Ideas That Might Work for Twin Cities Newspaper Blogs

It’s probably clear by now that I think the Pioneer Press’ On Target blog is a dumb implementation of a bad idea.

I’ve decided to turn my frown upside down and offer some ideas for blogs that potentially could be good fits for large dailies. Of course, they would be good fits for anyone else who wants to take up the challenge as well.

Great blogs could be built around coverage of trend. Ideally, there should be something to write about at least once a day. Here are a few ideas:

Medical Alley – What’s going on with med-tech in the Twin Cities, or specifically in South Minneapolis. What concessions is our city/county/state making to bring companies into this area? Are employees moving into the area? Are local employees being hired? Is any money coming in? Are there trickle-down effects? Are supporting companies moving in? Who’s feeling pain?

Sprawl – Who’s moving where and why? What are the costs for them? For people in the city who have to breath their smog and support parking lots for their cars? What motivates people to live in Princeton? What are the health risks (driving, lack of exercise)? Do they own pets? How does this effect work relationships? Are they telecommuting? Are companies moving out to be closer to sprawlers?

Local colleges – The Twin Cities is home to a ton of colleges and universities. What happens on those campuses on a daily basis? What effect to the schools have on our economy? Our neighborhoods? Do students stick around? How are they used by people working in the community? What are our tax dollars going toward other than stadiums? What are programs are particularly strong at each school?

Those are the first three that came to mind. Throw in prep sports and theater blogs and you may be onto something more valuable than tracking what’s going on with Target this holiday shopping season.

Find people who are passionate about these topics and know how to dig up and publish stories. Give them a platform and put them to work.

2 thoughts on “Ideas That Might Work for Twin Cities Newspaper Blogs”

  1. Here are some other ideas:

    Street Fashion of the Twin Cities
    Sex World
    The Lagoon Theater
    Grocery Stores

    Or maybe a combination of all the above; The Well Dressed Cucumber Review.

  2. What effect to the schools have on our economy? Our neighborhoods? Do students stick around? How are they used by people working in the community? What are our tax dollars going toward other than stadiums? What are programs are particularly strong at each school?

    Good luck with this one. While I’m sure many of the local colleges would be more than happy to give you general marketing information about their graduates post-college statistics, the majority aren’t going to give you exactly what you are looking for.

    Private colleges, especially, are tight-lipped about their market research and graduation data because they need to keep making profit. They are absolute geniuses in picking locations, nationwide, and making money hand-over-fist while charging up to 5x as much as required by state sponsored educational facilities which arguably offer 5x the educational benefit (the largest being recognized accreditation).

    I would certainly be interested in reading something along those lines but I would be even more interested in knowing where the research data for the blog came from. If it just turned into a campus newspaper online, my interest would certainly be limited. There are only so many times I can hear, “like my professor was like so mean to me like you know like?” 🙂

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