Seattle Blog Event Wrap-Up

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.

Shelftalk: The last blog speaker tonight. If you love books, check out Librarything too. They get to write about books; once in a while, I get to write about history.


5 responses to “Seattle Blog Event Wrap-Up

  1. Glad you could be there. There are others around the city who really belonged up at the table too – particularly Capitol Hill Seattle (which has been in operation almost as long as we have – I think they were just weeks behind) and Central District News. But I really love finding out about the “smaller” sites like yours (which I wouldn’t have found if not for the trackback on this post), Blogging Georgetown, Mid-Beacon Hill, etc. etc. etc. For now it may be “when the fancy strikes” but sometime there could be a turning-point event (for us it was the 12/06 windstorm) that changes everything. Or not. But tell the stories you can, when you can, because every neighborhood deserves that.

  2. Nice! I keep wanting to attend one of those things but then something always comes up.

  3. mercerislandblogger

    Thanks for the note, TR! You’re right on the CHS blog, they’re fantastic. For the lighter side of Capitol Hill, I turn to Hillku, because I always end up laughing for reasons I can’t explain.

    Anyway, TR, keep up the great work, I’m a fan of West Seattle Blog.

    And Richard: Keep up the good coverage of the election. Someone needs to.

  4. “Lots of neon”? and that’s it re:the B-Town Blog? No mention of how we’re starting to serve more as an agent for change in our community (ie: we’ve helped raise over $11,000 in 8 months for both the arson apartment victims and 2 local food banks)? Perhaps it’s because Burien is oh, what…13 miles away, about the same as Bellevue? Or is it the stigma attached to this lil ol’ suburb? Oh wait, it’s the neon in the logo! Silly me! 🙂

  5. mercerislandblogger

    Scott, thanks for the comment, and you’re right, the B-town blog has a lot going for it. My title wasn’t because it’s far away though- everything is somehow both far away and very close to Mercer Island. And I’m new enough to the area that I still don’t know all the stereotypes I should use to taunt other communities with. Yes, it was the neon in the logo.

    I also didn’t know about the fundraising (maybe because I got to the blog event about 15 minutes late). Nice job!

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