Over the past several months there has been a small blogging renaissance in Shaw. Any discussion of the Shaw blogosphere has to start with the the long-running (almost 4 years) and thoughtful In Shaw. However, the recent renaissance seemed to start some time last summer when Life in Mount Vernon Square (which, despite the name discusses quite a bit of Shaw news) got started in earnest after launching in April, and the informed Shaw blog Fifth and Oh first made its appearance in July.
By October, it was clear things were heating up online in the neighborhood. Kevin Chapple was running a web-saavy campaign in an ultimately successful bid to unseat longtime ANC commissioner Leroy Thorpe. Inspired partly by the ANC politics the author of the defunct blog UrbanPioneer decided to launch a new site, Off Seventh, an opinionated and informed look at neighborhood politics. In November, the development-oriented remaking le slum historique launched, dedicated to covering “development of all kinds in Shaw.” After his election, Chapple launched a fully featured website including a blog about neighborhood news and a variety of information about the local ANC and the neighborhood.
The result of so many civic-oriented blogs has been an unprecedented online attention to the local ANC. (For background see Alex Padro’s What is an ANC? or my post from October on ANC2C) The January ANC 2C meeting, the first without Leroy Thorpe as chair, was covered by no less than four seperate Shaw blogs. The coverage by Off Seventh was particularly thorough, including even video from the meeting. The extensive coverage prompted In Shaw’s Mari to comment ” … you guys over there in 2C have done a lot to keep your neighbors informed and I applaud you. With the strokes from your keyboards you have brought down a tyrant, brought together neighbors, highlighted businesses and events for our little corner of the city.” Sadly there was little constructive news to report from the meeting because the ANC was deadlocked on most votes (with Thorpe in attendance whispering in the ear of his allies), however the consensus seems to be the body is moving in the right direction.
With so many new sites I have no doubt this will be an interesting year. If I missed you in my list I apologize, and invite you to leave a comment. Is anyone interested in a happy hour for Shaw bloggers and readers — perhaps at the Old Dominion Brewhouse or Vegetate?