Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A blog blog

To get some idea of what we've been up to recently, take a peek at a new blog-about-local-blogs that Janet and I started a week ago. We're doing it for the newspaper as part of the new Postscripts project (Janet came up with the brand, logo and slogan), and here's the skinny: We "launched" it on the night of April 18th by quietly sending out the link to two local bloggers.

The next morning we had more than 50 hits.

Since then we've been covering local blogs in a manner that would be familiar to anyone who reads The Hotline's Blogometer. By the end of its first week, our stealth blog had already generated more than 1,000 hits and 20 comments. Local bloggers have used it to announce plans for a blogger party next month. People are excited, and The Big Blogroll keeps growing. We're indexing more than 50 local, active blogs, and that's already more than half the number listed at Greensboro 101, a pioneering local blog site created by Roch Smith.

Could it be that there's a more active local blogosphere in the Lowcountry than any of us imagined? What happens to a community of writers and readers when that community becomes aware of itself? Can a local metro daily connect to its local blogosphere in a constructive way?

I dunno, but we're about to find out. Today the webmaster for our web site is working out the domain redirects that will give our local blog-blog a shorter, easier-to-remember URL, and once that's set, we'll be linkable off our own site for the first time.

It's early, but the early signs are encouraging. Particularly this one: In the post in which local blogger Walter (of Baxter Sez) announced his discovery of Lowcountry Blogs, he wrote:
since i now see that we may have just a leetle bit of local attention i want to take advantage and offer up my first bit of critique for something charleston. here it is:

Crosstown. the road that truncates the peninsula. man, that is one ugly sumbitch.
... and went on from there to talk about the congested local freeway that carves up neighborhoods on the Charleston peninsula.

Which leads to my point: if connecting local bloggers to each other encourages them to write more about the place where they live, why would a local news organization not want to help with that?

Beats me.