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Five urgently needed blog topics for Birmingham

June 15, 2009

Birmingham magazine June 2009 coverI had a nice conversation with Birmingham magazine’s associate editor Carla Jean Whitley about blogging in Birmingham. During our talk, we brainstormed five blogs that could be successful right now in Birmingham:

  1. history;
  2. transportation;
  3. barbecue;
  4. classical music and opera;
  5. hip hop.

(Note: The article says “golf,” but my notes say hip hop. Sheesh, just how white do you want this list of ideas??)

“Successful” could mean passionate readers, good discussion and coverage of a topic deserving of a bigger showcase.

Why these five?

History is a strong unshakable part of Birmingham. We’ve built the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute around it, but we need more. Someone with a deep background in history could make this blog compelling and timely. We need not fear our past; we must embrace it and tell the story on our terms.

Transportation should be a no-brainer. Ginny MacDonald writes the popular Driver’s Side column for the Birmingham News, but it clearly focuses on drivers only. Birmingham has great need for better transportation planning and execution, from bike lanes to mass transit to carpooling to city planning. So far, Bike Skirt and Bicicoop have talked about the needs and advantages of cyclists, but that leaves a great chasm of needed discussion on how to solve the region’s transportation woes.

I could argue about barbecue all day (chopped pork, not sliced, regular red sauce). So could most folks in Birmingham, which has a messy melange of styles and sauces and techniques. Heck, I just judged a charity barbecue competition last week, and we saw so many approaches to chicken, ribs and sauce … some good, some not so good. A Birmingham barbecue blog would not only draw a big following, but big potential advertisers, too.

We came up with two music blog ideas, because Carla Jean and I love concerts and bands and CDs and music talk. (Carla Jean writes the popular Birmingham magazine music blog, Birmingham Box Set.) Many local music blogs focus on popular music, usually toward the rock/pop/indie side.

Except for Michael Huebner’s column in the News, we have very little coverage of the classical music and opera scene in Birmingham. And with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham Opera, chamber groups, choral groups and terrific shows at the Alys Stephens Center, a wide opportunity exists for someone — a fan, an expert, a professor, a journalist — to cover this side of the arts to a devoted fan base.

And what about hip hop? Come on! Birmingham’s local music scene isn’t just about rock bands like Wild Sweet Orange and Within Reason. What about ShoNuff and Birmingham J, both winners of the Birmingham Area Music Awards? Or R-Tist or Red Light District? Hip hop deserves better coverage, and the right blogger could give artists and concerts the best spotlight.

My thanks to Carla Jean and the good folks at Birmingham magazine. Read more from the article, or better yet, run (don’t walk) to the newsstand and pick up your copy today.

• • •

What blog ideas could succeed in Birmingham today? Tell us in the comments!

• • •

Want to get started on a blog idea listed above? Sign up for our beginner’s class in June

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. Whitney permalink
    June 15, 2009 4:31 pm

    Regarding hiphop, The Green Seed’s R-Tist is actually a featured writer on Birmingham’s music blog, BHAM.FM. In May of this year, the site even hosted a hip hop night featuring Shaheed, Green Seed and Thed Weller. There are some solid urban acts in the city, so it’s disappointing to cover and promote it to no avail. I’ve personally interviewed major artists from AL such as Attitude and Birmingham. Hopefully, if we continue to write about, they will come.

    • June 15, 2009 4:42 pm

      I love Bham.fm, but the last post in the hip-hop category was from February! Y’all gotta get R-Tist moving!

      But yes, if you continue to write about it (and feature it prominently on the site), I’m sure people will read it and demand more.

  2. June 15, 2009 4:36 pm

    Those look good to me. I think classical dance should be added to the classical music/opera one.

    • June 15, 2009 4:43 pm

      Good suggestion! I went to see the Alabama Ballet perform a couple of times this year, and a savvy dancer or ballet expert could weigh in on the performances.

  3. June 16, 2009 4:02 pm

    Closet Birmingham.

    Interviews with people who have Birmingham connections that you never hear about.

    We all know about Courtney Cox already, but there are many others with ties to the region.

    • June 16, 2009 4:31 pm

      Nice idea. BhamWiki’s list of living people would be a great starting point …

  4. April 19, 2014 1:07 pm

    Beer?

    • April 20, 2014 12:32 am

      Don’t mind if I do.

  5. April 21, 2014 12:35 pm

    Good afternoon all, I am going to start my very own hip hop blog for birmingham, I currently am the owner of http://whatisthisworldcomingto-stayfly.blogspot.com/,. I am going to finally move on over to wordpress and change the name of my blog. I am very familiar with the hip hop scene, and I have a profound interest in entertainment as well. I am already a member of the alabama blogger blogging group. I look forward to communicating with you all.

    • April 21, 2014 12:40 pm

      Looking forward to it, Kaneshia.

  6. hiphopblogham2014 permalink
    May 31, 2015 2:06 am

    Hi my name is Kaneshia Kelly, i’ve recentky started Hiphopbham.com, i posted an article that i blogged about a while ago, i think it would interest, you.

    • May 31, 2015 12:46 pm

      What is the article?

      • Anonymous permalink
        May 31, 2015 6:29 pm

        http://hiphopbham.com/how-did-i-miss-this-birmingham-j-is-now-jay-i-am/

      • June 1, 2015 12:46 am

        Thanks! Congratulations on your new blog.

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