The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Blogging and Clogging: Eerie Similarities

Both Clogging and Blogging can be excellent hobbies, so say vocations, though, they're tough rows to hoe.

Sure, there are some excellent Cloggers out there, past and present. Master Juba (William Henry Lane) could clog circles around his contemporaries back in the mid 1800's. And while he's certainly rough around the edges, no one doubts the prowess of ol' Jesco White, the wildman of modern American Clogging. But it's rare that a flat-footing, foot-stomping, buck dancing champion can make even pocket change plying their craft.

Same's true for "Neighborhood" Blogging. For every Jonathan Butler (Brownstoner - the current King of Blog Monetizing) and lesser monarchs like Erica Reitmann (F*cked In Park Slope) and Louise Crawford (Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn), there are scores of would-be and wanna-be quit-your-day-job or don't-go-back-to-a-dayjob types. But the fact remains that it's dang hard to buck the long decline in the fortunes of journalism, particularly by going super-duper local. I have no idea what motivates people to start community-based blogs (not a joke, folks), but financial compensation should round out the bottom of the list.

Then along comes Patch.

Oy, so sorry, that's Patch Adams the "delightful" Robin Williams vehicle from the late '90s.

I meant this Patch:

Seeing as you've stumbled on the Q, it's highly likely you've accidentally found yourself looking at the Prospect Heights Patch, or the Park Slope Patch, or the Carrol Gardens Patch, or the Bed-Stuy Patch, or even the Levittown, Long Island Patch. With any luck, there will be a Flatbush Patch and Lefferts Gardens Patch by the time you finish reading this. Which begs the question...did everyone wake up one morning and suddenly decide to start a local blog with exactly the same name, look and feel? Of course not. Only Corporate America could think up something so ghastly. Not only ghastly, but horribly fiscally retarded.

If you're a regular here, you know I'm not a hater. And I don't like knocking other blogs, writers or sites. But the budding Patch-work empire needs a gentle ribbing, because Patch takes all the fun, love and quirkiness out of the "movement." What dorks thunk it up, you ask? The geniuses at AOL! What WILL they dream up next? Broadband, maybe? Tim Armstrong, Google's old ad-man, runs the joint now, and the Times just did a piece on him today. AOL in the News. I was actually pleasantly shocked to see the article, since I started this here nonsensical post two days ago, and was looking for more info on the d-bag. Seriously, just look at his picture and you'll get the in, pray you'll never have to sit in a conference room and listen to his Business-Speak B.S., or his absurd optimistic blather about AOL's glory days to come. (Admit it guys are just blowing through your remaining cash so you can have a few properties to sell when your preferred shares becoming penny stocks).

The reason I even bother mentioning Armstrong's incredibly costly foray into "content" via Patch is that local blogs and blogsketeers are being swept up in his moneyed frenzy. I don't blame them. Everyone deserves a paycheck, and REAL bloggers (not so, I) work their butts off, keeping their sites chock full o' useful tidbits, human interest pieces and local politics. Case in point, Liena Zagare, of the Ditmas Park Blog.

Liena's been running one of the most successful hyper-local Brooklyn blogs, both in terms of readership and dollars. Her informative and upbeat posts and pictures helped create a sense of unity around the budding Cortelyou Road scene. She has her detractors (most notably a nasty race-baiting blog called The Real Flatbush that basically declared word-war before abruptly disappearing - blogs do that, you know), but for the most part Liena is a beloved fixture in her neck of Flatbush. She has done her best to build DPB into a business, even branching out into other neighborhoods with The Windsor Terrace Blog and The Flatbush Blog. These are designed and operated thru the Ditmas Workspace, another brainchild of hers, and it's a budding journalistic empire that seems, these days, to be penned almost entirely by Mary, an intrepid and dogged blogger who sometimes manages upwards of a dozen actually about-something posts a day for Ditmas, Flatbush, Windsor Terrace blogs and more.

Why bring it up? Patch hired Liena Zagare to be its National Community Editor. What that means is this: Patch (i.e. AOL) deems Zagare's blog as a model for all the other local Patches around the country. And if Patch (and HuffPost) works as planned for AOL, then AOL will become the go-to source for news, and AOL will once again dominate the digital realm.

And those monkeys flying out of my butt? Feel free to feed them your leftover bananas!


Brenda from Flatbush said...

Thanks for finally explaining 'Patch' to me--it seemed to come out of nowhere, heard about it for 1st time at Blogfest. Sounds like a mixed blessing.

Anonymous said...

I think your being too harsh,the contributors of of Patch are actually pple who live in the neighborhood. you may even know a few. It's like saying no we don't need to read new york times we have news 12.Everyone has their own place.

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