Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 23 of 23

Thread: Who here writes a planning blog?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,978

    Who here writes a planning blog?

    A few years ago I started up a blog when I started my consulting business. It was short-lived. I simply did not post often enough, and eventually killed the thing before it died of starvation. So not long ago I decided to give it another try. This time I have set the less ambitious goal of trying to write just a couple blog posts each month. After a start I again dropped the ball, but mean to pick it up... no, really. Honest, I will....

    So who here has given blogging a run? Have you kept it up, and how do you stay committed? What has worked for drawing in viewers?

    (For those who may be interested, my blog is at http://placedynamics.wordpress.com)
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Washington, DC metro area
    Posts
    74
    I have one which I try to update monthly and had an article posted to the front page of this website a few months ago. I've run into the classic issue of whenever something interesting happens, there's not enough time to write about it and that when there's time to write about something, there's nothing interesting going on.

    I started it with the rather ambitious goal of providing insight and explanations of technical aspects of planning, but recently I've posted quite a few rants about the attempts of a certain political party to gut transportation and urban development funding. Once I finish getting around to reading Economies of Cities I will post a critique of it there much like I did for Death and Life.

    It's http://artofcitybuilding.blogspot.com/
    "It's human nature, you can't do anything about that" - Alan Greenspan

    Check out my blog!

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    7
    I've always liked writing, so over the summer when I had a lot of time on my hands (between jobs & starting grad school), I started blogging on tumblr. It was going pretty well, and This Big City picked up some posts, which was pretty cool. But like you, I've struggled to keep it up. I have a handful of half-finished drafts and a bunch of ideas -- where I'm failing is just sitting down and writing. I would really like to become more disciplined and set aside time each week.

    Look forward to checking out your blogs! I'm always interested in finding new ones to add to my RSS, even if they're not updated regularly

  4. #4
    I have one called intersections. Its focused on urban planning and public health.

    I need to update it more often (book writing is getting in the way).

    It pulls in people mostly through its very focused nature and because its attached to my personal website.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian fringe's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Comer, GA
    Posts
    570
    about the best I have is a blogging plan

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    29
    Blogging is difficult. If you dont post often enough, people who find your blog dont come back. So you need to keep the content always coming, and its quite a time hog.

    Ive been able to update 3 or so times a week at my blog. Readership has grown, but if I get lazy and dont post for 4-5 days....well, its hard to get people to come back.

    Im at http://stopandmove.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
    Posts
    13

    Writing three blogs - one on community planning. Lots of fun and work

    I write three blogs weekly and try not to miss even a few days. When you miss, your readers go away. My main blog for three years has been on heritage interpretation at http://interpnet.com/naiblog/. Our planning blog is based on a new book we have out, Put the HEART Back In Your Community. This takes a heritage interpretation approach to community planning with the natural and cultural history of the community as key features. It encourages collaboration and outcomes-based (logic models) measures of success. That blog is http://www.communitieswithheart.com/blog.php. The third one is about people and organizations that support developing communities in helping themselves. It is planning of sorts but a bit more focused on collaborative efforts to solve problems with a triple bottom line measured approach. That one is http://www.theleopardtree.com. We welcome appropriate guest blog articles on the latter two, so contact me by email if you have a story to share. tim@heartfeltpublications.com

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2005
    Location
    The Gig City
    Posts
    2,656
    I maintained a blog while I was unemployed in 2009. It was a great way to get my name out there (along with twitter) and keep my writing skills going. I never got many viewers, maybe averaged about 25 a day, a little higher at the peak but finding relevant and up to date material was time consuming and cumbersome. I haven't touched it in over 2 years but you are welcome to take a peak and comment on anything or linkback. www.pioneerplanning.com

  9. #9
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Colo Front Range
    Posts
    2,471
    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    finding relevant and up to date material was time consuming and cumbersome.
    There are a lot of dead blogs. It takes a lot of time to do one well, much more than many realize. I think if there are some here thinking of a startup, IMHO you should think about a mass-blog like The Reality-Based Community or Crooked Timber or some such. I think there is a need for going beyond the typical "golly cities are grrrrreat!!!" blog and some analysis of issues like Digby does or SGA/PedShed used to do, and a group might be able to knock this off.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
    Posts
    13

    Blogging linked to Facebook with photos

    I write a weekly planning blog and attempt to faithfully post at least once a week. It is tough to build a loyal network of readers if they cannot rely on your posts on some sort of schedule. I post photos of the site discussed on a facebook page of the same name on the same day and let folks know about it on linkedin and twitter. That brings new viewers each week and those that click "like" on facebook get reminders when new photos go up. The facebook page lets folks know about the blog article on a Wordpress blog page, separate url. I like the discipline of having to deliver each week. Having traveled 22 countries the past two decades doing training, planning and speaking, I have about 300 communities and 45,000 photos as material. Every other week or so we go someplace new to do training or planning so new ideas spring up from the work.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    16

    Planning blog?

    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    A few years ago I started up a blog when I started my consulting business. It was short-lived. I simply did not post often enough, and eventually killed the thing before it died of starvation. So not long ago I decided to give it another try. This time I have set the less ambitious goal of trying to write just a couple blog posts each month. After a start I again dropped the ball, but mean to pick it up... no, really. Honest, I will....

    So who here has given blogging a run? Have you kept it up, and how do you stay committed? What has worked for drawing in viewers?

    (For those who may be interested, my blog is at http://placedynamics.wordpress.com)
    I had one, but my "Watch Paint Dry" blog was more interesting so I stopped.

  12. #12
    This thread got me back to posting on my blog. I realized I had enough postings in the can for weekly posting through June. So its up and running!

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,978
    Quote Originally posted by Gotta Speakup View post
    This thread got me back to posting on my blog. I realized I had enough postings in the can for weekly posting through June. So its up and running!
    Great! Where's the link?
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  14. #14

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Canberra, ACT
    Posts
    2

    Aussie Planning Blog - The Planning Issue

    I started a planning blog recently called the Planning Issue http://planningissue.com/

    It is great to see some links to other planning blogs out there and I am looking forward to checking them all out!

  16. #16
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Sasebo, Japan
    Posts
    104
    I've been wanting to start a blog. I really want to get my writing skills back to where they used to be. The two things that keep stopping me are time and topics. That said, I do think that as an American Gaijin in Japan I would have some interestings blog entries about Japanese planning and architecture...but that's just what I think.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally posted by Huck View post
    I've been wanting to start a blog. I really want to get my writing skills back to where they used to be. The two things that keep stopping me are time and topics. That said, I do think that as an American Gaijin in Japan I would have some interestings blog entries about Japanese planning and architecture...but that's just what I think.
    Here's some ideas that ay help:

    Keep a running list of topics. Try to add to it daily.

    Then write 4-5 postings at a time. Use your blog managing software to schedule them out for weeks at a time.

    Don't try to blog every day.

    Not every blog posting needs to be equally long. Since you are in Japan, a picture with a short description would find a lot of people interested in it.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,978
    Quote Originally posted by Gotta Speakup View post
    Here's some ideas that ay help:

    Keep a running list of topics. Try to add to it daily.

    Then write 4-5 postings at a time. Use your blog managing software to schedule them out for weeks at a time.

    Don't try to blog every day.

    Not every blog posting needs to be equally long. Since you are in Japan, a picture with a short description would find a lot of people interested in it.
    Very good advice. Since starting, I have slowed my rate of posting to about one per week.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Amsterdam
    Posts
    1
    I do, with a group of enthusiast Urban Studies students:
    http://theprotocity.com/

    Just have a look around

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Chicago, IL, USA
    Posts
    12
    I do! I wrote for a while, had to take a break (last semester of school), and I've recently started again.

    I try to keep it to 3 posts a week or more, but it is a lot more time-consuming than I thought! Hope you'll check it out...

    The link is www.transitized.com. I write about transportation issues (biking, walking, public transportation).

  21. #21
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Mar 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    37

    Ethics & legalities of blogging and holding a public sector position?

    Since this topic has been revised again, I'd like to ask if anyone has any thoughts about the legal/ethical intricacies of blogging when you hold a public sector planning position. I have been kicking around blog ideas for years, and even carry around a notebook in which I jot down topics and brief outlines for post ideas. However the #2 thing holding me back (#1 being laziness) is that I'm not sure what I'm free to spout off about on a blog. It seems to me that practically all the topics I would be interested in writing about are in some way, at least indirectly if not directly related to the work I do as a planner. My organization does not have an official blogging policy that I'm aware of, but I don't think they would take kindly to me saying what I really think of all the developments that cross my desk in a public forum. Likewise, I doubt it would strengthen my working relationships with the development community in the area.

    Any thoughts about how to navigate these issues? It seems to me that all the blogs I read are written by private consultants, citizen activists, or academics.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,978
    I have been aware of planners who blog on planning topics anonymously. I think the thing to beware of here is to not blog on issues that have been, or are currently under review in the community. Writing a blog post about the bike sharing program in a neighboring town is acceptable. Commenting on how bad you think a proposed development project you reviewed will be is off limits.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2007
    Location
    As far south of SoCal as I Will Go
    Posts
    5,095
    Quote Originally posted by bentobox34 View post
    My organization does not have an official blogging policy that I'm aware of, but I don't think they would take kindly to me saying what I really think of all the developments that cross my desk in a public forum. Likewise, I doubt it would strengthen my working relationships with the development community in the area.
    Hmm.. If you live where you work, this could be an issue. However if you don't, I don't see an issue. Although your organization may not have a "blogging policy", most do have a confidential disclosure policies that your probably signed on day 1, as well as quite a few communities have come around the doing a "social media policy". I wrote ours and was very specific about blogging, use of our computers, and use of City's name and image. Honestly, this may be something you want to stay away from unless you do it in a positive manner. Such as Community X has funded the construction of biketrails and path. Our community wants to do something similar through the Bike Plan or General Plan. Here are the benefits, etc.

    Having good working relationships is key in planning, especially with our development community. Remember, you are not social engineering your community, but rather interpreting, or creating rules and regulations for future growth consistent with the goals and policies outlined by the General Plan. I don't like everything that comes across my desk either, but if it meets zoning code, an allowed use, and meets other criteria as established, well, there is nothing i can do.

    The last thing you want is to flame the development community. People talk, and you don't want to get the reputation of being "that planner" that no one wants to work with. Recently at a meeting for affordable housing with a lot of Senior level Planners, I was complimented by our local BIA about my planning knowledge and my ability to understand the demands of the construction and housing industry and how cumbersome and non-thought out regulations are really a disservice to the Community. The fact the BIA said this in front of my director put a smile on my face, but even better was his comment that "in 20 blah blah years, your only the 2nd planner to 'get it'. The other is your boss." Yea. Made my day.

    Anyways, tread lightly and think hard on this one.
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. New to the blog!
    Introduce Yourself
    Replies: 1
    Last post: 21 Jun 2011, 9:09 AM
  2. Replies: 0
    Last post: 03 Sep 2009, 6:05 PM
  3. Replies: 1
    Last post: 26 Jun 2007, 11:36 AM
  4. Who writes these job ads?
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 4
    Last post: 14 Dec 2005, 12:20 PM
  5. Replies: 20
    Last post: 02 Feb 2005, 5:10 PM