Examples of The Impact of Johnny Northside’s Blog

A couple comments by two North Minneapolis residents on a recent MNSpeak post about Johnny Northside kind of irked me. Here they are followed by my own comments:


I don’t think it does a service to any community to exaggerate how awful it is and make it sound like a total cesspool just to make your own boring “story” of having bought a fixer upper more movie worthy.

I don’t see how it’s exaggerating to document open air drug dealing, boarded home break-ins, wandering prostitutes, and slumlords building irresponsible and illegal properties. Shining a light on crap isn’t exaggerating. However, if one gets the impression that the entire North side of Minneapolis is as rough as the stuff Johnny chooses to document on his blog, I can see where one would be miffed.

It may be worth spending time learning more about the topic of the movie before dismissing it based on your assumptions, Kurtis. Having had a chance to see clips, and knowing many of the people involved in the project, I know that John’s actions in North will play a significant role in the film, but the story is not about him.


“I also don’t really know what Johnny Northside’s blog does besides make me want to punch him. Fighting crime in one’s neighborhood and working to improve it great but I don’t think the blog really helps anything.”

I can think of at least a few things Johnny’s blog has achieved:

1. It’s motivated me to spend more time in that part of the city.

2. I’ve spent more money in that part of the city.

3. I’ve attended community meetings about issues important to me in that part of the city.

4. I’ve made friends who I never would have met without being brought together by events John has blogged about.

If you’re going to be a pain in the ass, as John has chosen to be to slumlords, drug dealers, and deadbeat community council members, having a blog is a great way to demonstrate just how much of a pain in the ass you are. It allows John to scale his pain in the assedness beyond community meetings, 311 calls, and other interactions.

10 thoughts on “Examples of The Impact of Johnny Northside’s Blog”

  1. My 2 cents.

    Using a blog as a communication vessel to highlight things that interest you, positive or negative = great.

    That said John Hoff is starting to come across as the Robert Scoble of North Minneapolis. I think he started off with good intentions but somewhere it veered of course.

    The use of self referential third person commentary and an alter ego/Nom de Plume doesn’t help either.

  2. Robert Scoble is a web personality that rose to fame by basically being anywhere tech related, everywhere all the time on the internet.

  3. Refer to himself and ask to be referred to as John Hoff both offline and online, when communicating/commenting on Northside issues…I think it lends credibility and he has already established himself as an activist.

  4. I see your point, but I see your point as more of a pet peeve than anything substantive.

    “Johnny Northside” is a fun name, it’s the name of my blog, and I intend to keep using that name on the blog. It’s the blogosphere. I’m allowed to have fun.

    For the record, I don’t say “Johnny Northside” did whatever, in the third person. I use the word “I.”

    I might say the JNS blog did this, that, the other thing…but obviously I am a separate entity from my blog and the blog does things, even while I’m sleeping.

    And (I may as well say it) I’ve figured out that my constant use of the word “Northside” on my fun, activist blog helps dilute the use of the word “Northside” in the media when it is used as shorthand for, like, an urban dystopia.

  5. What it sounds like to me is people are jealous of a popular well written blog


    Daniel (anti-hacker)

  6. I stay the hell away from the Northside and his blogs reminds me why. Also, I’m not sure how he hasn’t been shot yet. I couldn’t take more than a few months of hookers, dealers, gunshots, and drama in just the Southside.

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