that a lot of people still view California as a desirable place to live and I agree. Most people outside of California tended not to be familiar with Chico. However, when I mentioned this was where Sierra Nevada was brewed I had an instant conversation starter to relate with almost anyone. For people I met in California, I kind of liked how it seemed there was an unspoken understanding that Chico was a cool place. A big part of the reputation comes from national publications on top party schools where we used to be in the top ten. On that point, this is one of the most dynamic changes I have seen in Chico over the last 10 years. Most of the major events such as St. Patricks Day, Memorial Day, Holloween, Pioneer Days, etc were toned down with noticable security. Now that I'm a parent, I love to see the commercials that air when the students come to town or right before the big party days. I feel safer going out and this community has so much to offer.

For those of us who live in Chico permanently, I think there is an obvious community pride. You can literally go up and start a conversation with someone for no reason. People walk around and smile, say hi, and are socially active in the community in one way or the other. You don't find this everywhere. As far as the students, that has always been a lifeblood for Chico. The University has put a lot of work into improving their academic reputation. Butte College recently has been upgrading as a primary affordable education center to meet the needs of the entire Northern California region. With that comes an infusion of money into the economy and a heightened level of creative and entertainment outlets that makes certain there is always something fun going on. We still have some undercurrents for crime, drug abuse, and drunk driving that come with this too. However, the general common sense seems to be not to drive downtown or through the party districts at night and on the weekends. I did my share of indulgence and had some great times. So I don't mind tolerating the partying that still goes on to a degree.

Another less known fact about Chico is that Bidwell Park is I think the second largest municipal park in the country. It goes right through downtown and up into the valley. This kind of reinforces the green mentality Chico emphasizes and is another great attractor for environmentally based companies, such as ChicoBag that have recently made national headlines. It also supports the health and wellness interests of the community. We've got a major hospital and some innovative healthcare services I've personally been involved in. Also some great gyms, tons of sports, massage, and other alternative medicine concepts seemingly around every corner. I also think there just might be something good about the water!

I once heard about something called, The Sierra Factor. This has to do with the changes in weather between Spring/ Fall and Winter/ Spring I think. There is so much agriculture in the area. We've got some of the countries largest rice, almond, and walnut producers surrounding the town. When everything goes into bloom it is a beautiful site to see and I think there must be some kind of sweetness to the air that vitalizes everyone. The trade off to this for people who live here, especially after a few years it seems, are the notorious allergies. I think it's worth living with but some days I seriously reconsider my standpoint!

Overall, Chico remains one of the best places I would want to live. The economy (getting a good paying job) can leave something to be desired. I think there is a classic work ethic you will find in how hard people work and go the extra mile on service. We also have a uniquely educated workforce. I've seen some discussion about the challenge of keeping them around. Wages are relatively low, but combined with the cost of living makes it feasible for employees- and great for businesses. Slowly but surely you are seeing the community boutique up to cater to the influx of people looking for better and more affordable lifestyle- from the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento in particular. I will not be surprised to see the real estate markets fair extremely well here over the next twenty years- both residential and commercial. At the same time you've got the check and balance dynamic of culture to keep Chico special and enjoyable for everyone. Between government, business, and healthy community activism, we've somehow managed to keep growing in a positive direction.

I'd highly recommend Chico for anyone to visit and live. In terms of online business, telecommuting, and so on, I think Chico has tremendous potential to be a location of choice. Perhaps a factor ahead to consider is the rising cost of gas based transportation. I still appreciate how you can get to essentially anywhere in town in 15 minutes. Perhaps the traffic has become a little annoying- especially when the students are in town. Good thing we've got a well established public transportation system and Chico is still known as one of the best cycling communities around. So maybe you'll see me jogging around the bike path or riding through the park with my family. If so, I'm sure we'll at least give eachother the nod because we know we are in a great friendly community. Those who know, know Chico is where it is at.




2008-09-20 16:46:57   Hi Anthony! Pleased to meet you. I certainly share a lot of your thoughts on Chico despite having only lived here for just over two years now. Moving around so often eventually made be believe that every region or town should have a wiki so I applaud your future efforts in trying to make that happen (see Wiki Spot). Anyway, welcome to the wiki and I look forward to editing along your side :-) Cheers! —RyanMikulovsky

2008-09-28 03:33:17   Hey Ryan, hope I'm messaging you back correctly. I've seen other back and forth correspondence on some of the other member pages I think. I've got a challenge for you. I was checking out to see if anyone new had joined on the people list and realized I hadn't alphabetised my name the way everyone else had. I guess when I initially did it, I just looked down at the bottom of the page and saw Zeke's name next to Z. And I was so stoked to be at the top of the list too!! Anyway's, I could conform to the last name indexing but I like it at the top too much. Personally, I think listing alphabetically by first name is better anyway. I wouldn't ask anyone to change what they've done on my account. They outnumber me but I think I make up for it in style points with the content on my personal page. I wouldn't change anything if I were you. As a collaborative environment of users, we should have our choice in how we want to present ourselves i.e. first or last name. I would respect your intentions if you have in mind some specific utility now or down the line for listing one way or the other. As far as I am concerned, I just wanted to give my disclaimer that I'm not completely ignorant of how to alphabetize, take some of the embarrassment off the majority who did it wrong, and point the finger at Zack. Not too close though. Dude, that's Chico for you. Late- Anthony —AnthonyReardon

2008-09-28 08:58:11   Hi Anthony. I don't have any hard opinion about how people should list themselves. On other wikispot wikis it becomes kind of neglected anyway. If it went by first name, I can see how that'd be more beneficial since everyone starts their wikiname with their first. Well, some use initials. Anyhow, I don't mind if it goes by first for some and by last for others. If someone thinks it is worth their time, they can do whatever they want with it :-0

As far as comments go, a lot of times editors respond to someone on that person's page. This is because that person is then notified about a message and so s/he would not have to monitor the recent changes or go back to the person's page that they commented on. Hopefully that makes sense. But keeping all of one conversation on one personal page is okay too. It just might take a little longer for a person to realize that someone has replied. Cheers. —RyanMikulovsky

2008-10-10 16:37:36   One of the editors probably didn't see anything obvious about the site that would have indicated it being "local" to Chico as the page's intro requires. One of the tools that can be used to see if a site is local is by looking up domain information. Also, if the website doesn't have any kind of contact information originating in Chico, it may get removed. If you put it back and put in the description that it is ran by a local (you) it'd probably not be removed. I don't have any control over our few regular editors but they really do a fantastic job (more regulars are always desired of course!). We are capable of making mistakes though :-) —RyanMikulovsky

2009-05-04 00:43:01   Hi there, I've been given rights to Chicoplace.ning.com and think it could offer some great social networking compliments to the Chico Wiki. I've got a lot of other projects that take priority including going to school, but the site creator for that had to drop the project completely. This wiki is really ideal for developing content about the community, but I think is lacking in interactive features Chicoplace can offer. It would be great if I can get others to help build that network. The basic idea was a community building resource for Chico people. I think that's right on and I'm seeing way too many upstart sites with monetized models that miss the spirit of genuine community I know Chico for. So I'm thinking it could be a great way to connect more locals online and maybe even achieve an early benchmark in geographic-based social networking like chicowiki has done as a local information aggregator. I'll promote the wiki there, link to content here, and perhaps get a chance to meet some of you.


Anthony —

  • Feel free to move all the social websites (called user groups in this case) from Computer and Internet to a new Social Websites page and link your social website at the top of the list. Then link to Social Websites on the front page, perhaps before the Linux Users link. I'm honestly not sure if I have any time or motivation to get involved in another project, though. I'm moving to Davis this July so that is putting a damper on my activities. However this is a community and so things can work out nicely if done appropriately. Speaking of appropriateness, please create and use a user account before editing — you get way more trust if you don't edit anonymously. —RyanMikulovsky
    • Looks like you already have an account, you just forgot to log in to it, so you are actually editing anonymously. Before editing, be sure to check the upper right hand corner to make sure it says "Welcome AnthonyReardon" rather than a log in box. If you go to your settings after logging in, you can tell it to keep you logged in, which can be really handy and can help you ensure that you don't forget to log in. That's what I do, at least. —StaceyEllis

2009-05-05 07:44:32   Hi Anthony, I went ahead and put the Social Websites link on the front page and even created it. There's a link waiting for you to create content for Chicoplace. I highly recommend making it from the perspective of a user though (otherwise editors will probably change it ;-). I might get to it first, though. Cheers. —RyanMikulovsky

2009-07-16 13:27:39   Right on, thanks Ryan and Stacy for helping set up the links to Chicoplace on Chicowiki. The nice thing about being open, responsive, and supportive to users is it invites reciprocation. I have a lot going on, so it seems my development is coming along at a snails pace. However, I am beginning to organize the concept and will be keeping in mind how to integrate a strong cooperation between the sites. Right now, I am getting ready to engage on some local organizations such as the Chico Area Parks and Recreation District. So what I'll do is take a look at what Chicowiki has so far on that, perhaps edit in some content of interest, and focus my site on more of an interactive discussion on relevant topics.

I may need to look into my settings, but a couple things I am going to be looking for are email alerts when someone comments on my page/ pages, and RSS feeds. Should be interesting to explore how WikiSpot supports those kinds of applications. It would be neat to feature a feed to Chicowiki activity, especially per subject. However, there you can see how sites can interact even when members are on one or another site. If the functionality I am thinking of is not available or too difficult to employ here, then I might be able to at least link to the corresponding feeds on Chicoplace, so users here can know where to go to actually get into discussions and stay abreast of recent activity along their lines of interest.

I will be back to build out the page for Chicoplace. Thanks again for helping me set up. Keep up the great work! I am setting a personal goal to do what I can to help Chico become known as one of the most progressive online communities in the world. So give me a little while, and I will be happy to advocate and participate in the Chicowiki project much more actively.


Anthony —AnthonyReardon