Olivia Samerdyke, Editor-in-Chief
The weekend before MBC’s Apple Day festivities, the Campus Comments staff sat in a classroom in Academic, putting the website together. Since then, it has received almost 1500 hits, mostly from the United States. About 20 come from eight other countries, and three different continents.
“They’re spammers,” people usually say.
Possibly, but I have friends in two of the countries we’ve had hits from: Canada and the UK. As for Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, and the Philippines—anyone’s guess works. But no matter what the reader’s intentions, it is still exciting to see that someone across the ocean has viewed the website. Today, readership does not just lie within the physical reach of the newspaper, particularly not with an online paper like Campus Comments. Hypothetically, anyone with Internet access can read Mary Baldwin’s student news.
That idea invokes “the Global Village” theory—the idea that technology brings people of different cultures closer, despite their geographic distance, to form a collective identity. The collective identity might still be a while off, but the rest isn’t. Seeing the web-traffic from distant countries prompted me to try and find out more about where the readers come from.
Tunisia, the smallest Africa country on the Mediterranean coast, lies northwest of Libya. Saudi Arabia, a monarchy, has had positive relations with the United States going back to the 1930s. Switzerland used to shoot down both Allied and Axis planes during WWII to maintain their neutrality. The Philippines, which used to belong to the United States, gained their independence in 1946, and became a republic.
These four facts might not make much of a bridge towards their respective countries, but they do prove that MBC, even in the Shenandoah Valley, isn’t so isolated. Even if the web traffic across the border came from spammers, Staunton probably does, sadly, host a few. It really is a small world, or, at least it’s getting smaller.