Insomnia Links: Sacramento Kids In Need, Twitter For A Reason, The Hyper-local Blogging Economy & iWant
This inevitably happens before I fly: Random thoughts swirling in my head until I eventually pass out from exhaustion.
Sacramento Loaves & Fishes – I plan on stopping by here while I am in town. If you are concerned about the children profiled in Oprah’s piece on the tent cities in Sacramento, check out this local charitable organization. The Mustard Seed is their school for homeless children and right now they need uniforms, socks and other basic supplies.
Using Twitter To Help Students – Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Work Week, plans to launch a campaign to attract Twitter followers, while benefiting DonorsChoose.org in the process. He will donate $3 to DonorsChoose.org for every new person who follows him on Twitter (aka his â€œTweet to Beatâ€). The goal is to directly help 25,000 U.S. public school students in low-income and high-need classrooms in two weeks.
DonorsChoose.org‘s founder, Charles Best, recently spoke at a meeting for my work. He said that as a young teacher, he wanted to create a way for people to donate directly to classrooms in need. He originally created interest by secretly funding teacher requests with his own pay until others found the site and began to donate. His efforts and subsequent success thanks to collaborators like Tim Ferris reminded me of The Tipping Point.
New York Times Goes Hyper-Local – Since the NYTimes’ The Local launched earlier this month, I’ve observed the way contributors have been interacting with Fort Greene, Clinton hill and New Jersey residents to create newsworthy and relevant topics. If it’s true that The Times is indeed trialing these sites to build a software platform for local bloggers, I think this is a great idea – in theory. They are potentially going to offer CMS tools and tech support (for a price), with built in ad models. My question is, aside from being under the banner of the New York Times, what does a blogger have to gain by using their platform?
Hyper-local blogs already exist and many don’t make much money or any at all – it’s not the point. A lot of blogs are collectively run and many do it for free, because they care about their community. Organized hyper-local community sites such as BushwickBK.com unearth the quirky and subversive while providing real value to local residents – an events calendar, property listings, restaurant reviews and more. What would they gain from affiliating themselves with The NYTimes?
Perhaps The NYTimes sees a market in local bloggers with ambitious ideas about a niche hyper-local blog who want to get started right away, with very little web/tech ability. They would definitely benefit from all those resources, including access to major advertisers, something “old school” bloggers have had to earn after a period of time and by proving they can draw an audience. If someone can make a living working full time as a hyper-local niche blogger who only writes reviews of local street art, more power to them.
More power to the NYTimes as well, they need to do what they can to stay relevant and in business through this recession. I visit the NYTimes website every morning; they are my primary source for news. As someone who appreciates hyper-local coverage, I am hoping that they are mindful of incorporating quality hyper-local blogger content into their editorial plan – the opportunity to be featured on the New York Times website would be a huge motivating factor for people to sign up for the service. The ability to also seamlessly integrate an existing blog into their platform would, of course, be essential.
iWant: Sennheiser Evolution G2 Series Basic Kit – As soon as I am able to scrape up the money in the next few weeks, I am investing in this puppy. Along with an extra lav set and some other assorted goodies, these are production purchases that I need to fulfill some creative goals of mine this summer. Stay tuned for details on those, coming very soon…
OK, Daniela. Before you ruin any chance of sleep by visiting Hulu.com, step away from your computer. You don’t want to look like a zombie when you see the fam.