In my ongoing project of building local news sites for inner city suburbs, I’ve contacted over 150 Melbourne bloggers and amateur content creators who publish blogs or dynamic sites with content management systems that provide RSS or Atom content feeds. As individuals, these citizen journalists focus on their chosen topics or niches. Together, their output provides the most diverse and prolific discussion of life, art and business in the areas represented by the local news sites. The location based content published by commercial print media is trivial in comparison.
The most popular topic by far is food: eating out at restaurants and cooking from recipes at home accounts for more than half the available content. Coffee is also popular, with Ryan and Sarah reviewing coffee around Melbourne
The blogging scene is however far broader than food. Art, craft and design are extremely popular, and blogs covering these subjects are increasing. Mark at Melbourne Art Critic and Emma at Melbourne Art Review review exhibitions at Melbourne’s many small commercial galleries. Karen at Melbourne Jeweller has found a fantastic niche with her reviews of jewellery exhibitions.
Melbourne Op-Shopping reviews op shops throughout Melbourne and beyond. Lucy at The Design Files reports on art, design and craft businesses and practices. Nicole at Circa Vintage Clothing and Neroli at Vintage Verve are two of many enthusiastic vintage fashion bloggers.
Greg at Streets of Melbourne and Michael at Melbourne Today provide photos of life on Melbourne’s streets. Melbourne Heritage reports on heritage and the built environment, while TJ at Last Tram Home covers pub gigs around the inner city.
There are many more examples of useful, informative and amusing local publishers and content creators whose work is already syndicated on local news sites for Brunswick and East Brunswick, Carlton and North Carlton, Fitzroy and North Fitzroy and the inner north (Clifton Hill, Northcote, Thornbury, Fairfield and Alphington).
Even more fantastic content is published every day, but is not tagged by suburb and so cannot be syndicated in these sites. I encourage all bloggers to tag their content by suburb. This will help Google index your site and will allow the local news sites to syndicate your content. Tagging will help publishers increase their audience.
The newest site is for Central Melbourne (CBD, Docklands, Southbank, North, East, South and West Melbourne). I’m still in the process of identifying and adding feeds to the site, which already has over 35 contributors and a 5 year archive of over 500 posts.
New contributors are welcome. Visit the sites for more details and contact information.