I moved into Brookview in 1999 and fell in love with the area almost immediately. I joined the Homeowners Association as the Treasurer in 2000, later becoming President for many years throughout the next 17 years. One of the first things I proposed to the HO board when I started was to create the website for Brookview. I created and maintained www,brookview.ca for the first few initial years. The Crier actually debuted in March, 2002 as part of the Brookview.ca website. As my boys grew up I participated in G.H. Luck, Riverbend Junior and Lillian Osborne High school councils, as well as managing 17 minor hockey teams and having close ties with the Brookview Community League. Over the years I had accumulated many email addresses from these groups and started to use them to communicated important messages out to the Brookview community. During this time I became involved with a group of community leaders in the greater Riverbend communities and together with a handful of colleagues we created the Terwillegar Riverbend Advisory Council or TRAC. Again accumulating more email addresses. In 2006, the First Time Homeowners project began and Brookview was slated to have a portion of its greenspace taken for town houses. The Brookview Crier email system was born and really took momentum to communicate news of the project to the Brookview residents. I also created a simular group for Whitemud Hills and TRAC and then merged the three into an Riverbend Terwillegar Alerts group that now exceeds 1700 recipients. The Alerts was used primarily for EPS alerts from the now retired Sgt LArry Langley. This was very popular and Sgt LArry would send out bulletins requesting help from the residents to solve crimes.
Today (2023), the Brookview Crier reaches out to over 670 residents, which is still over half of the 1236. My biggest challenge was finding a hosting platform that would allow 1700 emails, let alone 650 emails to be sent out at the same time. Most shared hosting servers only allowed 100, sometimes 200 emails per hour. I had found a website hosting service that would allow for 500 per hour. This would still take me two hours to send out the Brookview Crier and over three hours to send out the Alerts messages. I found a VPS service from Greengeeks that would allow for unlimited emails per hour but it cost over $49/month USD. Since I volunteered to be the webmaster for the www.Brookview.ca website, I combined their cost with this cost and got them to support this monthly cost. Although I initially piggybacked on the tracspirit.ca and brookview.ca domain names (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com), the TRAC and Brookview Boards started to want control of the content of these group. They believed that they owned the email lists. I disagreed and broke off from their domain names and in 2017 created the theyegcrier.ca domain. I chose the Domain name in order to allow the site to grow to include other communities beyond Brookview.. I named the site the Southwest Edmonton Crier for that reason. I currently pay for the domain name and other extra annual charges out of pocket as I would ideally like to have all costs paid for independent of any organization and influencers.
Harold, The Crier