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Innovation & Startups

Grassroots blogging project captures our sublime city—OMG!

What would you call a group of thoughtful bloggers who come together, keyboards in tow, to share their love for a city with each other and the world?

A bevy of Pittsburgh bloggers?

It was during a Pittsburgh Podcamp social media unconference this fall that the idea was hatched to bring the local blogging community together under one banner. OMGPittsburgh was born, a blog that exudes all the enthusiasm, panache and honestly for our city that only a multitude of bloggers can muster.

“Here’s a city that’s hard to get to know,” says Geoff Barnes, an information architect at Elliance and one of the site’s organizers. “Because of our topography, we’ve got lots of disconnected, fractured neighborhoods. We’re looking for a way to represent all these discontinuous experiences together in one place.”

“We didn’t know what a great community we had here until we organized the first Podcamp,” adds Justin Kownacki, Podcamp organizer, who notes that USA Today ranks Pittsburgh as the third bloggiest city in the nation. “When we’re all blogging, we’re not sharing resources. If we have a hub, it makes it easier to find others and it can be a gateway to everyone’s independent blog.”

Nineteen bloggers have signed on to the Wordpress.org site so far. Matt Niemi adds his photographic touch. The posts are well-written and completely unedited, says Norm Huelsman, another OMG organizer and assistant director of publications at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. “That’s the spirit of this community,” he says.

“These are hyperlocal events that the rest of the world normally doesn’t get to see,” adds Barnes. “The torch is carried faithfully, a collaborative work in praise of our city.”

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Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Norm Huelsman, Geoff Barnes and Justin Kownacki, OMGPittsburgh

Image courtesy Matt Niemi, Flickr

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