"I'm from L-dot A-dot Californ-I-A hot" - Murs & 9th Wonder, L.A.
I'm not really excited about anything I consumed or attempted to consume last week (I said about all I want to say about The L Word in it's brief mention here) and I'm not sure I'm ready to talk about how, after about 3 or 4 years of not watching, I'm all hooked on pro wresting again (although, talking about how the WWE has
segmented segregated it's stars likely in response to UPN's demographics would probably make for an interesting piece). So, after about 3 months away from the daily grind of blogging about Los Angeles in our glutted city-blog landscape, I thought I'd take a look at what's going on in LA and who is doing it well. I've barely read most of these sites since I retired completely so it's almost a whole new world.
I hope I don't hurt anybody's feelings.
I'm focusing on the 6 major group blogs. I'm not including defamer or la.comfidential or curbed la, all of whom have highly specialized interests in the city. It also means I'm ignoring my favorite solo run blogs with LA bents, Franklin Avenue, Lotería Chicana and Caroline on Crack.
If I were to start a local group blog all my own, it would probably be closest in tone and focus to Losanjealous. Attractively designed (the most attractive of the local city sites) and obsessed with the local pop arts and the weird, they take a very wry look at our city but lovingly so and I am regularly amused by their stories. With the glut of foodie blogs in LA, their dining out coverage is the most fun and as someone obsessed with macaroni & cheese, their quest to find the best in town is most appreciated. I would say they are doing the city the best but...
Kevin Roderick went and made LAObserved.com the official blog of record for Los Angeles last week. The site went group and the "insider" and "first-on-the-scene" (or is it "first-with-the-link") feel to the site jumped exponentially. Roderick has always had the access to drop the bombs about local media but now he's able to focus pretty solidly on the news that matters. I have the tendency to feel like Joseph Mailander that the LA that is observed here is pretty white bread but with the tendency for group blogs to have lots of like-minded folks on hand, it's hard to cover all things from all people. I struggled with those issues constantly at LAist. That said, when I want to know what's going on in the city and what people are likely talking about, I start here.
I think they've really found their stride. In full disclosure mode, during most of my tenure with LAist, I thought we were the better local site. I always felt blogging.la was scatterbrained and not really about LA. Often it was like reading the message board a bunch of friends shared to give tips or anecdotes that only those friends would care about. But in reading today, they were chock full of interesting information. Still anecdotal but much more oriented towards the audience at large instead of the contributors within. I don't quite get ruth666 (and never have) but it probably wouldn't be blogging.la without at least one totally random poster.
Martini Republic's LA focused blog probably doesn't get enough daily attention from the Joseph, Alex and the gang over there to warrant a more involved look here but when they put on the gloves and go after an issue (or a local blog/blogger) they are surgical with their rancor and criticism. They play watchdog. I think their commentary would hold more weight with the local blogging community if they posted more often themselves about the issues and people that they generally accuse the local blogosphere of ignoring but I always appreciate when they turn their critical eyes on the less discussed stories of the day.
The mediabistro blog probably should be thrown in the mix with the other specialized blogs that I took out of consideration but I particularly like the way they cover the media industries of this town and that they do it in conjunction with other local news of interest. They've run through more editors in the last year than even laist has but the quality of content has never wavered.
And then there's my old stomping grounds. My baby. Although never quite my baby. It always felt a bit like a foster child who I loved but who I knew wouldn't be in my house long enough. I think Tony's doing a great job as editor. It feels a lot more like the busblog than it does -ist and I admire him for putting his stamp on it. I think most -Ist editors struggle with finding their own voice within the style guidelines of the network. I'm having a hard time reviewing the site because I don't know if I'm just nostalgic for my time as editor or if I'm convinced my vision of the site is just the way it should be done. I think it should be a little more newsy. I think it has a lot of the issues right now that blogging.la had. There's a lot more "cool factor" and a little less "news you can use." It's a little bit "busblog gone wild" and people unfamiliar might have a hard time feeling the site is accessible. I'm probably most critical of LAist because it used to be "mine" and I think it has the best model in place for trying to cover this behemoth of a city. My suggestions? a little more news, a little more events, a little more targeted neighborhood coverage, a little more food. A little more of everything.
If I was a casual reader of local stuff, right now I'd put losanjealous, laobserved and fishbowlla in my google reader and dump the rest.
The rest need to give me just a little bit more LA.
I did totally overlook LA Voice. I'm not exactly sure why. Probably because Mack doesn't do full posts in his rss feed and I've never been a fan of the design so I have a tendency to not visit the site on it's own.
If I had written that piece on laist, I'd be beating myself up for not including the site but on Negro Please, it's just one man's opinion.