Dan Rubin is asking for your advice.
The metro columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, a big urban daily newspaper, wants you to tell him what direction Blinq, his blog, should go.
Rubin is crowdsourcing advice on Web 2.0 and, unfortunately, is getting mostly garbage comments from Philly.com’s noted crowd of bottom-feeders – the reasons why are for a different post.
So tell him yourself. I did.
My comment on his blog post was fairly general:
Ideally, the Inquirer would have bloggers for each region of the city, Northeast, South, West, etc. Then burbs too, Main Line, etc, to create a niche and hope for that niche advertising. I’d love for you to be part of that. But assuming, we aren’t at that point yet, why not a blog of untold stories. The best Inqy columnist of the past were known for doing that. I think my dream job would be that, Dan, so I think you’d like it to. It helps your column because you’re finding new stories, but whenever you come across any minutiae that might be indicative of a broader trend, you post it here. If other small community papers or blogs do it, you link out, hoping to get linked back – how many are saying how Web 2.0 is based. You go to a community meeting in Bustleton – blog post. You hang out at a park in Grays Ferry – blog post. Ooh, now that is something beautiful. ..Hire me to do it! Or, better yet, do it and do it beautifully. I know you can.
But a more specific suggestion came to mind later, so I tweeted him.
@danielrubin What about “One month.” Each month, you transplant yourself, if only in coverage, to a different p art of the city. Niche!
After a short back-and-forth on Twitter, my suggestion became that he should take one week to go from one neighborhood to another. In each, he should go to an established community event, an impromptu stop at a park or some other central meeting place and also visit the main entertainment strip of each neighborhood.
So that’s my suggestion – “One Week” – a suggestion that is probably my career dream.
I’d also like to see an Inquirer blog to get national attention. Why not a metro blog on urban policy, a focus on Philly but linking out to other metro blogs around the country or the world.
I wanted to help Rubin further, so I shared his post on Facebook, MySpace, retweeted him on Twitter and elsewhere. I got at least one response I thought was interesting:
Somebody at the Inquirer should start a regular column on where/how the city budget gets spent, mispent, and not spent enough, like the “It’s Our Money” segment on Fox 29.
The opinions are out there, but newspapers, not just the Inqy, have to learn how to better search them out. I was really happy that Rubin was using Twitter, but I only wish he had more support and others took his lead and even went further.
What do you think Rubin should do with Blinq? Tell me below and, Jees, help the guy out and tell him yourself here.