THE DISTRICT

Shaw Joins Ranks of 'Bloggiest'

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By Sam Diaz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 28, 2007

Neighborhood news used to come in the form of a newsletter -- brightly colored paper with a cutesy letterhead to keep residents informed of crime activity, social events and new businesses popping up in the area.

In the age of the Internet, the newsletter is being replaced by the blog, an online update with much of the same news but viewable by anyone with a Web connection.

This week, a District neighborhood was recognized as being one of the "bloggiest" neighborhoods in the country by outside.in, a Web service for sharing and exploring information about neighborhoods.

The Shaw neighborhood, in Northwest, is a historically vibrant area that has gone through its share of ups and downs over the years -- a hotbed of jazz in the 1930s, a place scarred by riots in the late 1960s. More recently, the neighborhood has been revitalized by the arrival of a diverse group of people who take pride in the community and want to share the news.

Outside.in co-founder John Geraci said Shaw is the focus of about 90 blog entries every week, compared with about 25 for nearby Logan Circle.

"Shaw is a community buzzing with activity and discussion," Geraci said in a statement. "It's clear from just looking at the very most recent blog stories that Shaw is a neighborhood that is transforming itself (and in the process trying to preserve itself). And that's translating to a lot of blog activity."

Consider the postings of an anonymous resident who writes a blog titled, "remaking le slum historique." In recent weeks, the author has rallied neighbors to support a liquor license for a restaurant that offers "fine dining alternative to the carry out restaurants nearby" and showcased -- with photos -- "a really reasonably priced 2 bedroom luxury condo" that was listed on craigslist.

And, of course, don't forget the reminders about "Keep Shaw Beautiful Day," "Shaw Walking Tours" and a public meeting related to the old convention center redevelopment project.

Outside.in, which launched in August, is "drilling down on the phenomenon of hyper-local blogging," Geraci said.

Other neighborhoods cited as among the "bloggiest" include downtown Los Angeles, Clinton Hill in Brooklyn, the Pearl District of Portland, Ore., and Rogers Park/North Howard in Chicago.


© 2007 The Washington Post Company

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