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Friday, July 13, 2007

Vermont Blog Roundup

This week on Vermont blogs:

• SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY -- It's the Bloggers BBQ.

• DEER ATTACK! in North Hero.

and in less sensational news:

• IT guy Dan York discusses social networking etiquette or "netiquette."

Mimi's roasted veggie lasagne, a recipe from one of the interns at the Old Shaw Farm in South Peacham.

• Bloggers from the Sisters LeMay -- and other Vermont GLBT activists -- appeared recently on National Public Radio.

• Central Vermont librarian Jessamyn West was quoted in a New York Times article about hipster librarians recently, and blogs about how weirdly popular the story has become.

• Whatever happened to Brian Brown's innovative iBurlington experiment? It's become Cris Ericson's personal journal. I wrote about iBurlington in March of 2005 (the story is in the sidebar). Here's what Brown predicted for his Queen City citizen journalism experiment back then:

In two years, iBrattleboro.com has attracted 701 registered users, who have posted more than 2460 stories. Both the Boston Globe and the Washington Post have mentioned the site. "I'm so impressed with the numbers that they've got up," says Brown. "If Brattleboro is getting this, Burlington's going to get at least this."

Hmm. I can't find anything that tells me how many users or stories iBurlington actually has -- though it looks like Cris has been pretty much the only one posting for months -- but I did see that there are supposedly "229 guest users" online, a statistic which is clearly misleading.

July 13, 2007 at 12:34 PM in VT Blogs | Permalink


This is the second EZTO post I've seen lately in which you discuss iB's shortcomings, without actually speaking to Brian himself like you did in 05. What's up with that? Why don't you give him a call and ask him what's going on, instead of wondering about it out loud in public?

I started my blogging career at iBurlington, which I discovered via your March 05 article. I thought iB was the bee's knees, but when I realized I could just start my own blog, well...

I originally intended BurlingtonPol to be a much closer rip-off of iBurlington than I could muster technically, but whatever. It works.

I think iBurlington's concept and format still give it the potential to be the most important Burlington Blog, especially because everyone has the ability to post. Politicians could create accounts with their real names and use it as an open debate forum. Peter Clavelle created an account at iB, but never posted anything. How did Brian know it was really Clavelle and not some imposter? He called Clavelle to confirm that it was he.

This idea of an online discussion among politicians using their real names was my original idea for BurlingtonPol. Sort of a "virtual city hall." Odum came close to something like this when he had John Tracey and Matt Dunne debate live at GMD from their computers. That was actually a historic event.

See you at the BBQ Cathy? I just found out I have to bring my mom to Middlebury Sunday- I'll still be there, but a little late.

Posted by: Haik Bedrosian | Jul 13, 2007 11:36:40 PM

You're right, I haven't tried to contact Brian lately. I guess I should. The fact remains -- his site is still live, still claiming to be an active citizen journalism site. He's still listed as the site's creator.

I'm picking on him because I think he ought to either 1) invest some time and energy into the site to help it fulfill its potential, or 2) take it down.

I wouldn't single him out if he were maintaining a personal blog (like yours, which, though it's called "BurlingtonPol" is clearly your site), but iBurlington bills itself as "Burlington Vermont's blog." It's meant to be THE citizen journalism site for the city. I think when you set out to create something like that, you have a responsibility to the community to make it something worth reading. And I have a responsibility to report on whether it's working (as iBrattleboro is).

I'm sending Brian an email right now. I'll let you know what he says, if and when I hear back for him. Or maybe he'll chime in here.

And yes, I'm planning to be at the blogger BBQ. Are you bringing your family? I think I'm bringing mine.

Posted by: Cathy Resmer | Jul 14, 2007 9:43:50 AM

I heard someone say that Brian lives in Michigan now. The iBurlington email address he had bounces every email I send. I suspect he's just moved on and forgotten about the site. Maybe he should just give the keys to Chris Erikson.

Posted by: bill simmon | Jul 14, 2007 11:58:27 AM

Damn! I asked Brian Brown for the keys to iBurlington a long time ago and he just ignored my email!

It may simply be that no one but Chris Erikson has submitted anything there in a long long time. I stopped submitting there when I got my own blog. I didn't like waiting for Brian to filter it. He was nice enough to rearrange the temporal order of a comment string at my behest one time. Every thing I ever needed to know about writing a disclaimer, I learned from iburlington.

This just in- Aram will drive our mom to Middlebury Sunday, enabling family day at the blogger BBQ for "Poopsie," "Koko," "Yanna" and me. There's a great playground right there!

Posted by: Haik Bedrosian | Jul 15, 2007 12:47:30 AM

Look, what is with all the stupid homemade Vermonter commercials on TV?? I guess anyone with a business can shoot their own "hilarious" commercials with a hand-held camcorder and the networks around here will actually put them on the air! WTF is up with the stupid Shearer GM commercials? Or the mobile home builder commercial with that down-home skid mark ugly ass Vermonter speaking some back woods Green Mountain dialect about how his mobile homes are stronger than other shit mobile homes. I'm NOT from Vermont, so I guess I am just a little shocked at what I see here on daily basis. I thought all you people were supposed to be educated. Seriously?

Posted by: Not From VT | Jul 15, 2007 10:44:04 PM

Sigh. I think I miss SnarkyBoy.

Posted by: bill simmon | Jul 15, 2007 11:42:11 PM

Brian Brown moved to Wisconsin soon after starting his successful "Pajama Market: Small Business Blog of the Day" which has garnered a fair amount of national attention.

His bio page lists this:
Brian Brown writes about small business blogging from his home in Janesville, Wisconsin. He is available to consult on business blogging projects as well as speaking about business blogging to companies and organizations. Please contact Brian directly at frisco3[at]gmail[dot]com or (608) 531-1951 for information on consulting or speaking.


Posted by: Vermonter | Jul 16, 2007 12:01:24 PM

I did manage to reach Brian via email. I'll report shortly on what he's told me. Still waiting for another message from him.

But yes, it does appear that he's in Wisconsin, according to that bio on his blog. Which, I have to note, has not been updated since April, despite the national attention he received last year.

Posted by: Cathy Resmer | Jul 16, 2007 12:30:19 PM

I'm NOT from Vermont

I'm from Hollywood! I'm smart!

Posted by: Andy Kaufman | Jul 16, 2007 10:52:26 PM

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