The Community Blog

There’s a good essay going around the blogosphere about a former journalist who started up a blog about the happenings of her local community. She uses sarcasm and humor while covering “hyperlocal” stories, such as a train delay or a set of lazy lifeguards (I take a bit of offense to that one, because I was once a card-playing lifeguard myself :)). At its worst she calls it “small town newspaper meets the Daily Show”, but at its best they publicly scrutinize the small town happenings that never get covered.

Blogs get a lot of attention these days, usually unwarranted. This is the type of thing that the medium is great for. Jeff Jarvis talked about the flaws of local newspapers today before talking about this essay. The truth is a lot of news, and blog postings (i.e. this one) are regurgitation. There’s a lot of news going on in your own backyard and I would like to see more people recognize this. The web has an opportunity to enhance real-life communities by mirroring them in cyberspace. We see this in play on campus with the Facebook.

This is the type of thing I would love to be doing in my hometown when I am through with school. Last summer we had two totally random shootings that got some press coverage, but I haven’t heard much since. We also had a town commissioner hit a cop, that I would like to hear more about. Until then, though, I guess I’m stuck with reading Philly.com.

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You Know You’re From Havertown

This comes from my old blog. I have traffic redirecting from my old address and a lot of people have apparently been looking for this one. I figure its relevant since its my last night in town.

Stumbled upon this list of Havertown-esque qualities and I got a kick out of them so I thought I would share. Some you have to be from here to get, others are universally applicable. Anyway, here are some of my favorites:

  • When there are two Wawas on the same road: one is for the preppy kids (Super Wawa) and the other is for the ghetto kids (Skatium Wawa)
  • You either hate or love Pop’s or Rita’s, and wonder how they both do so well being across the street from each other
  • When you gather to watch a fight at the Skatium which is right next to the police station
  • There is a pizza place every two blocks
  • When the only black person in your school is a 7 foot 9th grade principal, and the previous Big Mike
  • You’ve had to run from the cops because a) you’re a minority, b) you were in the park after dark or c) you didn’t run because you knew him or he was your friend’s dad
  • You know at least one person at West Chester, Penn State, Temple, & St. Joe’s
  • There is still elementary school rivalries when you’re in high school