Blogosphere

Blogdowntown is folding into the KPCC mainstream

Thumbnail image for bdownown-print-feb32011.jpgBlogdowntown was started by Eric Richardson in 2005 to chronicle the community where he wanted to live. Richardson created and coded the backend of the blog, built a community of readers who relied on his independence, and experimented with different funding models, including nonprofit status for awhile. As he was doing the blog, DTLA became a hot story. Richardson became, I think somewhat to his surprise, a journalist. Blogdowntown published writers and photographers such as Ed Fuentes and became a go-to online observer of the downtown transformation.

He briefly tried breaking into print, but that was harder than he realized going in. Less than two years ago, Blogdowntown was acquired by KPCC, and Richardson worked at the station for awhile before moving out of state. Hayley Fox has kept the blog's content going, but today KPCC announced (somewhat tersely) that it will fold into the station's other web coverage.

As a result, blogdowntown will no longer be updated, and the Twitter and Facebook accounts associated with blogdowntown also will be inactive.

Blogdowntown reporter Hayley Fox will continue to report on Downtown and other issues of interest to Los Angeles residents as part of KPCC's ongoing mission, and her reports will appear on our main news site.

Fox will also continue to tweet from her Twitter account, @EPfox.

Hat tip to Downtown observer and macher Brady Westwater. I said at the time Richardson threw in with KPCC that it would present a challenge for the blog and the station to thrive together.

Eric says Blogdowntown will remain a standalone site, gradually taking on more content and promotion from KPCC. It's a great move for his blog, probably, and could be an interesting expansion for KPCC. Now the thing is to see how the station makes use of its new asset — and whether KPCC expands across Los Angeles into less reported-on districts. Of course, that class comprises just about every other district in L.A.

Largely because of Eric at Blogdowntown, plus the Downtown News, the profusion of bloggers who live there and the current version of the Times being in thrall with Downtown, the relatively small colony of residents there can find more news of their neighborhood than people in any area of the city.

It's not based on size or importance. If the 50,000 [population] figure is accurate, Downtown is comparable with Encino or Winnetka or Highland Park, but smaller than San Pedro, Reseda or Sherman Oaks. Downtown's residential base is bigger now than Silver Lake or Los Feliz, which are among the city's least populated places.

Well, DTLA's residential base and importance to the city has only grown since then. The archives of Blogdowntown will remain online, KPCC says.


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