On a bit of a whim, we were invited to have dinner with Sean Bonner and Jeffery Simpson at The Naam in Vancouver last week or so. Sean was in town on a whirlwind tour of the greater northwest, stopping in Seattle, Vancouver, and Portland to check in on the Metroblogging meetups for each of those cities. Reason being, Sean Bonner is the guy behind Metroblogging, starting the first site in L.A. and now up to 50 cities around the world.
We were able to meet up with Sean and some of the other Metroblogging Vancouver crew, of which Rebecca is a member of, the next evening. Still, it was a neat chance to find out more about the man and his methods of madness in terms of how the network operates on top of what he has gone through to grow the blogging site to what it is today.
What is Metroblogging?
Metroblogging started off as a more locally focused alternative news source in Los Angeles and has turned into the largest and fastest growing network of city-specific blogs on the Web. We got sick of reading local news that was syndicated from the other side of the country, or was just repurposed national chit chat that had nothing to do with our city. We created our first blog as a throw back to the days when a local news paper focused on local issues, and you could walk down to the corner coffee shop and chat up the reporters whose column you read earlier that day. This idea didn’t stay in one city for long and before we knew it there were Metblogs in Chicago, Portland, Karachi, and Vienna. Today there are over 50 Metblogs in countries all over the world. Local politics, event reviews, lunch recommendations and ways to avoid that big traffic jam downtown. If it’s happening in our cities, we’re on it.
We are bloggers first and foremost, and we love our cities. Even the parts we hate. [metblogs]
The project that Sean now heads is daunting, to say the least. It was interesting to learn about the trials and tribulations of the original structure of Metroblogging and the recent migration to WordPress to run the back end for all their city sites. That kind of a roll out has got to be a challenge, and there has been a lot of elements to work through for them.
Now with the hard parts are out of the way, Sean gave hints as to things they are working on because finally, with a WordPress engine running the site, they have the ability to start doing things they’ve been wanting to do for a really long time. I’m just not going to tell you what they are because you’ll have to check out the nearest Metroblogging city to you.
Side note, The Naam[googlemaps] on 4th Street in Vancouver is amazing. Vegan food that even non-vegans would love. I could have been fine with the sesame fries and fried tofu, but the chilaquiles were pretty awesome.