I have to say I’m impressed with the New York Times foray into local blogging with its “The Local” site for Maplewood, N.J.
The blog, which has a sister one in Brooklyn, is described by the New York Times as
The Local provides news, information, entertainment and informed conversation about the things that matter to you, your neighbors and your family, from bloggers and citizens who live, work and create in your community — as well as journalists from The New York Times.
One thing that is really awesome about the blog is it includes a section called “On the Fridge Today” which is kids’ artwork. That is such a good idea. Who wouldn’t visit a site that had their child’s drawings on it?
Joe Strupp has a column on Editor and Publisher about the explosion of blogs in that area of New Jersey. He writes that in just a few months, three new sites popped up.
Still, this mix of bloggish news is a big change for our little township. Lord knows the five-person Township Committee is not used to such multiple press outlet interest. Just a few months ago, Mayor Vic De Luca had only the weekly paper to contend with, and the spate of name-calling residents on Maplewood Online.
Nowadays, he may well get more press inquiries some days than Michael Bloomberg.
And while Bloomberg contends with mundane things like crime rates, subway fares and big city high school test scores, our mayor has to handle real issues: whether to install parking meters downtown and where to run the farmer’s market.
It’s odd that in a time when many communities are seeing less media coverage because of papers’ cutbacks, blogs are stepping in. That’s what’s happening in Wellesley with the Your Town Wellesley. Perhaps this is the wave of the future- no papers, just blogs.