Monday, July 14, 2008 and NW Indiana

Recently I was able to spend some time with the owners of the long-heralded NW Indiana site, and talk about web 2.0 for our Region.

I'd love to grab some input from the rest of you who frequent NW Indiana blogs and sites about the Region. I'd like to see a strong portal for NW Indiana bloggers, one where we can write and comment and build visibility together. I'd like to see a whole host of great features and services ...

I'll keep the rest to myself for now, what would you like to see?

One site that I really like and have always admired as geographically ground-breaking is and was The Rain City Guide in Seattle. Now of course Seattle boast a high level of internet savvy and technology is second nature to many of the professionals there. But as all things go, the midwest eventually follows. The Rain City Guide initially featured almost exclusively real estate posts from tech savvy real estate professionals. Obviously some used the site to gain business, notoreity, and even launched their own successful blogs.

Free blog, great searchability rankings on google, keyword stuffed naturally because the site is all about the community, networking with other web savvy entrepreneurs, and obviously the friendships that ensued.

Do we need something similar in NW Indiana? More? What could we really use to launch to the next level here?


prayeramedic said...

I think that would be great, Steve! Greg and the guys over at are pretty cool people (they provide tech support for my employer via OnSite) and it would be great to have them help construct a collective collaboration of NWI bloggers.

I'd love to see a sort of 'classified ads' type of area where people could post little blurbs in NWI, advertising great articles on their blogs or job opportunities, etc. Anything would go essentially. I could see something like that appealing to a younger generation a lot too where we might see high school/college kids posting about local events (open mic, youth night, concerts, church, etc.), bands looking for drummers, parties, and more -- and this would people spanning all ages to share common ground. Classic rock bands of married men who jam in their garage may find a younger fan base and book more shows. Real estate agents could post great homes that young couples or college grads might want to look into. The possibilities are endless.... I guess it would be like crossing the classified ads with craigslist with twitter with quicklies. That's how I see it anyways ;)


Chris Hedges said...

Hi Steve,

A lot of cool technology is available in open source formats, so a lot of the hard work is already done.

What we need to do is develop voices with compelling content that grabs the emotional as well as the intellectual part of readers' minds. We need to tell stories that are relevant to peoples' lives and that touch them so that they want to keep coming back for more.

I also think offering free blogs (Wordpress MU could do the trick easily) would be a great way to get people interested in blogging. The key will be to market the availability. Maybe reaching out to the various universities -- it'd be easy enough to find a student or two to post flyers -- could be a way to get creative bloggers rolling.