It’s been a while since Jason Toney stepped down as editor of LAist which to be perfectly honest is good news because I really like his personal site which was all crickets while he was on board over there. Since then his blog has picked back up again. I never felt that his voice was able to show through at LAist and it felt like whatever he was trying to say was getting smushed into the -ist mold so him writing more on his own blog again is a good thing for sure. I’ve never argued that I’m not in my own little world – I try to break out of it from time to time, but for the most part I’ve got too much stuff going on daily so it’s really great when I find a blog that I can relate to but that covers topics I wouldn’t be reading about otherwise. I’ve always felt that Jason’s Negro Please was one of those sites. Of course LA blogs are part of my world, which is why his post today reviewing some of the more widely read blogs in this city is so interesting. He includes Losanjealous (my favorite la blog that I’m not involved with), LA Observed, Angeleno, FishbowlLA, and of course LAist and even has some things to say about us. He also points out a list of blogs that he’s not covering because they are either too niche or solo projects, although he seemed to have missed LA Voice and LA foodblogging which are definitely staples IMNSHO. Jason and I had a bit of a stand-offish relationship for a while but I tend to think that was more the weight of the -ist network on his shoulders causing it because I actually think he’s a pretty good guy. That said, I was psyched to see he didn’t totally trash us in his review:
“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…”
There is more to it than that but that’s the jist of it. One thing that I’ll be endlessly amused by is when people look at what we’re doing on blogging.la or any of the Metroblogging sites and suggest that we be doing something different. Some people assume we’re trying (and failing) to be a local events listing, or alternative to the alternative weeklies, or even a round up of local news when in fact we’re purposefully not trying to do any of that. Our goal has always been to pool a few people in the city, and have them contribute their slice of life. There are plenty of sites out there that focus on events, or covering the news – if I want to know whats in the LA Times today, I’ll check out the LA Times. If I want some insight behind some of the bigger stories there is no question that LA Observed should be my first stop. We’ve never set out to be the end all be all for everyone (Hell, the Times isn’t even the endall be all for everyone), we write about what is interesting to us, sometimes that is interesting to other people too and that’s what it’s all about. Point being the web is a big place, with lots of people doing different things – no one is being forced to read Blogging.la but we’re happy that some people choose to.