The latest in the Hyperlocal Voices series looks at love levenshulme. When its founder moved on the site was handed on to two other people – this year the blog won the Manchester Blog Award for ‘Blog of the Year’.
Who were the people behind the blog, and what were their backgrounds?
Lovelevenshulme was started by a gentlemen call Matt Clements who I have never met! He wanted to be positive about where he lived and so set up a blog.
What made you decide to set up the blog?
I was a reader of lovelevenshulme and liked the countercultural feel of being positive about a locality. I suppose I thought it was different from the standard moany English mentality.
Matt Clements wrote one day that he was moving out of the area and wanted someone else to take it over. So myself and Helen Power offered to talk it over.
When did you set up the blog and how did you go about it?
We took over the blog and decided to carry on with his positive take. We looked around our area and decided to write about the things we love. This can range from kebab houses, poetry nights, film clubs and cafes. We also try and promote any local event or group.
We use Blogger because it is simple and easy.
What other blogs, bloggers or websites influenced you?
How did – and do – you see yourself in relation to a traditional news operation?
I don’t see us a news operation. We are very biased in our love of Levenshulme and have decided that we won’t write about things that aren’t positive. There is enough of that in the blogosphere already.
What have been the key moments in the blog’s development editorially?
We won blog of the year at Manchester Blog Award 2010. I think that helped us to realize that being hyperlocal and positive is actually quite unusual and powerful.
Linking properly with a Twitter feed and a Facebook fan page have helped us develop the community side of the blog.
What sort of traffic do you get and how has that changed over time?
Our traffic has only been tracked properly since August 1st 2010. We have seen our numbers double every month so far. I think we may now be at (or near) our peak (roughly 1500 hits a month)
How did you find taking on a blog that was already running?
Easy to be honest. The guy who set it up didn’t want to do it anymore and was happy for us to take it in whatever direction we wanted. In fact, he has emailed us since and been very complimentary indeed.
I guess the only problem we have is finding the information or local events but as the blog’s profile has grown people have been sending stuff through to us.