Earlier tonight I had the chance to listen to a few of the leading Seattle bloggers speak about neighborhood blogging at the Seattle Public Library.
The West Seattle Blog is the grand-daddy of neighborhood blogs.
The 10-minute summary:
Why Bloggers Blog
“Big media goes with what’s current- we go with depth.”
Our (water-intermediated) neighbors to the West.
To sum it up, most bloggers blog about their neighborhood our of a sense of mission. There’s news in every community that simply isn’t reported elsewhere: in the case of the West Seattle Blog, it may be upcoming events. The writer of the Rainier Valley Post spoke eloquently about shootings in her neighborhood that barely get a mention in the P-I. She said the RVP was successful because she “has a heart in the community.” In the case of Mercer Island, we’ve got issues like Tent City that residents are passionate about and want to talk about online, but don’t have a forum for.
My Ballard: Written by the most adorable family you’ve ever seen.
The Neighborhood Writes The Blog
That’s an exaggeration, since the bloggers on the panel spent anywhere from 8 to 15 hours a day writing. (Full disclosure: Your friendly neighborhood MI blogger spends nowhere near as much time blogging. I’m more on an “as the fancy strikes me” schedule.) But the community does find its voice in surprising ways:
- My Ballard got a tip on a loud noise in the middle of the night and posted it. Multiple posters responded, saying they heard the same noise. Finally, someone said they’d seen kids in the grocery parking lot across the street setting off fireworks. Without the post, those folks never would have known what caused that noise. If it were me, I’d sure want to know.
- Again in My Ballard, the new owner of a convenience/ coffee/ sandwich store posted a question in the forums, asking what people wanted. 65 comments later, he had a pretty good idea of what to put in inventory.
- The West Seattle Blog helps people find lost pets. It doesn’t get better than that. Really.
The B-Town (Burien) Blog. Lots of neon.
What This Means for Mercer-Island Blog Readers
Aside from making me feel somewhat outclassed as a neighborhood blogger, the session was full of good stories and thoughtful blog ideas. If my full-time job would give me a break, you’d see some of those here. Until then Richard Sprague and I will split the duties of writing on whatever crosses our respective minds, with helpful comments from readers as you see fit.