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We’re calling on you to show us the best of Oxford every day

This year marked a new beginning for our annual Best of Oxford contest with a special “Best Of” June issue of Oxford Magazine, last week’s party at The Lyric and a website launched just this week showcasing the nearly 200 winners.

While the contest is a great way to celebrate so much of what Oxford has to offer, we all know there are countless other people, places and local businesses deserving of recognition—particularly those who might not neatly fit into a traditional category, no matter how many we add.

Considering the contest is arguably the biggest reader-generated initiative we have, it got me thinking about how we can use it, and our various platforms, to better build conversations in the community. How can we hear those untold stories and dig deeper into the daily acts of kindness and generosity happening in Lafayette County?

It’s an ambitious undertaking and one that doesn’t come with a simple solution, but today marks the first step of what I hope will become an ongoing initiative to connect with people throughout the community using the power of social media:

What’s Happening in Oxford, Mississippi? (facebook.com/groups/happeninginoxford)

A place for news, discussion and anything relevant to the Lafayette-Oxford-Ole Miss community. Feel free to ask questions, start discussions and share relevant links. Designed as a forum for meaningful dialogue, we hope readers will join and contribute whatever they deem important for the community to know.

Today I Saw the Best of Oxford (facebook.com/groups/ISawTheBestofOxford)

This is a place for Oxonians, Ole Miss students and visitors to our community to share stories of goodness around town—whether it’s the kindness of a stranger, excellent service or just someone who brightened your day with a simple hello, we want to hear your stories and see your photos of when you see the best of Oxford shining through.

Because these are Facebook Groups, and not Pages, anyone who joins can share content and stories within the entire group. We will chime in with questions and stories from time to time, as well as moderate both groups to ensure the discussions stay civil, but these groups are intended to be driven by the community. All we ask is that members treat each other respectfully, even in disagreement, and that everything discussed or shared is relevant to the purpose of each group.

Our goal is to give the community a space that isn’t solely built on reaction to our content. We want you to show us every part of Oxford, especially the ones we’re missing.

Everyone has a story.

We can’t wait to hear yours.

Alex McDaniel is editor in chief of The Oxford Eagle and Oxford Magazine.