The Easter Bunny is due any minute, so I’ll attempt to make this brief.
Anne and I attended a (first?) Seattle Bike Blog Meetup tonight at Brouwer’s Cafe in Fremont. Spearheaded by Paul Andrews of Bike Intelligencer, the idea (we think, Paul can correct us later) was to gather a bunch of local bike bloggers in one place and see if we can find some common ground.
We don’t have a single voice around here like the amazing Bike Portland, but we do have a buttload of passionate cyclists blogging their individual asses off on topics they care about. Of course, trying to make the leap from “individuals” and “personal passions” to “common ground” is huge. Herding cats is a phrase that comes to mind for me. Still, there are places where we all seem to overlap.
For example, bike advocacy seems like a big target with plenty of room for our collective interests. We can all agree additional bike infrastructure or pro-bike policies are good things, right? But how do we work together on this as a team?
Some ideas from the meeting (sorry I can’t give credit to whomever came up with each idea, because I don’t remember. Feel free to claim your idea):
- Pick a regular (quarterly? monthly?) topic and have each blog take a shot at it. Point back and forth throughout the posts and encourage cross-blog commenting. Think of it as a “what if all Seattle read the same book” type of meme, but with a “what if all Seattle bike blogs wrote the same post” slant.
- A Seattle Cycling community on Facebook or Classmates.com (Ok, I made the Classmates.com part up because it slays me that they still exist).
- A dedicated page or aggregator of local cycling events/activities
- Bike bloggers on Panels or Meetups at local bike or community gatherings.
- Information sharing between local blogs—local bike bloggers could send readers to specific local blogs or resources.
I’m sure there were many others, but these stuck with me as we hurried out the door to relieve grandma (the babysitter). I’m sure we’ll all meet again — consider this the icebreaker — and come up with more or more-refined ideas. So … a good start for us.
But what I’m really curious about is YOU, the non-blogging reader of at least one Seattle bike blog, What would you like to get out of some sort of Seattle Bike Blog Collective?
Is there a bike-information related need that isn’t being met here? Maybe you love, love, love the Naked Cyclocross Racer of the Week photo montage on Bike Portland and you want to see one here (I made that up, too. While naked and cyclocross are common themes in Stumptown, I don’t think they make a weekly habit of combining them, at least on Bikeportland.org. That I’ve seen.). Or maybe you think someone should do a daily Bike Traffic Report on the BGT. Or maybe you just want a reliable way to know about upcoming bike events, without having to check 13 different sites and thumb through that huge Cascade paper (paper!) newsletter.
Seriously, if there’s something you’ve wished was covered better or talked about more, or championed more strongly, or reviewed more often or …. whatever. I’d like to hear about it. No guarantees or anything, but I’m hopeful that if we all throw in some ideas, we might find a couple, three, or four places for common ground. So please share your ideas and your passion and we’ll keep you posted on what comes out of the bike blog collective.
Because there is a shared passion I forgot to mention: We’re all trying to make Seattle a better place to ride.
PS: Attendees, in no meaningful order except for how I remember them seated around the table, were:
Chris, Cascade Bicycle Club
Gene, Biking Bis
Michael, Seattle Like Bikes
Josh, Publicola Bike Nerd
Ryan, Go Means Go
Scott, Practical Biking
Paul Andrews, Bike Intelligencer
Mark V, BikeHugger
Kent, Kent’s Bike Blog
Tom, Bike JuJu
PPS: So much for brief.