Labors of Love


Labors of Love

Sharing the city from the heart–and the keyboard.

by André Natta

Everywhere you turn in Birmingham you can find digital outlets staking their claims to a piece of the content-consuming pie. It’s become extremely easy to launch a site, or a profile on a social network. The lesson many are learning is it takes a lot of work and dedication to continue to feed content into the virtual communities they’ve established.

While some have chosen to pursue these efforts as businesses, there are still a few who approach these projects as labors of love. They’d rather reveal a city to their readers out of a desire to share the city they call home with others than worry about turning it into a business.

There’s something to be said about creating a website focused on where you live—particularly when it’s your hometown. Antwon Ervin is a local example of someone who took on that challenge—one that’s been seeing more and more interest as natives and transplants alike realize the spotlight is on us now. DiscoverBirmingham.org was launched late last year as Ervin finally decided to share what he was learning about his hometown as he was out exploring. By the time you read this, a new version of the site will have launched focusing on letting visuals, specifically videos, help tell the story about the city’s food and culture scenes. It provides an opportunity to build on the site’s YouTube channel in addition to its Twitter and Facebook profiles. According to a recent piece on Magic City Post, he’ll also be accepting submissions, allowing others to join him in showing a passion for the city.

The growing interest in the city by those looking to move back and others considering it as their next stop is providing the impetus of another effort being spearheaded by Laura Kate Whitney and the folks over at REV Birmingham. The former B-Metro columnist and area blogger will be helping to launch LIV Birmingham (http://livbirmingham.org/) on May 11 with a tour of “cool spaces” in the city center. The initiative and accompanying site will focus on providing people with the necessary information to make an informed decision about where they can live, work, and play throughout the city limits of Birmingham. They already maintain an Eventbrite account as well as a Twitter profile, possibly pointing to some more engaging conversations in person and online with those considering the city as a place to settle down.

Both of these initiatives, and others like them, are doing something that is no doubt important to the sustainable good health of a city–—providing additional outlets for necessary information. They are not necessarily focused on serving the public by being as a watchdog, but rather as a compass to guide you to new adventures. Considering summer’s almost here it’s as good a time as any to look to sites like these to see just where those adventures may be.

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