Tag Archives: #bhamchat

Today's goal: let more folks know we exist

I got a message via Facebook this morning (around 1:15 a.m.) I fired off a response by 1:35 a.m. because I thought it was the right thing to do. That’s the weird thing about running this blog – you want to connect with people as soon as possible because you think it’s the right thing to do. If you don’t, you find that some folks think that you’ve slighted them or don’t want to talk with them.

If you have a blog you have friends who think that everyone knows who you are because of it. I know better and am quite happy when I meet someone who has no clue that the site existed before and who are happy that we’re here. That said, I’d like to spend some time connecting with all of you this morning because it’s the right thing to do.

We need your help to get the word out and to share the voices of Birmingham.

First, an introduction to new readers (and a more succinct version for long time readers) explaining what we are. We’re a blog – hyperlocal is the term that’s thrown around a lot (or citizen journalism) – about Birmingham, AL. The goal is to be a site that can reflect some of the personality and many of the voices of this fair Magic City and its surrounding area while covering news, arts, culture, opinion, a pending comic strip and maybe even sports (read: UAB, Miles College, Birmingham Southern & Samford – NOT Alabama or Auburn) if we can find the manpower to do it. I say we because we’ve had as many as twelve and as few as two folks contributing stories to this site since March 2007.

We are one of the oldest hyperlocal blogs in the Southeastern United States, coming into existence shortly before the launch of Consuming Louisville in Kentucky in 2007 (and I’d love to meet Michelle Jones one day soon). Every once in a while we hope that Stanley Holditch may get the feeling to write a Birmingham-centric article on the Fleabomb.com website, but we don’t think that’ll be happening soon.

We’ve averaged 9,000 unique visitors to these pages a month with very little advertising save for the occasional mention in the paper, a lucky tweet or two and our initial following on MySpace. The thought was simple: there are a lot of voices in this city, whether they be about music, politics or food. The hope was (and remains) that we can occasionally remind you that they’re here and waiting for you to explore. We’ve also started a weekly conversation on Twitter on Tuesday evenings called #bhamchat and we look forward to finding ways to get more folks that don’t use Twitter involved in the near future.

So why write to you this morning? I’d like to throw down a challenge to metro Birmingham. I need you. I need you to submit story ideas by either using our story submission page (as soon as it launches this evening) or via email. I need you to lend your voices to the conversations that happen on and offline. I need the help of those that read this site to tell others that we exist and we need their voices. If you’re a fan of The Terminal on Facebook or a follower on Twitter, let your friends know about it and let’s see where this conversation can take us.

If you have a few dollars that you can spare (or a coffee habit you’d like to kick or even an urge to fight a craving for a special dog from Pete’s), we’d love if you would consider becoming a voluntary supporter of  The Terminal or consider purchasing a shirt from our store on Spreadshirt.

Most of all, if you want to lend your voices in a more recurring way, our next contributors meeting will be this Thursday, August 6, starting at 5:30 p.m. at Shift WorkSpace. It’d be nice to get folks that can tell stories in the way they feel most comfortable.

I’m not one that particularly cares about tracking numbers, though I know it would demonstrate to others just what we’ve been able to do so far and help us reach more people. I have a selfish goal of seeing if we can get more than 1,000 people to follow us on Facebook and 2,000 to be following us on Twitter before the end of the day. I don’t have any prizes to provide; just the promise that if you help us spread the word, The Terminal will be able to do more for you. Maybe this exercise will lead to a couple of prizes coming our way…

The redesign of the site (which should be complete before 5 p.m. on Friday) should also help folks find what they’re looking for, complete with a few surprises.

Thanks in advance and enjoy the ride!

#bhamchat: July 7, 2009

NOTE: We’ll be posting the recap for #bhamchat Episode 2 later today, though the post will be saved in chronological order (meaning that it will appear as being the post before this one).

This week’s edition started with a rather quiet discussion about the decision earlier in the day by the Jefferson County Commission to not take part in the statewide sales tax holiday taking place in August.

Q1: #bhamchat looks like the sales tax holiday is the 1st topic tonight – what are your thoughts about JeffCo deciding to not take part this yr?

  • bhamwiki: Perhaps they consider it a trade-off with the court-ordered occupational tax holiday. #bhamchat
  • kb0989: #bhamchat…I’ve only lived in JeffCo for two years…but i keep seeing bad decisions and quick fixes rather than substantive changes
The conversation got a little more engaged when the discussion switched over to the recent radio station changes on Birmingham’s FM dial.
Q2: Radio carousel – anyone have anything else to say about the station change over at 105.5?http://bit.ly/l9mlJ (expand)#bhamchat
@bhamwiki had a pretty interesting view of the situation as well:
  • bhamwiki: Broadcasting the same programming on multiple frequencies deprives the public of more choices, no matter what you like to hear. #bhamchat
  • bhamwiki: Multi-market multi-station owners like clearchannel seem to be milking cows they don’t plan to have to feed. #bhamchat
One question led to a link that probably tells us more about the current situation than anything else…
Our last Q was more to get a taste of what folks are reading out there right now:
let’s try this, Q3 what’s your favorite Birmingham, AL blog, and why? #bhamchat?
Well, we did have one more question…
One last quick poll – what do you think is the one story going on in Birmingham that no one’s talking about yet? #bhamchat
  • deongordon: #bhamchat *arrives fashionably late* …I’m inclined to say few in the media are discussing LL’s increasingly erratic behavior.
  • pascal_caputo: Will the lack of progress on the dome & transit lead to a call to repeal Langford’s x2 biz license fees and 1 cent sales tax? #bhamchat
Of course there’s more that went on, so we invite you to click on one of the #bhamchat links above to see all of the conversations and suggestions – and feel free to join in next week Tuesday starting at 6:30 p.m. on Twitter. For more information, check out the information here and here.
Thanks to everyone that took part or watched… we really appreciate it!

#bhamchat: Episode 1

Yesterday we introduced #bhamchat to Birmingham, AL. We tried to explain some of the principles in a post on the Newsstand and had 12 folks take part between 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. We’ll be adding a more detailed description to this section of the site later this week and plan to do it every Tuesday evening starting at 6:30 p.m. – with a recap by the following Thursday morning (unless we have to move it, which we’d let you know way in advance on the site’s front page).

Here’s an review of our first one with selected tweets:

We actually didn’t see this part of the news story until after the chat was finished, but it would be safe to say that City Stages has been a topic of discussion for several days, especially after last week’s last minute request to the Birmingham City Council. We wanted to see what folks thought about its future.

Topic 1: @CityStages – it’s on everyone’s mind; what do you see happening? How do you see it continuing?

  • @apollorockit City Stages is going the way of the buffalo. Or, more appropriately, the Music Midtown.
  • @DOGingham City Stages pres has NO incentive to grow the event. There is a paycheck regardless of event success.
  • @opusmagnum The high costs of the food and drinks @CityStages keeps me from going. If I go I want to be able to enjoy the food.
  • @Jerry_Griffies: @bhamterminal I see McMillan’s bank account decreasing and another “organizer” stepping in or CS is history.
  • @jbagby25 So excited that there is a #bhamchat. Would anyone really care if City Stages left? Why can’t it be smaller and interesting again?

Our second topic was suggested by one of our participants and took a look at the growing problem of pet overpopulation in the city.

Topic 2: via @DOGingham – the euth numbers keep rising. year after year. solution suggestions? http://bit.ly/H7FvM

While there weren’t many comments, it definitely raised the importance of the issue in metro Birmingham:

  • @DOGinghamFor those that dont know:dogs/cats..State 149K intake, 111K euthanized. Birmingham Metro 50K intake, 40K euthanized.

Our third topic was probably the most interesting one of the evening in terms of the conversation among participants:

Topic 3: Transit – Thursday’s ONB breakkfast will include info on new downtown bus circulator… thoughts on usefulness, etc.?

  • @ProgressiveEleci hope they don’t replace these bus drivers with the max drivers – if that’s as deep as we can get in transit ideas well . .
  • @deongordon The new buses would be a step in the right direction. But w/o a mass transit initiative (incl. light rail), it’s still lacking.
  • @jbagby25I don’t think you can do worse than the current bus situation. Any improvement is a step up.
  • @pascal_caputo@bhamterminal will be a bus rapid transit system plus neighborhood circulator. Good way to get more people interested in transit.

We’ve also learned about how those that will not be able to attend Thursday morning’s Operation New Birmingham Breakfast briefing can learn more about the proposed circulators.

As we continue to hold these, we hope that it will give you the chance to find new folks on Twitter to follow and also help to keep you aware of some of the issues currently affecting Birmingham. If you have an idea for a #bhamchat topic, drop us a line at info@bhamterminal.com.

FYI: If you feel the need to take a break from the @bhamterminal Twitter feed on Tuesday nights, you may want to take a look at Twittersnooze, but read the fine print first…