Labs

The Deline of Art Criticism

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Matt Bailey

Born in London, moved to Chicago in 2007, fell in love with Wrigley Field. Doesn't that make me a Chicagoan?

The rise of the internet over the last decade as the root cause of journalism's woes has recently challenged the standing of one area in particular-- the arts critic. Art criticism is an inertly subjective undertaking and with the wealth of material available on the web, how can having a full time critic be justified?

Chicago Tribune theater critic Chris Jones explained "It's a concern for all critics, until relatively recently the 'pajamas in the basement' guys didn't have access to a broad audience."

Already in 2010, 1,039 layoffs and buyouts at U.S. newspapers have occurred according to papercuts.net. Yesterday it was reported that Variety had laid off its chief film critic, chief theater critic and other arts critics and reporters. "It was a depressing day," Jones said, for Variety to "walk away from these marquee names is crazy."

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Adios, Old Town Now

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Pat Flynn

I was about a click away from dropping this class after the first week, then after questioning my manhood and laziness level I decided to stay with it.  By week three I was kicking myself (Literally) for not getting out while I could.

But then something happened around week four when Tracy opened the floodgates and let us write what we wanted, within reason.  It became fun.  I have worked as a sports reporter for the past six years and never had a blog or my voice heard really.

This was refreshing and new to me in many ways.  Not only was I not writing about athletic freaks of nature.  But I was allowed to write in the first person which was a liberating experience.

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Q & A with Steven Patterson founder of The Urban Review STL

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Romell Downer

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Steve Patterson founded UrbanReviewSTL.com on October 31, 2004.   In the Fall of 2006 he began working on a Masters in Urban Planning & Real Estate Development (UPRED) at Saint Louis University. 

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Steve Patterson

 

RD: How long have you been doing online journalism?

SP: I have been doing online journalism for over five years now, I started on Halloween day in 2004.

 

RD: Why was the website created?

SP: It was created because I needed and outlet to start writing because my father was in the hospital from having a heart attack, so I started to write about Urban planning and city life and all the issues like politics.

 

RD: How has it grown over time?

SP: It has become huge, I received a number of awards and have readership from St.Louis and all over the world.

 

RD: How much traffic does the site receive and from where?

SP: last year I had over one 100,000 unique visitors and most of that was from St.Louis, but a good part of that is from Chicago, New York and Missouri. I check my stats daily just so I could see but it's really a broad audience

 

RD: How do you market the website?

SP: I'm on twitter and facebook, there is no marketing effort to try to get readers. I just put the information out there. A lot of my traffic is actually direct traffic; I also have an iPhone application, people read my site from mobile devices and the RSS feed.

 

RD: What type of multimedia tools do you use for your site?

SP: I use a lot of photos; my site is very photo rich, I will sometimes post other people you tube videos but I have my own. I think photos and videos will help sell the story much better than words alone.

 

RD: How does the website make money?

SP: [laughing] I actually make two cents an hour. I actually have advertising on the blog now and I'm getting more and more advertiser so it's just now starting to make money.

 

RD: What are your future plans for the website?

SP: Well, I hope to do a new layout this upcoming year. The layout that I have is pretty old and I would like to bring in more contributors to the blog, I have seven now but I want to have at least two contributors a week. I upload a post every day, so I have seven posts per week and would like to increase the amount of content.

 

RD: How do you use social media?

SP: I currently have a twitter and facebook fan page and each new post automatically goes to facebook and twitter. No matter how someone is reading my site through an RSS feed, twitter or facebook, my post goes out in the full text and pictures.

 

RD: How have you seen journalism change over the last 10-15 years since the internet?

SP: It's interesting because I have no background in journalism, I was never a fan of the daily physical newspaper.  I'm seeing more and more people get their news content not from that morning paper on the lawn. I'm also seeing more and more media outlets whether its newspaper or even tv stations having their journalist become back pack journalist, Its all becoming a matter of convergence.

 

RD: Where do you se the industry in the next five or ten years?

SP: Well I'm a huge apple fan and I definitely see the new iPad being a huge success just like the iPhone. I think we will see even more products from different companies replicating this technology. I think well see even more people getting their news from the computer but not from a specific medium.  People are not going to be sitting down watching the news they are going to be sitting at their computer flipping through videos and finding clips of the news. We have to figure out how to fund all this and the advertising also what's going to happen with people paying for content.

 

RD: Do you think other newspapers fill follow the New York Times with paying for content?

SP:  I don't think people will pay for content but a lot of these newspapers have ancient content that they will have to be updated with

 

 

Last Observations

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Mary Velan

DePaul Graduate student, Master's of Journalism program

This will be my last observation of the ChicagoNow project my class was lucky enough to work on. I feel I learned a lot about not only the technical aspects of hyper-local blogging, but the social side of working with the community which the site serves.
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Love LoveClapham?

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Matt Bailey

Born in London, moved to Chicago in 2007, fell in love with Wrigley Field. Doesn't that make me a Chicagoan?

LoveClapham.com is an attractive hyperlocal website. Its design and very name belie a true affection for the area of South London that it reports on. The URL and heart logo for the site with its hot pink background are demonstrative of the website's purpose.

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see what i mean

Creator Jack Wallington has lived in the neighborhood for over 7 years and explains his motivations for starting this blog on the "About Us" page. One of his big goals is to "generate a sense of community that was fun and reflective of the Clapham population."

LoveClapham is along the lines of what, I believe, ChicagoNow is trying to do with its neighborhood blogs. Drawing together local news, guides, listings and other things in one place, it attempts to put meat on the bones that make a neighborhood online, primarily for its neighbors, but also for the world to see. 

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LoveClapham Q&A

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Matt Bailey

Born in London, moved to Chicago in 2007, fell in love with Wrigley Field. Doesn't that make me a Chicagoan?

Mr. Jack Wallington "Clapham Resident" created LoveClapham.com at the beginning of 2009 in the hopes of  brining residents together as a community while improving the quality of life for the people of this renowned South London neighborhood. I asked him why...

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Jack on Clapham Common

 

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The Brooklyn Bloggers: Q & A with Ferentz Lafargue and Nick Juravich

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Manuel Argueta

Born in Guatemala City, moved to Chicago, Died in NYC

Q & A with Ferentz Lafargue, the founder of Nostrand Park, a hyper local blog within the Crown Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York City.  Lafargue was born in recently devastated Haiti and moved to the borough of Queens at the age of five.  Along with running the Nostrand Park blog, he also contributes articles to the Huffington Post.

Whose idea was it to start a blog about Nostrand Park instead of having a blog about Crown Heights?

Ferentz Lafargue; I am the founder of Nostrand Park blog, which started as a personal blog in the fall of 2008 and has since grown to having seven recurring contributors.  The contributors cover events and take photos.  Other contributors focus on arts, real estate, and local history.  All the contributors are volunteers who share a love for Crown Heights.

 Why were Nostrand and Park chosen as the streets to represent the blog?

Nostrand Ave and Park Ave are two streets that we feel are quintessentially Crown Heights.  That is our point of reference, but we still cover events throughout all of Crown Heights.  We have a section dedicated to important events happening throughout the neighborhood called Crown Heights 360.

Gallery sneak peek (2 images):

View the gallery...
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Game on Old Town

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Mary Beth Weissmueller

I am a graduate student at DePaul University focusing on broadcast journalism. Originally I am from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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Where to begin, Old Town Now. Well, this last term has definitely been an experience full of growth, understanding, knowledge, and the occasional headache. Before this term, I didn't realize the power and opportunity that a community website could provide, but through Old Town Now, I've started to see the light. 

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Good Luck Old Town Now

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Romell Downer

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The past ten weeks has been a world-win of trials that the Gold Coast team and the Old Town team has faced. We have endured a tremendous course load and had the opportunity to meet a vast amount of people. We also had the pleasure of meeting a couple of online journalist who are working within the field of online journalism.

I had the opportunity to become a part of the Old Town Now team and I first started off being apart of the night life beat. During the first couple of weeks the class was exciting but also frustrating because we all had difficulties getting interviews from the community and the business owner.  Once we introduced ourselves and explained what exactly a blog or community website and why we are creating the site.


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Last Old Town Observation

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Suada Kolovic

Finally-that was the exact thought going through my mind this week. No longer will I have to worry about covering an area that I really have no familiarity with, no longer will I have to deal with store owners who "would rather not participate," and no longer would I be disappointed with Old Town in general. And then I thought about it, this is what it truly means to go out and be a journalist. It means dealing with people who are at times difficult, it means not giving up, and it means to stick with it and make a difference. If being a journalist is truly my passion then this was a great real world experience. Looking back now, I can appreciate all the difficulties we had along the way. It was a great opportunity and I am thankful for the experience. That's not to say that I'm not psyched to be done with Old Town!

Last Observation - Old Town

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Sachiko Yoshitsugu

Moved to Chicago two years ago. Interests are: the Outdoors, Fashion, economics, and obviously journalism. I have a twin sister.

Since day one this class has been a challenge. I would rename the class a "Crash Course in Starting a Hyperlocal Community Blog From Scratch." That might more accurately reflect the course from a retrospective point of view, but really the whole experience was totally worth it. Just like in any other subject matter the best way to learn something is to do it, try things, make mistakes and find solutions.

I'm really glad I took this course for a number of reasons. When I signed up I had a vague idea at best of what the we would cover. Managing Digital Communities was just a term I had heard in an online journalism class. I decided to take it because I wanted to learn more about the growing arena of online journalism. I also wanted a project-oriented class that would be more hands-on less lectures.

Looking back in terms of the work we did and our blogs this class almost felt like a part-time job. We were expected to take initiative, be resourceful, meet high standards and deadlines, work in teams, and get results.



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Meet Eugene Driscoll, editor of The Valley Independent Sentinel

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Mary Beth Weissmueller

I am a graduate student at DePaul University focusing on broadcast journalism. Originally I am from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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Eugene Driscoll, the Editor of The Valley Independent Sentinel.This past week I had the pleasure of speaking with Eugene Driscoll, the editor of The Valley Independent Sentinel. While speaking with him, he was able to explain the purpose of their new Connecticut community website that started just last june in 2009. This is what he had to say!


Q:  Why was the site created?

A: Well its convoluted. There was a paper called the Evening Sentinel that covered these communities in Connecticut, but it got caught by the Local Daily and shut down. Our town is near a couple of cites in Connecticut, three small cities, and each has its own newspaper. The Valley was kind of lost in terms of coverage and people realized how much they missed it when the Evening Sentinel was shut down.


New Haven had the New Haven Independent starting in 2005 run by Paul Bass who is sort of the grandfather of new media online journalism in the area. It is a well-regarded well-respected site. After some people in the Valley saw the New Haven Independent, the Valley community foundation teamed up with Paul Bass to create the Valley Independent Sentinel. 



Q:  What do you think makes your site unique?

A: I don't think we are necessary reinventing the wheel here. Because we are online only, we are able to report news on the fly. We are certainly more mobile, literally. We are small, lean, and mean and are able to jump from one story to another. We are able to use the web to our advantage. 


You know, we are able to stream video live. We have done live chats from scenes in real time. I don't know how many other sites can do that for such a local area. 


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The Valley Independent Sentinel Website. 


Q:  How has the site grown over time?

A: We launched June 22, of 2009. We definitely have had exponential growth. We have about 2,000 readers a day. In terms of our readership, I look at Facebook, we have a fan page and that is a good barometer of our reach in the community. We talk to our readers there, people debate on our stories there. Yesterday was the 35th anniversary of an arson activity, and we were the only ones in our area to mark the occasion. We did a retrospect from Googlenews and New York Times. People shared memories of where they were when it happened. 


It is important how people use our news. Facebook is a resource for people, and that is cool. In terms of our fans, people are obviously interested. We have seen our fans double in the past month to 700. 


Q: How do you market the site? Do you advertise it anywhere? Do people advertise on your site? 

A: We don't do any adverting ourselves or word of mouth. We use a lot of social media networks. We use Twitter and Facebook like I mentioned. I like Facebook more and we get more traffic from Facebook. Facebook is more of an anchor for us. But if we hear of a car wreck on the highway we use Twitter, however, we don't get huge traffic from twitter.


Picture 1.pngTwitter is like a wire service in some ways. Mandating a reporter to use it is like telling reporters what brand they have to use. We don't like that concept here.


The only thing we have is the grant from the Knight Foundation and Valley Community Foundation. As of right now we don't have any people advertising on our website. 



Q: What do you believe people want to read most about?

A: You get a definite as its happening view of what people read. Its big events, if there is police activity, crime, people read that. Fires definitely get more reads because it appeals more readers. People like sensational stories. We try to balance that. 


New business stories do really well here too. We are so local, that people love to read about new restaurants. Big events like winter storms or storms that were suppose to be big and were nothing, we do live chats and those do really well. 


If there can be a group conversation then you can do that and it does well. 



Q: How did you decide on the layout of the site?

A: The sponser vis hight designed it. He runs smart till design and we basically liked the New Haven website look and went off of that.



Q: What are your future plans to keep the sight running?

A: We hope to get donations from the community. Our grant lasts for two years from the Knights Foundation.  



Q: Do you have any future plans for the site in terms of expansion?

A: We would like to develop deeper beats. We are still figuring out what news and issues are important to our readers on the site. An example of that, Jodie created a sub beat of EMS (emergeny medical services) because it is a big group here in the valley. 



Q: What suggestions would you offer to other people looking to start a hyperlocal website? What was the hardest thing?

A: I would say traditional news values still apply. Some people think oh the old ethics and fair reporting goes out the window when it is a website, they still all apply. You still have to do your homework. More so on the web with a news organization you are building your credibility one story at a time, if you mess up people will notice.


Also, marketing is so important, at a traditional newspaper there is a whole department for that, here it is different, you have to spread the word yourself. You need to engage the readers more. The readers own it. 



 


Q@A With LAist.com Blogger Zack Jerome

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Jamie Kogler

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I recently interviewed fellow blogger Zack Jerome, a sports columnist for the laist.com, in Los Angeles. The laist.com is a hyperlocal blog that covers all local news, politics, arts, music, and entertainment happening in the greater Los Angeles area. Zack also has his own blog at the lostangelesblog.com, where he does his own personal blogging.

I wanted to talk to other bloggers who blog for hyperlocal blog site similar to chicagonow.com. Here is what Zack had to say:

JK: What do you blog about on the laist.com?

ZJ: The writing I do for LAist is much different than I do on my personal blog, although I try to keep my style somewhat consistent.  On LAist I focus on Los Angeles sports, mainly the Dodgers.  They are a very factual and trusted blog, so I appreciate that they let me editorialize a little bit.

JK: How often do you blog? 

ZJ: I have a pretty strict no weekend blogging rule.  I think you need to live a little to have something to write about.  I write 4-5 times a week on my personal blog and will try to post to LAist once a week during baseball season. 

JK: Why do you blog?

ZJ: I have a degree in Writing for Screen and Television from USC film school and I think the training in screenwriting really turned me onto blogging.  A script takes so long to develop.  Blogging is so spur of the moment.  You immediately get to take your thoughts and put them out there for them to find an audience (if there is one).  

On a more intrinsic level, I probably blog because I like the sound of my own voice or perhaps want to feel like I am not going unnoticed in a world so committed to speeding up.  It's also a ton of fun.

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One Last Look Around

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Rob Larson

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Do these guys kinda frighten you? Me too.


I don't know what to say, really.  Working on Gold Coast Now (and subsequently Chicago Now) has been a real experience.  It wasn't always easy, then again, it wasn't always difficult either.  All I know for sure is that I learned a heck of a lot.


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Last Observation...Maybe

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Jamie Kogler

It's been two long months of nonstop reporting for the Gold Coast, and I have to admit all though some of it was such a struggle, for the most part I had a lot of fun. I didn't know what to really expect when I first started blogging. To be honest I had never even heard of a "hyperlocal" blog before this class.

Now after extensive reseaching and reporting I've come to discover that hyperlocal blogs are our future. In my opinion I think that hyperlocal websites, once perfected of course, will be our leading news source options.

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Last Observation...Maybe

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Jamie Kogler

It's been two long months of nonstop reporting for the Gold Coast, and I have to admit all though some of it was such a struggle, for the most part I had a lot of fun. I didn't know what to really expect when I first started blogging. To be honest I had never even heard of a "hyperlocal" blog before this class.

Now after extensive reseaching and reporting I've come to discover that hyperlocal blogs are our future. In my opinion I think that hyperlocal websites, once perfected of course, will be our leading news source options.

Continue reading...

Last Observation...Maybe

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Jamie Kogler

It's been two long months of nonstop reporting for the Gold Coast, and I have to admit all though some of it was such a struggle, for the most part I had a lot of fun. I didn't know what to really expect when I first started blogging. To be honest I had never even heard of a "hyperlocal" blog before this class.

Now after extensive reseaching and reporting I've come to discover that hyperlocal blogs are our future. In my opinion I think that hyperlocal websites, once perfected of course, will be our leading news source options.

Continue reading...

Talking with Liz George, co-founder of Baristanet

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Sachiko Yoshitsugu

Moved to Chicago two years ago. Interests are: the Outdoors, Fashion, economics, and obviously journalism. I have a twin sister.

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            "A lot of people are trying right now, but we got in there and did it earlier than most people. We're a little ahead of the curve and    we're looking to grow." Liz George





I spoke with Liz George, co-founder of the vibrant hyperlocal news and community web site, Baristanet, based out of Montclair, NJ. Launched in 2004, the site sees 9,000 hits on an average day and hosts a lively engagement between  readers, the Baristanet staff and the community as a whole. 


How was Baristanet created and how has it grown?


L. George : In May of 2004, my business partner went to some blogging symposium conference and Jeff Jarvis was there. He mentioned you know, hyperlocal, he sort of spoke to that. He had been doing the regular personal blog and decided to try this, and decided to do it in the local region where she was living, where I live as well. Three months later I joined her in doing it. 


So it started off trying to report all the news that was happening and trying to build an audience. As we got better at breaking news we started to get more attention from people and became sort of a must-go-to for our readers. We started to build and add more readers as more people talked about it. 


So was there a news hole in the area?


L. George: There was a newspaper for the town of Montclair and it still remains there. It came out once a week. At the time their web presence was negligible. They weren't doing much with the site. And in the other two towns again there was smaller once-a-week type papers. 


So was there a newshole? Ten years ago, no, but at the time that we started, people were starting to get used to news on-demand in other areas of their life, having something like what we were offering and no competition on a 24/7 basis. Yea, so in that sense there was a news hole...or a vulnerability.

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Tough Stuff in the Gold Coast

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Alaina Africano

Adventurous Journalism Student with a passion for music, pop culture, controversey, and smiling.

I didn't really know what to expect when first arriving in Tracy's class.  This was my first journalism course at DePaul since I transferred from Columbia College in the fall.  I was a little intimidated and more intimidated when I found it was a graduate class, too.

I pretty sure I was the youngest in the class, but it was definitely the right class to take to put my best foot forward for my next two years completely my journalism degree.  I think there were a few minor details we all could agree on that could have been changed, but otherwise the class was awesome.  It was inspiring to see my fellow classmates and I take on a project that seemed too big to wrap our heads around.  I know the first couple weeks I repeated in my head, "What the hell am I supposed to do?"

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Still Going for the Gold

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Alaina Africano

Adventurous Journalism Student with a passion for music, pop culture, controversey, and smiling.

Gold River Buzz is a blog dedicated to the 1,396 residents of Gold River, British Columbia.  I   was able to talk to Kyra--no last name given, just think Prince or Mo'Nique--creator and editor of Gold River Buzz.  
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Editor/Creator of Gold River Buzz, Kyra

Although this hyper-local blog does not resonate at a colossal scale like Lincoln Park Now or even the Maplewood Patch, it embodies the quality and effectiveness of a hyper-local blog.  I was thoroughly impressed by Kyra's dedication to the blog, and her ability to make an aesthetically pleasing site with legitimate content with no journalism background.   

Q: When was Gold River Buzz created? Why, what was the incentive for you to create this community blog/site?
A: I started the website in August of 2009.  I've been blogging for a few years now (personal blog), but never really had a focus - I was just another 'Mommy Blogger' talking about kids, work and life.  No real viable theme came to mind, until it dawned on me that our community has very little in the way of an online presence.  Thus, Gold River Buzz was born.

How do you define your community?
A small, close knit, friendly community, struggling to re-define itself first after the closure of it's main employer (Pulp & Paper Mill), and now with the declining Forest Industry.
 
Do you have a journalism background?
None at all. A Bachelor's degree in English, that's it.
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The rollercoaster has come to a stop..for now!

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Manuel Argueta

Born in Guatemala City, moved to Chicago, Died in NYC

After two months of covering the Gold Coast neighborhood in Chicago, it is safe to say that there have been a lot of ups and downs, but all of it has been a learning experience. Most of it has been fun.

At the beginning of the quarter, Tracy explained a new idea, to me anyway, of hyper local blogging.  We would be covering the news on a very local scale.  Our target audience would be the community, specifically the community of the Gold Coast.  Our team was to go out and find stories and post them for the community to enjoy.

I was ecstatic that I would be covering nightlife because that is what I want to do as a journalist. It was all about going out and writing about my adventures the next day.  As soon as money started to run out, I had to get creative and come up with new posts.  I started to aggregate.  That's when I came to a personal block on posting.  I couldn't think of anything to write about. 

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Daniel Wilkinson from The Cournalist

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Mary Velan

DePaul Graduate student, Master's of Journalism program

Daniel Wilkinson, one of the original creators of the Santa Cruz, California hyper-local website The Cournalist, was available for an interview. Read below to find out the editors originally envisioned the site, and what efforts they made to bring success to The Cournalist.

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Q & A with Mike Orren from Pegasus News

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Claudia Rodriguez

I am a DePaul senior Political Science major and Journalism minor.

Mike Orren is the founder and president of Pegasus News for the Dallas and Fort Worth areas in Texas. His site is a very well organized one which not only covers a large area but a lot of content information as well. The site has been serving residents since 2006 with a strong following from the very start.

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Mike Orren Fouder and President of Pegasus News

Mike's page is able to cover a large amount of area with out losing the reader in the process. The success of Pegasus News clearly shows through due to the engagement it receives from their readers which promises a strong future for the site.

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From Mission Impossible to Mission Accomplished

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Kim Dunbar

Born and raised outside Boston, I came to Chicago for the pizza, but stay for the people.

January 5, 2010
Dear Diary:
I just had my first class for managing digital communities.  We had a great conversation regarding the future of journalism and I think this class will be pretty interesting.   It seems like it will be a very useful class, very hands-on, so maybe I'll stick it out.

February 9, 2010
Dear Diary:
This class is really starting to get on my nerves.  It's a lot of work and no one in the Gold Coast seems to care about what we are trying to do.  I wish I had dropped it when I had the chance.  

March 6, 2010
Dear Diary:
I just posted my last story to the Gold Coast Now neighborhood blog.  I'm actually kind of sad.  I've grown to really enjoy this love-hate relationship with the blog and this community.  I have learned much more than I ever anticipated.  I even came to appreciate the Gold Coast neighborhood (hey, I mean any neighborhood that boasts a former Playboy mansion and bars open until 5 a.m. is pretty cool).  I am actually pretty interested in the world of hyperlocal and neighborhood-centric news reporting now. 
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Gold Coast Bon Voyage, man

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Matt Bailey

Born in London, moved to Chicago in 2007, fell in love with Wrigley Field. Doesn't that make me a Chicagoan?

See you later Gold Coast, I'm sure we'll meet again. It's been fun, yeah?

Writing for Gold Coast Now I've learned much. I popped my blogging cherry and found the experience to be slightly painful yet rather enlightening. This is my second semester of studying journalism. My undergraduate degree was in History and Politics (nice to know stuff, but basically useless in the "real-world").

Some weeks I struggled to find things to write about, other weeks, it was easy. I'm sure it's like that for "real" journalists too. Some people were nice and, frankly, some people were pricks. Why tell someone you'll call them and then not?

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Capitol Hill Seattle's Justin Carder

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Rebecca Newby

I am a graduate student at DePaul University studying journalism. Currently I am living in Chicago's Little Italy neighborhood with my husband and our 5-month-old son.

Capitol Hill is Seattle, Washington's most densely populated neighborhood known for its various nightclubs and bars. And while Capitol Hill resident Justin Carder agrees that drinking and going out is a large part of neighborhood life in Capitol Hill, he argues that it is not the only ingredient. That is why Carder started Capitol Hill Seattle Blog (CHS) in January of 2006. 

I talked to Carder in an over-the-phone interview to find out more about how this hyperlocal blog filled with community voices has been able to redefine the way people think about Capitol Hill today. 

Justin Carder

CHS's Justin Carder

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A Bittersweet Farewell to Old Town Now

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Chelsea Stevens

A young woman bent on world (and news) domination, I am currently an undergrad student at DePaul University majoring in journalism.

During my three months as a writer for Old Town Now, I have learned a great deal about not only the community members and local businesses that make up Old Town, but also the amount of effort and patience that goes into managing a digital community.

Managing a digital community is not as simple as putting together a Facebook/ Twitter page or sending out mass amounts of promotional e-mails. As Roland Legrand pointed out in his piece, "5 Ways a Community Manager Can Help Your Media Outlet", a community manager will think of ways to better organize physical encounters "using online tools to create interaction long before the event takes place and continuing long after the actual encounters".  So, in order to truly gain and retain an audience, a digital community manager needs to take an active role both on and offline.

From the get-go, I have hit the streets of Old Town to introduce our site to members of the neighborhood as a community manager. This allowed me to make personal connections that I stayed in touch with over the term in hopes of recruiting loyal readers or eventual contributors to help make the site sustainable. 

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Final Gold Coast Observations...

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Claudia Rodriguez

I am a DePaul senior Political Science major and Journalism minor.

As I began this class I absolutely had no idea what to expect, I had never heard about "managing a digital community" how did that work?

When I did find out what managing a digital community consisted of I was worried about not being able to handle the work. My worries increased when I got assigned to the Gold Coast Now team, I did not know anything about the Gold Coast except that it had a lot of high end stores. 

However, I did begin excited about my beat--politics. My major being Political Science and already having an internship working for an alderman I felt that it was not going to be hard for me to contact the alderman of the Gold Coast.

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CentralMassNews.com: Home Delivery Done Right

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Kim Dunbar

Born and raised outside Boston, I came to Chicago for the pizza, but stay for the people.

Jennifer Lord Paluzzi is the Editor of CentralMassNews.com, a hyperlocal website that covers six (and counting) Central Massachusetts towns.  
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Jennifer Lord Paluzzi

The operation was born when the website's publisher, Jack Schofield, became frustrated with the lack of local coverage in his hometown of Grafton.  Schofield decided to start his own news site and connected with Paluzzi, an award-winning journalist with 20 years of print reporting experience and author of the town's hyperlocal blog. Together, they launched The Daily Grafton, CentralMassNews.com's first hyperlocal site, in late March 2009.  

One year later, Paluzzi is sharing how the website has evolved and increased in popularity. 

Q: How has the site expanded to what it is today?
The Daily Grafton posted 5,000 visitors in its first week and keeps growing.  The people and advertisers around us started asking when we were going to make a site for their towns.  We launched two more sites at the end of 2009 and three more in January.  We then started CentralMassNews.com because it was getting difficult to manage six separate websites. 
 
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The Grand Finale

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Drew Fleury

a college graduate getting that Master's degree so I can succeed in the world of journalism

The end of the quarter is finally here, and most of us like myself can finally take a sigh of relief knowing that we are finished.

So after eight weeks of blogging I've learned a lot and come to respect bloggers more. Once class started and I learned that we were going to create and maintain a blog, I initially thought that it was going to be easy because so many people do it and seem to get attention for it.

And there's a good reason for that- most blogs out there are leisure and entertainment based.

But then after the first time I posted something I found out that it is a little more challenging than it seems.

Getting people to participate was difficult at first because a lot of people were mistrustful thinking that this blog was going to defame, or slander their name. oftentimes I would have to catch myself saying in my head if someone was going to defame you, why would it be a graduate student from DePaul?

 

 

 

 

 

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