January 2007

Local newspaper using blog effectively

Kudos to the News & Observer for using their blog to expand the information in the paper, and vice versa.

While all they had time to write was a "staff report" (excerpted below), they also encouraged readers to Learn more about Lot 5 before the Town Council takes action by including a link to their blog at the end of the story and posting the Town of Chapel Hill's full summary of issues document for download from the blog.

The town has released a draft copy of its contract with Ram Development Co. for a $75 million downtown redevelopment project.

The town is partnering with Ram to build an eight-story condominium and retail complex on the site of a municipal parking lot along Church Street between West Franklin and West Rosemary streets.

Aldermen Set Initial Steps on Economic Development

Yesterday, at our day-long retreat, the Board of Aldermen worked through several dozen possible next steps for our economic development strategy and chose three to refer to staff and three to refer to itself.

Staff will be looking into:

-A leakage analysis of the Carrboro economy. Leakage analysis looks at what goods and services are being purchased in Carrboro from non-local sources and develops strategies to develop local alternatives. Although discussion of leakage locally typically focuses on retail sales, our consultant Michael Shuman points out that significant leakage occurs in such areas as food, energy, financial services, absentee landlords, and transportation. Leakage analysis is foundational to related initiates that, Shuman recommends, could include fostering entrepreneurship, building business support networks, mobilizing demand (what he calls “think local first” campaigns), and better systems for making equity available to locally owned small business. (Shuman’s powerpoint presentation developed for Carrboro should be available on the town web site soon)



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