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Time Tells - Chicago Old Town

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Mary Velan

DePaul Graduate student, Master's of Journalism program

Vince Michael's blog "Time Tells" did a piece on Old Town. Check out the photo gallery below courtesy of Vince Michael's blog.

This piece highlighted the history of the Old Town neighborhood dating back to the 1970's when it was officially designated as a district. He discusses the modest architecture that has remained in Old Town, and the urban renewal effort that took place in parts of Old Town. Throughout the blog he compares Old Town to the famous neighborhood of Greenwich Village in New York City, particularly highlighting Old Town's history of activism.

I am hoping to take this piece as encouragement that this neighborhood will have some interest in this site and want to work towards developing it into a great tool for the community. I hope that each niche group comes out of the woodwork to make its opinions, stories, and activities known to the Old Town community as well as outsiders viewing in.

The blog discusses the Old Town community's history of providing its residents and business owners with a forum for their voices to be heard. It had a strong community feel that enabled individuals to express themselves.

I feel this atmosphere remains today. It seems that most people living in Old Town cherish their community and are actively involved in various groups, organizations, and activities held within the neighborhood.

Looking beyond what is already available to the Old Town community, this site can provide a new form of communication for the locals. It will continue the strong tradition of community activism by providing yet another forum through which people's voices can be heard. But this forum will reach more than the ears of those in the streets or those reading the local newsletter. This site can reach anyone, anywhere. It can aggregate information from all over the world, as well as start strong discussions both locally and nationally on issues that affect Old Town residents directly. If this community wishes to continue its tradition of being a vocal community that participates in the development of its neighborhood, this site could become a valuable resource to those involved.

This site could highlight the neighborhood's treasures through local photography, artwork, and videos. This site could open up discussions through blogs and message boards that address the issues on locals' mind. This site could provide information to residents and outsiders through informative blogs and links- allowing people to discover the history while creating the future. Finally, this site can act as a platform for people's opinions, work, organizations, and businesses.

In a nutshell, this site can become whatever the community wants it to be. No matter what direction is chosen, as long as the community chooses it, the site will work to serve the community and have limitless possibilities.

With a community that has such a strong history, it should have an even more promising future. I think that this site, along with whatever new social media forums arise in the next few years, can enable a small area with a lot to offer to open its doors to the world as well as its local residents.

Everything is quickly becoming more and more globalized as information and communication become faster and more efficient. This means local focus might suffer. This site can preserve the integrity of Old Town's community interaction, while nurturing new discusions and exposure.

So think it over, Old Town. You never know what could possibly come from a little site called Old Town Now.

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