Friday, May 22, 2009

Filling a void or just filling time?

Today marks the one-month anniversary of this blog! When I began this project I didn’t intend to do a blog about Madison Park at all. The title of the blog was chosen simply because I wanted to be Seattle Blogger and that moniker was already taken. So, I chose Madison Park Blogger just as a way of designating where I was blogging from, not what I planned to blog about. Actually, my vision was to give myself a platform for broadcasting my jaded views on life, along with occasional diatribes about the maddening world in which we live. That, at least, was the plan.

About a half week into my blog experiment, however, it was pointed out to me that Madison Park doesn't really have any timely source of information about what’s happening in the neighborhood. The Madison Park Times, a worthy little publication, only publishes monthly, and its coverage area also includes Denny-Blaine, Madrona, Leschi, and Madison Valley. Additionally, the staff of the paper was recently decimated and the editor removed. The new editor handles five separate publications, and it is not clear that the paper currently has a reporter who actually lives in Madison Park. Worse yet, many of the news stories and editorial content of the MVT are from the publisher’s other Seattle neighborhood papers (for example, a recent story on Megahouses had a picture of a Madison Park house with a story which quoted sources in Ballard and Capitol Hill, but no one from the Park.)

It seems that the only way to disseminate information on a timely basis in the ‘hood is to post a note on the board at the hardware store or at Starbuck’s, put a flier in the windows of those retail establishments that will allow them, or staple notices on telephone poles. Otherwise, it’s word of mouth.

So this blog is now designed to fill that void. My intention is to meet the need for a central source of information on Madison Park issues and events. But if this is to be a successful operation it will depend upon your help in getting the word out. If you think this site is valuable please let your neighbors know about it (and if you haven’t done so already, please also vote in the reader poll situated in the right-hand column of the blog). If you can think of additional ways for us to publicize the site please forward your ideas (our email address is also in the right-hand column). To date it has been suggested that I use the methods listed above as well as setting up a table at the Music in the Park concerts and at the Sidewalk Sale and Parade. I will also be placing an ad in that old-fashioned medium, the Madison Park Times.

We did hit some milestones in the last month that make me cautiously optimistic that this blog is for real. We were picked up as a media source for, and we were reviewed and rated by (to put this into perspective, that team has rated 26 Washington blogs, with this blog ranking 9th on their list). We were also accepted for inclusion as a “hyperlocal" blog by BlogCatalog, which gives us some additional exposure. We had the first referral to our site through both a Google search and a Yahoo search, and somebody in Tunisia (believe it or not) actually spent 14 minutes reading blog posts on the site earlier this week! The average daily number of visitors to Madison Park Blogger is now 25, up from just 2 during the first week (just me, and perhaps my wife). Stats for the site, by the way, are measured by SiteMeter, and you can click on the icon at the bottom of the right-hand column for up-to-date traffic information if you’re interested.

Thanks to all of you who through email or in person have encouraged me to continue my efforts. I appreciate your support, and it’s nice to know that someone out there is reading this stuff. Please continue to provide your input (both complimentary and critical) and send me your story ideas. Please comment on the posts (you can do so by clicking on "Comments" at the bottom each story). Your tips are always welcome!


  1. we're with you

    bob & Lynn

    and what the HELL does "comment as" mean??

  2. It is possible to be signed in to third-party sites such as Google and therefore already have a signature available to use with the Comment (such as I could leave comments on other blogs as madisonparkblogger rather than bryan tagas). Open ID is another such site. The drop down box allows you to pick a way of signing your Comments, which includes Anonymous. I see, however, that you are not!
    Thanks for your support! M


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