Watch this space

First things first. The homepage. This week we're developing the actual homepage, which means a few bugs may find their way onto our beta homepage. Apologies in advance, though we're confident you'll like the final result.

The traffic to ChicagoNow continues to surpass our expectations. For the month of June, we are on track to have more than 500,000 page views. We can't say thank you enough for your support of the site--or for your feedback. Please keep it coming.

And keep sending those blog suggestions our way. Last week, freelance writer and local mom Caitlin Giles pitched us a blog dubbed Wee Windy City. She wrote:

"What I have in mind for Chicago Now is something that moves beyond the typical family-friendly fare.  I want to write about where to find parent and child cheese making classes.  Or where your kids can learn how to use worms to make their own compost.  I also want to post about all of the every day things that make being a kid in Chicago awesome--like looking up and hearing an el train rumble by or seeing the skyline from the ferris wheel at Navy Pier."

We loved Caitlin's pitch for many reasons. She already had her own personal blog and contributed to the Chicago Moms Blog. She had a fresh take on the typical parenting blog, along with specific ideas for posts. She gets what is unique about being a kid in Chicago. And she had a great blog title.

Look for Caitlin's blog, Wee Windy City, on ChicagoNow in the week ahead.

Meanwhile, we're pleased to welcome Alexander Russo to ChicagoNow. He is bringing over his popular blog, District 299: The Chicago Schools Blog, from Catalyst Magazine. Alexander, a Chicago native, started the blog in 2005. Chicago Magazine recently named  District 299 one of Chicago's best blogs.

But that's not the only list District 299 made. Today the blog was named one of Chicago's top-20 community-based news sites. That's according to a new report released by the Community Media Workshop and commissioned by the Chicago Community Trust.

Joining District 299 on the list is Kevin O'Neil's CTA Tattler and Mike Doyle's Chicago Carless. Kevin recently brought over CTA Tattler to ChicagoNow and Mike also runs Chicagosphere here on ChicagoNow. Our friends over at Chi-Town Daily News, Gaper's Block, Windy Citizen and the Chicagoist also made the list. Congratulations to all of you!

Finally, this week is a busy one for the Chicago media. Making Media Connections 2009, a conference sponsored by the Community Media Workshop, continues through Thursday at Columbia College. Bill, along with Colonel Tribune, will give a keynote speech on Thursday at 1 p.m.  Mike Doyle will host a panel titled Neighborhood News 2.0. at 2 p.m. on Thursday.

The Chicago Future Media Conference, a follow-up to February's Chicago Journalism Town Hall, runs Saturday from 1:30 to 4:45 p.m., also at Columbia College. A lot of issues are at stake in Chicago, and we're looking forward to hearing what our colleagues have to say.

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Tags: ChicagoNow

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