Tuesday, December 07, 2010

December 7: Community

I'm participating in #reverb10, a month-long challenge to blog every day of December based on prompts provided here.

Prompt: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)

Early this year, I joined the staff at this little blog called Chicagoist. People tend to think this is a bigger deal than it really is. We joke about the Chicagoist office, which doesn’t exist. The editor-in-chief works from home and the rest of the staff posts around the schedules of our other jobs. I get paid $0 to write each and every post. Journalism school taught me that writing for free is one of the worst sins one could ever commit. But I’m obviously not there for the cash. I’m there for lots of things, and one of them is the community.

The Chicagoist staff is just a group of people who love Chicago to death and want to share that with the rest of the world. We each write about our own passions, maybe music, sports, politics, food, or in my case, literary this-and-that. We share content ideas over a listserv. It sounds pretty mundane. And in many ways it is. But these people do bring great joy to my life.

I appreciate how much everyone cares about our city. If there’s something particularly disturbing happening in the news today, I can expect upwards of 50 emails in my inbox from fellow staff members getting riled up. I’ll have the same amount of emails over less dramatic topics, such as where to find the best Mexican food in Chicago or where it might be fun to gamble in the city should casinos be allowed in.

I’m closer with some staff members over others, but I’ll generally say it’s a good group of people. On the rare occasion that I can make it out to one of the monthly happy hours to see everyone, I am always really glad I did. These people are always reminding me of why I love this city. That’s a great community if I ever saw one.


Amanda said...

I have only been to Chicago once, but I would love to go back - and I can definitely see why you're in love with your city!

Dre said...

As someone who runs a similar site in Birmingham, AL, I long for the days when I get to enjoy that feeling of community again. Thanks for reminding me why I started it in the first place and why I'm still committed to making it work.