Storytelling in the snow


Last year’s TC Media Alliance forum had low attendance because of sun—such nice weather that people stayed home to enjoy it. This year the problem was snow, falling quietly but persistently, slushing up the roads, skidding cars, making it easy to say, “I think I’ll stay home today.”

For those who ventured out to the Minneapolis Central Library, the energy was great. Lisa Williams, founder of Placeblogger, asked people in the audience about blogs, and turning up fascinating stories from:

  • Meet the Neighbors, with Peter Shea telling video stories of people from Southwestern Minnesota.
  • Oromo Pride, began as a business venture by two UMD students, and now serves “as a media outlet that seeks to empower Oromo communities around the world to tell their stories and add perspective to the news that come out of Ethiopia”
  • Kenyaimagine, which is maintained by Julia Nekessa Opoti, a TC Daily Planet writer.
  •, also known as Random Stuff from Sheldon. focuses on blogs that are associated with specific places. You can go to the site and enter your zipcode, city or state to find out who’s blogging nearby—and blogging about local news and issues. Among Lisa’s insights on blogging-in-place:

Ask yourself, ‘If I can know what the stock price of Apple is every minute of every day,” then why can’t I know about my neighbor who is getting foreclosed on?'” Who does it serve that it’s easy to get news about Apple stock prices and hard to get news about what’s happening to your neighbors, in your town?

Blogging is a way to tell your story today. Lisa asks “How will people know 100 years ago what it is like to live today?” and exhorts, “Please, please, please, somebody think of the graduate students!”

For people who want to blog and get a wider audience, take a look at the TC Daily Planet blog page.