HSJ Online is a remarkable success story in my opinion.

When Larry Simpson passed away and the Hope Star-Journal stopped publishing shortly thereafter, I was worried. I was worried that our community had lost its collective voice. I was worried that we had lost our main way of communicating with each other as a town.

When HSJ Online launched, I felt like it was an important step that would help us to communicate. At least some people would be able to know what was happening with the schools, local government and other events.

However, it would never be able to take the place of a printed paper.

But it has!

HSJ Online has tens of thousands of page views per month. In a town of just over 2,000 residents, that is incredible! Of course, in some ways we are comparing apples to oranges, because page views don't equate to subscriptions sold.

Nonetheless, I'm not worried anymore. People know what is going on in town. We still communicate with each other, now through sharing stories on Facebook and other social media. Hope expats around the country can now easily keep up on the goings on in our Surprising Little Town.

This experiment is working better than any of us would have ever imagined.

Still -- there is that voice in the back of my head, wondering if there are people that are missing out because there isn't a print edition. Of course there are people in the community who aren't going online. Senior citizens who just don't use a computer. Some people can't afford it. There are plenty of reasons why people don't go online. And for those people, they can now access HSJ Online offline in the Hope Branch of the Bartholomew County Public Library.

We have created a print edition! We simply took a large three ring binder and printed every story or column that appears on HSJ Online for the year 2018. We have one copy available for browsing on the newspaper shelf at the Hope Library, and another copy available at Reflections on the Square.

Our hope is to keep people connected to the town's events who aren't able to access hsjonline.org