Chicagosphere

November 2009 Archives

My Absent Appearance on WGN's ChicagoNow Radio with Bill Leff This Morning

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Mike Doyle

Since 2005 scribe of the local blog, Chicago Carless. I invite you to visit.

This morning, I was scheduled to appear on WGN-AM's ChicagoNow Radio with host Bill Leff. After an unexpected verbal drubbing by Leff a minute before air time, I walked out of the studio and finished my Thanksgiving shopping, instead. Here is what Leff said to me:

"Here's a lesson to you from the media. Focus right now if you want us to promote you. Because you are replaceable."

I promised my ChicagoNow community manager I wouldn't tell you what I think of Leff and his comments on Chicagosphere. But you can find the full story on my Chicago Carless blog, right here.

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The Oak Park Penis: Does the Village's New Logo Look Like a Phallus?

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Mike Doyle

Since 2005 scribe of the local blog, Chicago Carless. I invite you to visit.

oakparkpenis

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What would you do if your municipal branding consultant suggested at a public board meeting that your town's new logo look like a penis? That happened this week in upscale Oak Park, Illinois. As local bloggers and Twitter users in the west-suburban village continue to voice shock over the new logo, I put it to you, Chicago. Does Oak Park's new logo look like what I think it does?


This afternoon, my Twitter pal, Oak Leaves town hall reporter John P. Huston (@oakpark), posted to his News Peg blog an entry about Oak Park's proposed new logo. The official logo, pictured below, was proposed on Monday to the Village Board by Ed Barlow, director of client services of "community branding experts" firm North Star Destination Strategies, for use by the Oak Park Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Proposed Oak Park Logo

The logo and, um, strap line (I swear, the correct term) are meant to convey Oak Parkers as risk takers. I'd love to know how many of you out there think "risk taker" when you think about residents of Chicago's closest west-suburban neighbor. Progressive? Absolutely. But status quo? Overwhelmingly. (I suppose that's what you get when you a give your local branding campaign to a company in another state--North Star's HQ is in Nashville, TN.)


However, I'd much rather ask in the spirit of the impending holiday season, ahem, do you see what I see?  Especially when you compare Oak Park's potential new logo to these--for want of a better term--other phallic logo fails:


Gallery sneak peek (12 images):

View the gallery...
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Yesterday Robert Feder Opened His Mouth to Change His Feet

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Mike Doyle

Since 2005 scribe of the local blog, Chicago Carless. I invite you to visit.

This week, former Chicago Sun-Times TV columnist Robert Feder (@robertfeder) managed to stick his foot in his mouth while sticking his tongue in his cheek. The usually scrappy Feder slapped down ChicagoNow's new WGN-AM Radio weekly show from the pulpit of his own new blog at the web-centric Vocalo Radio. Boy, could I say something about that. But fellow blogger Alexander Russo, the nationally prominent scribe of the popular District 299 Chicago Public Schools watchdog blog, got there first.


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No Toaster Oven for You: Where Are Chicago's Gay Wedding Planners?

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Mike Doyle

Since 2005 scribe of the local blog, Chicago Carless. I invite you to visit.

Gay wedding and commitment-ceremony planning is big business on both coasts. So why is it so hard to find an out and proud gay wedding planner in Chicago?

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Answer Three Questions to Build Better Blog Traffic

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Mike Doyle

Since 2005 scribe of the local blog, Chicago Carless. I invite you to visit.

Local bloggers can lose a lot of sleep figuring out how to boost their traffic numbers. Following a cardinal rule from the world of public relations might help. Don't just know who your audience is today: know who you want your audience to be tomorrow. Answering three simple questions right now will help you determine who those audience members should be...and how to reach them.
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Vivian Vahlberg Vs. The Usual Suspects: Why the "Community News Matters" Grantee List Is No Surprise

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Mike Doyle

Since 2005 scribe of the local blog, Chicago Carless. I invite you to visit.

Yesterday, I asked why the Chicago Community Trust's recently announced "Community News Matters" grant awards seem to ignore the future sustainability of online local news. It turns out there may be a reason for that. In August, a key Trust staffer claimed in signed comments here on Chicagosphere that the foundation never considered the grant monies to be more than bridge funding--and that it had no idea who would receive that funding. So why did the foundation's own request for proposals (RFP) announce the future sustainability of Chicago's local news sector as a main goal of the grant program? And why are most of the winning grant recipients organizations and bloggers to whom the Trust reached out prior to releasing its RFP in the first place?

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Is OS Choice Important to Bloggers?

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Mike Doyle

Since 2005 scribe of the local blog, Chicago Carless. I invite you to visit.

A recent post to my personal blog announcing my decision to switch from Mac OS X to Windows 7 after 15 years as an Apple user generated more controversy than even I, the Chicago blogosphere's official pain in the CMS, expected. It's not a decision I made lightly, but I didn't expect so many people to take my announcement quite so personally. In an era when most blogging is done via browser-based web interfaces, is the choice of operating system really that big a deal for bloggers? And more importantly, why?

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Sustainability Optional in Chicago Community Trust Online News Grants?

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Mike Doyle

Since 2005 scribe of the local blog, Chicago Carless. I invite you to visit.

[UPDATE: This post has a follow-up, Vivian Vahlberg Vs. The Usual Suspects: Why the "Community News Matters" Grantee List Is No Surprise.]

Today, the Chicago Community Trust announced the recipients of its Community News Matters grant awards, aimed at spurring innovation in Chicago's online local news sector. The recipients list reads like a who's who of the Chicago community news scene. But it takes a lot of reading between the lines to find any evidence of long-term sustainability for the winning projects.
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