Do we need more Vancouver blogs?


Thursday, July 26th, 2007 — 2:55pm PDT
Comments 10

Image from BustedTees

Well maybe more would do the trick but I’m talking about more diversity.

We have several group blogs in this city. Metroblogging, that is a part of a 50-city worldwide network, Beyond Robson, that is a part of the Fresh Daily/BlogTO family, and Urban Vancouver is the aggregator and Vancouver forum on which anyone can post content.

In light of the recent emotionally-charged comments and posts in regards to either Metroblogging or Beyond Robson I just have to share this story that was sent to me by Richard. Its author, Joey deVilla is reflecting on the state of Toronto’s current group blogs with ex-Vancouverite, Will Pate, and is calling out for more diversity in Toronto blogs.

He feels “although the BlogTO and Torontoist served their demographic very well, their demographic was only a slice of the larger pie that is Toronto.”

Joey continues on with something that just made me laugh out loud like Homer Simpson saying “it’s funny cause it’s true” while wiping a tear from my eye.

Excerpt from: We Need More Toronto Blogs making a point about the ‘typical authors’ of certain city group blogs –

They can reply “Yeah, that’s me” to seven or more of the following statements:

1. You graduated from a liberal arts school whose football team hasn’t won a game since Mulroney was Prime Minister.

2. You frequently use the term “post-modern” (or its commonly used variation “PoMo”) as an adjective, noun, and verb.

3. You carry a shoulder-strap messenger bag and have at one time or another worn a pair of horn-rimmed or Elvis Costello-style glasses.

4. You have one Conservative friend who you always describe as being your “one Conservative friend.” [optional]

5. Your hair looks best unwashed and you position your head on your pillow at night in a way that will really maximize your cowlicks.

6. You own records put out by Matador, DFA, Definitive Jux, Dischord, Warp, Thrill Jockey, Smells Like Records, Drag City, Mint and Nettwerk.

7. You bought your dishes and a checkered tablecloth at a thrift shop to be kitschy and often throw vegetarian dinner parties.

8. You frequently complain about gentrification even though you are responsible for it yourself.

9. You have refined tastes and consider yourself exceptionally cultured, but have one pop vice (Laguna Beach, either Idol show and and anything on Slice are popular ones) that helps to define you as well-rounded.

10. You spend much of your leisure time in bars and/or restaurants with monosyllabic names like Plant, Bound or Shine.

11. You have kissed someone of the same gender and often bring this up in casual conversation.

(If these look familiar, it’s because I took ’em from 11 Clues You are a Hipster from The Hipster Handbook).

As I’m still giggling quietly to myself and wiping that tear from my eye, Joey goes on the say something that I can relate to.

Now don’t get me wrong: I’ve got nothin’ against twenty-somethings who like hanging out in charming local dives, listening to indie rock and buying things at thrift shops. If you’re a reader of this blog, there’s a good chance that you are (or were) one of them yourself. I just think that there’s room for other “What’s going on?” blogs.

So here’s the thing, Vancouver… are you happy with your blog reads? Do you even read/subscribe to Vancouver group blogs? What would you like to see in a Vancouver group/multi-author blog that would make you happy, make you think, and make you want to check back in, daily?

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10 comments

  1. sean orr says:

    While a few of those points rang true for me (namely the record labels) it also reeks of insecurity. The indicators also describe a huge cross section of the population. That being said, I don’t think Vancouver is guilty of this. Between The Only, Beyond Robson, Metblogs, The Tyee, and the blogging mainstays (Darren Barefoot, Meg Fowler, Vancouveriste, JustaGwaiLo, Audihertz, Public Eye, David Schrek, Paul Wilcox, Walter Schultz, David Berner, SillyTech, Poppy, Urban Diner, Matt Good, and of course Miss 604), the spectrum is wide (and colourful).

  2. NetChick says:

    We’re lucky here in Vancouver — We’ve got the largest adoption of blogging for a North American city… Or, at least we did 2 years ago when I looked up a few studies for a project that I was working on.

    I have absolutely no problem with the diversity of my reads. In my 10 years of ‘blogging’ now, I’ve been constantly surprised at the number of well-established blogs that I’ve come across in this beautiful city that we share. All have their own flavour, and all have a different tone.

    Honestly, I don’t read a lot of aggregators — I’d prefer to visit the blog directly (yep, old-school-like) to get a true sense of the blog’s footprint on the web. I’m not a huge fan of group blogs either, although you will see me commenting on one from time to time.

  3. colleen says:

    i used to write for beyond robson. i quit because my views and posts were too “mainstream” for BR. I rarely read them anymore – I skim through a reader. I don’t even consider myself a Vancouver blogger, even tho i live in van, i talk about van, and I am a blogger. Do we *need* more “Vancouver Blogs”? nah, not unless we’ll see a DIFFERENT perspective. No more indie band you’ve never heard of PLEASE!

  4. sean orr says:

    “No more indie band you’ve never heard of PLEASE!” So, you only want to hear about bands you’ve already heard about?

  5. Keira-Anne says:

    Though I do use some Vancouver-specific content as filler, I’m very proudly an “Island Blogger.” I figure that Vancouver has enough great bloggers to do the city proud. I’m daring to deviate across the Straight.

  6. Joey deVilla says:

    Hey, Sean! No insecurities here — I cribbed the list from The Hipster Handbook, but Canadian-ized a few of the items.

  7. Meg says:

    Damn, I’m a mainstay? Thanks, Sean!

    I think there are gazillions of blogs out there written by gazillions of Vancouverites who like gazillions of different things and come from gazillions of different backgrounds.

    I think most of them don’t get a ton of attention, though, either because that’s not why they’re blogging, or because they have no idea how to network/connect/whatever the right term is. That said, I think there’s a place in the Vancouver blogging world for anyone who wants to blog in Vancouver. Bring the diversity!

    My content doesn’t revolve around Vancouver, and there are still people who read my blog that express shock when they figure out that’s where I’m from. Then again, I have people who used to live in Vancouver who come to my blog for a taste of their hometown. Huh?

    I just write about what I write about. And 60% of my audience is actually in the US. I do love my city, though. And I think I get linked to by the group blogs now and again (mostly Beyond Robson) — I don’t think MetroBlogging ever has, though. Have they? I guess I could check.

    As to the list? I uh… meet one of the qualifications. Almost?

    I’m just a steak-eating, pub-going, hockey-mental, shampoo-loving, beach-hanging, transit-taking, non-hipster Vancouver girl with everything from Justin Timberlake to The National on my iPod. I don’t think I fit in many of the stereotypes some people might associate with the city (although I have to admit a scary love for Whole Foods, and I would rather be on a patio than anywhere else.)

  8. Greetings, y’all. I am the one Conservative friend who you always describe as being your “one Conservative friend”.

    By the way, I’m pretty depressed about getting left out of Sean’s list of Vancouver blogs. That’s what I get for occasionally blogging about Zimbabwean currency troubles.

  9. […] post also inspired Rebecca aka Miss604’s Vancouver version of this post. I personally would have modified the list slightly for a west coast feel. Maybe more references to […]

  10. Raul says:

    My audience went up almost four-fold since I Blogathoned (and on Mexico’s Independence Day I had 57 hits YAHOO!!!!) … but I still don’t think I’m mainstream 🙂 though I do read some of the mainstreams as indicated in Sean’s comment.

    Since Blogathon, though, I’ve been invited to talk to people over at Green Table (still hasn’t happened but the interview is forthcoming, I promise!) and been graciously invited to guest-blog a post here at Miss604 (thanks for that Rebecca! I hope the list was helpful!)… so I guess my point is that there are all sorts of blogs.. newbies, up-and-coming and main-stays.

    And I love reading you all, hehe 😀

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