Yesterday’s post on Urban Affair and Downtown Phoenix Journal generated a ton of views and comments — way more than I expected. But then, maybe that’s to be expected considering Phoenix’s increasingly large, and zealous, local movement.
I just wish I had paid more attention. The original post was a rush job I quickly hammered out between classes simply to get something posted (there’s a lesson in responsible blogging in here somewhere). Of course, the result included some errors of fact and typos, but I’m actually glad they were there. Without them, I doubt the post would have received the attention it did, and I never would have heard the bloggosphere’s Phoenix voices — and there are a lot.
Beginning in-mass approximately 10 years ago, many Phoenix residents have worked hard to develop nationally recognized movements promoting local business and community. Of course there’s Kimber Lanning, et al., with the exalted Local First Arizona, the largest coalition of independent business in the nation. LFA is the organization I’m most familiar with, having written half a dozen stories on it for various publications and journalism projects in the past year or so — the topic always seems to please j-school professors. But there are tons of other movements, and a surprising number of them are online.
The cyber community in Phoenix, while not as big as many other cities, seems to be extremely well-connected. Blogs link to organizations, which link to blogs, which link to businesses, etc. And the writers for these publications certainly seem to know what’s going on; the coverage is phenomenal.
As a small-time local blogger, it’s really amazing to see the power of these larger movements. I DO see blogging as the future of local publications, overtaking the free, community papers. Print will always be available, but more and more content has moved online. And that’s great. Online has so many benefits, among them the ability to link and create vast communities that coordinate and contribute to each other. Groups like Urban Affair and DPJ have become hubs for both original content and aggregated information imported from dozens of personal spider blogs.
It’s good to be in a community. As conceptions and expections of journalism change, the since of journalistic duty to the community will always remain.