Skip to main content

Clinton Hill the "bloggiest" neighborhood? Nah, it's Prospect Heights

[Note: This post has been updated.]

Outside.in, an innovative, venture capital-funded way to organize neighborhood information by collecting work by "placebloggers," has issued a press release claiming to identify America's Top 10 Bloggiest Neighborhoods.

The number one neighborhood: Clinton Hill.

Nah.

Here's Outside.in's methodology:
The results below are based on a number of variables: total number of posts, total number of local bloggers, number of comments and Technorati ranking for the bloggers.

That assumes that blogs are about one specific neighborhood and that the blog is included in Technorati. It also confuses the home of the blog with the subject of the blog.

Clinton Hill & AY

Here's what Outside.in says about its top-ranking nabe.

1. Clinton Hill, Brooklyn
The Neighborhood
The rapidly gentrifying tree-lined blocks of 19th-century townhouses are also home to the Pratt Institute of Art.

Local Blogger
Jonathan Butler, creator of Brownstoner, who quit his Wall Street job earlier this year to run his popular real estate and home renovation blog full-time.

Local Obsessions
Will the nearby mega-development Atlantic Yards destroy the neighborhood's quiet charm? Is the still-hot Brooklyn real estate market headed for a crash?


While Brownstoner is an interesting and popular blog, especially because of the robust comments section, it is hardly a blog focused exclusively on Clinton Hill. (Butler's based there.) Rather, it's a blog about Brooklyn real estate and neighborhoods faced with development.

And Atlantic Yards is hardly the "local obsession" that distinguishes Clinton Hill from other nearby neighborhoods. NoLandGrab is clearly the comprehensive source for Atlantic Yards-related information, with far more posts per day than Brownstoner's total on all topics.

Outside.in relies most heavily on NoLandGrab in its Atlantic Yards section. Its press release didn't mention NLG.

Beyond Clinton Hill

When CNET followed up, in an article headlined Report: 10 communities most likely to spur a blog post, the summary erred:
No. 1 is Brooklyn's Clinton Hill neighborhood. The proposed $4 billion Atlantic Yards project has burned up the blogosphere, said John Geraci, Outside.in's chief product officer. The plan calls for the building of a huge commercial complex, which includes a sports arena, hotel and retail shops.


First, the project would be mostly housing.

Secondly, if Atlantic Yards burns up the blogosphere, then Clinton Hill and Brownstoner are not the main entry point to the controversy.

The press release got picked up by mediabistro, the New York Press blog, Brownstoner, the Brooklyn Heights blog, Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn, the Clinton Hill blog, and many more.

Park Slope slighted?

The New York Post, in a 4/25/07 article headlined BROOKLYN HAS NATION'S BLOGGIEST NEIGHBORHOODS, added an interesting observation from Outside.in founder Steven Johnson:
Park Slope and other brownstone Brooklyn neighborhoods were almost as bloggy, Johnson said, although the official second place went to Shaw, D.C., followed by downtown L.A.

Hm--does that mean that they left out other Brooklyn neighborhoods because they wanted a national list? We can't be sure, because Outside.in hasn't published its methodology.

The home, or the subject?

Putting aside Outside.in's research methodology, I'd say that, for substantial and original content, Park Slope-based bloggers surely surpass Clinton Hill. The Park Slope-based blogs include my Atlantic Yards Report, NoLandGrab (weekday), and Gowanus Lounge--and several other bloggers who post regularly.

But Prospect Heights, because of the Atlantic Yards project, is clearly the most blogged-about neighborhood. The blogs mentioned above, plus Brownstoner, Curbed, Gothamist, Brooklyn Views, Picketing Henry Ford, and more all cover Atlantic Yards.

Why has the project received such blog-based scrutiny? I'll remind people that Brooklyn College's Paul Moses, a former New York Newsday reporter, has said of Brooklyn and the press:
Nowhere in the country do so many people get so little local coverage.

Where to go for AY

And Outside.in posts text ads when you search "Atlantic Yards" on Google, claiming to offer "News and inside info on Brooklyn's most controversial development."

You may indeed be able to find news and inside info, but there's no original content. All the content is coming from somewhere else, notably sites mentioned above.

Following up

Outside.in's Steven Johnson comments below that the list was "more fun than empirical science" and explains that the list "began by counting the location of individual posts, not bloggers."

While I appreciate the spirit of the exercise, I still think it falls short. First, the press release claimed to answer the question "what exactly are America's bloggiest neighborhoods?" I think the word "exactly" was obviously overstating things.

More importantly, if you look at posts grouped under Clinton Hill on Outside.in, a significant number of them--a majority on the home page as of April 30--are about Prospect Heights, especially Atlantic Yards, not Clinton Hill. So proper identification of "the location of individual posts" is crucial to determining the bloggiest neighborhood.

Comments

  1. Hey Norman, thanks for the detailed analysis our list.

    First, I hope it's clear from the tone of our introduction that we meant this list to be more fun than empirical science. We did it to draw attention to the placeblogging phenomenon (and particularly the urban placeblogging phenomenon) and of course to draw attention to our own role in that ecosystem...

    As for methodology, we began by counting the location of individual posts, not bloggers -- that's one of the key elements of our approach, that the posts can have a separate location from their blogger. (If you're in Park Slope, but you write an entry about Clinton Hill, we track it as a Clinton Hill post.) Then we looked at which bloggers were based in the top 50 neighborhoods that came up in the initial scan, and then ranked by Technorati authority and comments. We realized of course that Brownstoner does not write exclusively about Clinton Hill, but he's obviously a key figure in the Brooklyn blogging scene, so we thought it made sense to mention him in the summary of the neighborhood. But certainly it's not meant to slight any of the other incredible Brooklyn blogs, AYR included, which we all read religiously...

    And yes, as I said in several interviews, we made one editorial decision: only one Brooklyn neighborhood could make the list. Park Slope would have definitely made it, along with Prospect Heights as well.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Steven, thanks--my response is above.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

No, security guards can't ban photos. Questions remain about visibility of ID/sticker system.

The bi-monthly Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Community Update meeting June 14, held at 55 Hanson Place, addressed multiple issues, including delays in the project, a new detente with project neighbors,concerns about traffic congestion, upcoming sewer work and demolitions, and an explanation of how high winds caused debris to fly off the under-construction 38 Sixth Avenue building. I'll have more coverage.
Security issues came up several times at the meeting.
Wayne Bailey, a resident who regularly takes photos and videos (that I often use) of construction/operations issues that impact residents, asked representatives of Tishman Construction if the security guard at the sites they're building works for them.
After Tishman Senior VP Eric Reid said yes, Bailey asked why a guard told him not to shoot video of the site, even though he was on a public street.

"I will address it with principals for that security firm," Reid said.
Forest City Ratner executive Ashley Cotton, the …

Barclays Center event June 11 to protest plans to expand Israeli draft; questions about logistics

At right is a photo of a poster spotted in Hasidic Williamsburg right. Clearly there's an event scheduled at the Barclays Center aimed at the Haredi Jewish community (strict Orthodox Jews who reject secular culture), but the lack of English text makes it cryptic.

The website Matzav.com explains, Protest Against Israeli Draft of Bnei Yeshiva Rescheduled for Barclays Center:
A large asifa to protest the drafting of bnei yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel into the Israeli army that had been set to take place this month will instead be held on Sunday, 17 Sivan/June 11, at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, NY. So attendees at a big gathering will protest an apparent change of policy that will make it much more difficult for traditional Orthodox Jewish students--both Hasidic (who follow a rebbe) and non-Hasidic (who don't)--to get deferments from the draft. Comments on the Yeshiva World website explain some of the debate.

The logistical questions

What's unclear is how large the ev…

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what might be coming (post-dated pinned post)

Click on graphic to enlarge. This is post-dated to stay at the top of the blog. It will be updated as announced configurations change and buildings launch. The August 2014 tentative configurations proposed by developer Greenland Forest City Partners will change, and the project is already well behind that tentative timetable.


Atlanta's Atlantic Yards moves ahead

First mentioned in April, the Atlantic Yards project in Atlanta is moving ahead--and has the potential to nudge Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn further down in Google searches.

According to a 5/30/17 press release, Hines and Invesco Real Estate Announce T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards:
Hines, the international real estate firm, and Invesco Real Estate, a global real estate investment manager, today announced a joint venture on behalf of one of Invesco Real Estate’s institutional clients to develop two progressive office projects in Atlanta totalling 700,000 square feet. T3 West Midtown will be a 200,000-square-foot heavy timber office development and Atlantic Yards will consist of 500,000 square feet of progressive office space in two buildings. Both projects are located on sites within Atlantic Station in the flourishing Midtown submarket.
Hines will work with Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture (HPA) as the design architect for both T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards. DLR Group will be t…

Not quite the pattern: Greenland selling development sites, not completed condos

Real Estate Weekly, reporting on trends in Chinese investment in New York City, on 11/18/15 quoted Jim Costello, a senior vice president at research firm Real Capital Analytics:
“They’re typically building high-end condos, build it and sell it. Capital return is in a few years. That’s something that is ingrained in the companies that have been coming here because that’s how they’ve grown in the last 35 years. It’s always been a development game for them. So they’re just repeating their business model here,” he said. When I read that last November, I didn't think it necessarily applied to Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, now 70% owned (outside of the Barclays Center and B2 modular apartment tower), by the Greenland Group, owned significantly by the Shanghai government.
A majority of the buildings will be rentals, some 100% market, some 100% affordable, and several--the last several built--are supposed to be 50% market/50% subsidized. (See tentative timetable below.)

Selling development …