Welcome to HoCo360

HoCo360 is a Howard County-based visual journal, produced by photographer David Hobby.

Twenty years ago, Howard County was lucky enough to have several vibrant newspapers competing to offer the best coverage to people who wanted to learn more about their community. The Columbia Flier and the Howard County Times regularly topped 200 pages. The Baltimore Sun and The Washington Post were here in force, too, competing for the attention of the county's affluent readers.

Ironically, it was in some ways easier to stay plugged into the community back then. Now newspapers are going away, victims of new technologies and the death of a thousand cuts. So what replaces them?

Increasingly we are seeing web-based, niche publications sprouting up among the ashes. If you are into food, HowChow covers the restaurant and ethnic food scene better than any local newspaper-based food reviewer ever did. HoCoMoJo (short for "Howard County Mobile Journalism") is serving up both original and crowd-sourced coverage, and growing every day.

There are now many other blogs which collectively cover all things Howard County, and with a voice worthy of our once-great community newspapers. You can find a pretty complete listing here.

Social media is changing everything. County Executive Ken Ulman is now largely able to bypass the traditional media altogether and interact with his constituency via Twitter. That conversation came into its own during the record-setting blizzard of 2010, when Ulman and Twitter quickly became the only meaningful real-time information stream for many people trapped in their homes by three feet of drifting snow.

Think of HoCo360 as the photo department in this new group of online publications. It's an online visual journal, seeking to explore Howard County and serve up the interesting bits in quick-hit bites. Generally, one or more photos and an extended caption and you're out the door.

The limitations are strictly geographic, but the axes along which we cover Howard County will be very different than that of a traditional newspaper or magazine. The goal is to show you things you might otherwise miss in a county that on the surface might not seem so interesting.


We're always happy if you stop by the site for a visit. But you can easily set up HoCo360 to be automatically pushed to you via RSS, email or Twitter by using the links at the bottom of any page.

And if you are on Twitter, please follow us. It is a very low-impact stream. We'll let you know whenever a new entry goes up, but we won't subject you to endless retweets and Twitter memes. More important, we can always use another set of eyes in the field to let us know about items of interest. The best way is via email.

And your retweets and Facebook "Likes" are greatly appreciated. That's pretty much the only way others find out about the site.

Lastly, thanks for plugging in. The more people know about their community, the better it is for everyone.

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