Posts Tagged ‘Adirondacks’

Friday, March 21, 2008

Adirondack Blogosphere: Year Three

This month marks the third anniversary of the Adirondack Adirondack and that means a look at the local blogosphere.

New Local Blogs of Note

This past year, once again, has been a banner year for local blogs. A look at our blogroll (at right, below) shows that a number of new blogs have joined the ranks. Here are a few that I think are the best new local blogs:

Corktown Capers – written by the chaplain of the Corinth Fire Department. You’ll remember that Corinth recently had a devastatingly destructive fire. Here is another post – God in Three Inches – worth reading and thinking about.

City Mouse / Country House – the ramblings of a musician, artist, craftsperson, modern homesteader and who knows what else, splitting his time between the Adirondacks and the big city. Check out I Have a Propane Problem, and Authentic Dreams for a taste of what it’s all about.

Adirondack Naturalist – NatureGirl says : “From sea slugs to sundews, redpolls to resin blisters, the world presents an endless array of “WOW” upon which we can feast our eyes, ears and mind.” Her blog has so far proven to be the proverbial dinner table. May we suggest My Favorite Marten and a helping of Hungry Deer?

Lake Placid Skater – a figure skater and speed skater living and training in Lake Placid writes this local blog that provides a little insight into what’s really happening on the Olympic rink – loaded with photos. Check out her report on the “load-in” for 2008 Empire State Games entitled Meeting Monica and find out what speed guarding is all about.

There has been a movement toward local business blogging. The best of the business blog bunch has been The Cottage Chat based in the The Cottage Cafe, the former Mirror Lake Inn boathouse turned pub-style restaurant in 1976. The Cottage Chat’s mix of event notices, Lake Placid gossip, and general community news is the best of what Adirondack business blogging can (and should) become. Another blog worthy of note this year is the infrequently updated but funny, irreverent, and mildly urbanesque cogblog from the women of Adworkshop / Inphorm.

Something we hope not to see anymore in local business blogs is the attempt to attract readers by using blog titles that mis-construe the true nature of the blog. Adirondack Vacation Guide, by Harbor Hill Inns and Cottages in Saranac Lake is a classic example. Some advice: be honest with your readers business bloggers, be upfront about your purpose, offer value. Take the good example of Christy’s Motel in Old Forge; their regular reports on snowmobiling conditions no doubt attract readers and customers – without the subterfuge.

Local Media Enters the Blogosphere (Sort Of)

The local papers have begun to get into the blogging game more seriously. Syracuse was named one of America’s Top Twenty Blogging Cities and I suspect that a large part of the reason is the Syracuse Post-Standard’s acceptance of the blog community. Unlike local media who – even though they’ve tried to enter the Adirondack blogsphere – have yet to cover the local blog scene in any even remotely appropriate way, the Post-Standard online includes an enormous list of blogs, and reports regularly on local blogs and blogging. Even the Adirondack Almanack graced their pages when we wrote about the Best Summer Adirondack Travel Blogging in September 2007.

The best local newpaper blogs (other media still hasn’t entered the fray) arrived this past year at the Albany Times Union. Their list of blogs is impressive, but so far offer little more than your average old media style commentary. Perhaps the best blog of the bunch is Birding by Rich Guthrie. Guthrie’s pursuit of his topic demonstrates the kind of potential local newspaper blogs have.

The Saratogian’s managing editor Barabara Lombardo entered the local blogosphere with Fresh Ink – not much happening there though. The Glens Falls Post Star’s effort (blog list) seems like some kind of weird joke, unless you’re a sports fan. The archives are nearly impossible to navigate.

Our suggestion for local media outlets? Take a lesson from the Syracuse Post Standard and get involved in your local blog world and abandoned attempts to merely capitalize on it. That’s just not what the blogosphere is about – it’s about a variety of voices engaging the local media world. There’s nothing wrong with making money from your efforts, but provide your audience with value first.

Those interested in the local blogospere should check out our comparison of local news stories reported on blogs and local mainstream media which appeared to show that local blogs are competing head-to-head for internet eyeballs.

There is also now a list of mentions of Adirondack Almanack in the local media, for those who are interested.

On a related note – although in the past year the New York Times opened its historic archives to readers, local newspapers have yet to figure out that people want to be able to access their stories for more than a week or two even though, as we recently pointed out, there is obviously a great desire to access old copies of local papers.


Thursday, January 3, 2008

Adirondack Almanack’s Most Read Stories of 2007

This year, we’re throwing out an anomaly. Due to the porn obsessed among us, the most read Adirondack Almanack story of the year was Naughty Nurses and the Cult of Halloween Sex. Apparently, “Halloween sex” and “naughty nurse” are quite in demand.

Frankly, the post is one of our favorites and I’m sure those looking for sexy nurses are surprised to find a feminist analysis of Halloween and the role of sex oriented costumes for women and girls. Here’s a sample:

Linking sexual images so closely to the profession of nursing–to even the fantasy idea that working nurses are sexually available to patients–reinforces long-standing stereotypes. Those stereotypes continue to discourage practicing and potential nurses, foster sexual violence in the workplace, and contribute to a general atmosphere of disrespect. Desexualizing the nursing image is a key part of building the strength the profession needs to overcome the current shortage, which threatens lives worldwide, and to meet the challenges of 21st Century health care.

So we decided to throw that one out this year, even though it probably deserves it’s spot at number one based on content and the surprise factor for those who land on it.

So on to this year’s list.

#10 Adirondack Northway Cell Phone Controversy
#9 North Creek: Center of the Adirondack Universe?
#8 Ticonderoga Plane Crash: Murder-Suicide?
#7 Lake George Cruise Boat Ethan Allen Tragedy
#6 Adirondack and New York State Map Round-Up
#5 1950s Adirondack Ads Online: Gaslight Village
#4 With Pipe and Book: Will Lake Placid Lose The Adirondacks’ Best Book Store?
#3 Adirondack Mountain Lions, Panthers, Pumas, and Cougars Oh My!
#2 Sopranos Premiere Set In The Adirondacks

and drum roll please…

the most requested story of 2007 (for the second year running)…

10 Deadliest Accidents in The Adirondack Mountain Region

Thanks for reading, and thanks for contributing your comments, and for supporting the Almanack through donations via PayPal (at right) and purchases from the Almanack Store.

And while we’re at it – we’d like to thank the top five referring Internet denizens – these folks sent more readers our way than any other spots on the net (save for the search engines). Thanks for the links and we wish you well in the coming year!

#1 North Country Now
#2 Adirondack Regional Tourism Council
#3 York Staters Blog
#4 NYCO’s Blog
#5 North Country Public Radio

Last year’s list of most read stories can be found here.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Reading Adirondack Almanack Via E-Mail

Each week here at the Almanack new readers sign up to have our posts delivered by e-mail, so I thought I would take a minute to review some of the ways you can take advantage of the Almanack’s e-mail offerings. It’s easy and there is no spam!

Almanack Blog Posts by E-Mail – Just the regular blog posts you see here. Updated every few days.

The Latest Adirondack News by E-Mail – If you follow Adirondack news – you’ll definately want to get our local news e-mail. We select Adirondack news from a variety of sources including many you will not see in the local media. For example: did you know that the Grace Brown Murder Recently Hit Meta Filter? Did you know that Tops Supermarket Has Changed Hands Again? Did you see the story on Ticonderoga’s International Paper’s Decision Not To Burn Tires Afterall. You did if you got the Adirondack News E-mail. NOTE: This service is updated regularly – expect to recieve about two or three e-mails per day.

County News by E-mail – Are you only interested in news or posts about Warren County? Or Essex County? Our blog posts and Adirondack news links are all tagged by county. That means you can subscribe via e-mail to news and posts from only the Adirondack county you are interested in.

Clinton County by E-mail

Essex County by Email

Franklin County by Email

Fulton County by Email

Herkimer County by Email

Hamilton County by Email

Jefferson County by Email

Lewis County by Email

Oneida County by Email

Saratoga County by Email

St.Lawrence County by Email

Warren County by Email

Washington County by Email


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Two Years Old – An Adirondack Blog History

This week marks our second anniversary here at the Adirondack Almanack. Big thanks to all our regular readers and a big hello to the new readers arriving every week. If you like what you read here, why not support the Almanack by making your next Amazon purchase through us and/or letting your friends know about us? If you own a local business contact us about advertising here.

Before we get started on blogging in the Adirondacks, Rebecca Blood has put together a nice history of blogging – which has been said to have begun in December 1997 when Jorn Barger first used the term Weblog.

State of the Blogosphere

David Sifry (founder and CEO of Technorati) periodically updates the state of the blogosphere. Here are some of his most interesting blog facts from one year ago:

[Technorati] currently tracks over 75,000 new weblogs created every day, which means that on average, a new weblog is created every second of every day – and 13.7 million bloggers are still posting 3 months after their blogs are created. In other words, even though there’s a reasonable amount of tire-kicking going on, blogging is growing as a habitual activity. In October of 2005, when Technorati was only tracking 19 million blogs, about 10.4 million bloggers were still posting 3 months after the creation of their blogs. In addition to that, about 2.7 million bloggers update their blogs at least weekly.

When Adirondack Almanack first went online in 2005 Technorati was tracking over 7.8 million weblogs. They apparently stopped tracking the number of blogs after last summer’s debate over the accuracy of Sifry’s assertion that there were 55 Million weblogs and growing. Still, the number is huge and growing all the time.

The Pew Internet & American Life Project estimated in July 2006 that the “US blog population has grown to about 12 million American adults,” about 8% of adult American internet users. “The number of US blog readers was estimated as 57 million adults (39% of the US online population), although few of those people read widely or read often.” [link]

Adirondack Blogs

A look at the sidebar of Adirondack Almanack reveals that there are now 20 blogs written in the Adirondacks, nearly all created in the last year or so. When Adirondack Almanack went online there was (we believe) just one, Brain Clouds, by North Country Public Radio’s poet-web-guy Dale Hobson (apparently founded in April 2002). Coincidentally, the Adirondack’s second two blogs, Adirondack Musing and Adirondack Almanack, were founded on the same day (March 10, 2005).

Mainstream media has been slow to catch on and local, old-style, media have reported only once on local blogs. The Glens Falls Post Star’s Conrad Marshall wrote a piece in May of 2005. Back in January, Stephen Barlett wrote a piece on blogging for the Plattsburgh Press Republican that regurgitated the typical threat-to-young-people scare tactics and failed to mention a single local blog including the paper’s own “folksy” blog On The Sly, written by Foxy Gagnon (hardly a danger to youth). Oddly, just a month later, the Press Republican announced what it’s calling a “newsroom blog” aptly titled On The Beaten Path and featuring a post by Bartlett. The blog is aptly titled because it travels the same well-worn road as the rest of the paper and so far goes almost nowhere exceptional.

As far as new media trends are concerned, the Glens Falls Post Star has finally smartened up and abandoned the online subscription model, and now provides free access to the Post Star’s web readers (which we suggested a couple years ago). They tried a Don Coyote blog which was abandoned fairly quickly. Then came Maury Thompson’s All Politics is Local blog, er column, which so far has had little new or unusual to add to the local political reporting. No local mainstream media outlet has managed to have a truly successful blog, even on the most basic level of Adirondack Almanack or Adirondack Musing, let alone the success of the Times Union’s Capital Confidential, which actually provides additional context to stories (by occasionally covering third parties for instance), local connections to national stories, and occasionally a breaking story or inside scoop.

What’s Good Locally

Many of our regular readers come to us by way of our RSS feed, having signed up after we mentioned we set up the feed and mentioned our own experience with feed readers (particularly Bloglines) last summer. A large number of regular readers of the Almanack also come by way of our e-mail subscription. All the local papers with web content have good RSS feeds, except the Adirondack Daily Enterprise which is on its way to missing the boat entirely.

Not surprisingly, North Country Public Radio is the one local media outlet that has an established web presence of real merit. While we salute their acceptance of the blog community, (especially their inclusion of Adirondack Almanack as a “featured blog”), their own blog – iNCPR: Staff Blog of North Country Public Radio – hasn’t had a post since late January. Despite a tag line that says “A peek behind the curtain at member-supported North Country Public Radio” there have only been eight posts, all but one in November of last year. They can be forgiven to some extent, because NCPR already has a great site with lots of local “behind the scenes” content and their small staff and small budget no doubt make it difficult to keep up with the blog. Their RSS feeds are well done and inclusive of the majority of their stories – something way ahead of the Adirondack’s other NPR station, WAMC, which is wallowing in fairly lame local content and proprietary feeds that make following their news on a standard feed reader impossible. So compared to the better funded WAMC, NCPR is a web giant who deserves the accolades we more often heap on it.

As long as we’re talking NCPR, here are a couple of questions / suggestions:

Where is the RSS feed for 8 O’Clock Hour?

How about including every story and feature program in the RSS feed seperately? We’re thinking about All Before Five in particular?

How about getting an intern to update the iNCPR blog?

How about doing a story on Adirondack blogging?

Now that you know how we feel, drop us a note (e-mail address at right) and let us know how we can improve the Almanack.

UPDATE 3/23/07
We received the following note from a reader. We’re reprinting it here because we think it accurately reflects the attitude at least some at the Post Star have had about new media – an attitude we hope they’ve changed.

I was either living in the area or had just relocated from North Creek to Buffalo when the P-S went to a pay site. I wrote to complain and received a bitchy letter back from an editor (can’t remember who, sadly) about how within two years every newspaper would be a pay site and I was basically lucky they’d been free this long. Right about now, I’m trying not to gloat.


Saturday, December 30, 2006

Adirondack Almanack’s 10 Most Read Stories 2006

#10 Ticonderoga Plane Crash: Murder Suicide?
#9 Lake George Cruise Boat Ethan Allen Sinking
#8 Lake Placid’s “With Pipe and Book” Closes
#7 Local Adirondack History Up In Flames
#6 Adirondack and New York State Map Round-Up
#5 Adirondack Earthquake Anniversaries
#4 Adirondack Mining Accidents
#3 Thin Ice: Some Strange and Tragic Stories from Frozen Lakes
#2 Naughty Nurses and the Cult of Halloween Sex

and drum roll please…

the most requested story of 2006…

The Ten Deadliest Accidents in the Adirondacks

Thanks for reading, and thanks for contributing your e-mailed comments, and for supporting the Almanack through purchases from the Almanack Store and the suggested reading links.

And while we’re at it – we’d like to thank the top five referring Internet denizens – these folks sent more readers our way than any other spots on the net (save for the search engines). Thanks for the links and we wish you well in the coming year!

#1 North Country Now
#2 York Staters
#3 North Country Public Radio
#4 NYCO’s Blog
#5 Adirondack Musing


Monday, November 13, 2006

Adirondack Almanack Mentioned in Adirondack Life

In case you haven’t seen it, a piece by Adirondack Life editor Galen Crane in the December 2006 mentions the Adirondack Almanack.

The idea of falling through ice—certainly the possibility of it— probably occurs to you when you step onto a frozen lake. At the very least, you make a quick assessment of conditions. If such thoughts don’t enter your mind, they should. Last winter, a rash of incidents on Adirondack lakes—mostly the big ones—made headlines here and as far away as Long Island. And now the ice is on its way back in.

Falling through is, as the wife of a repeat winter swimmer put it, a fact of life up here. Some stories are almost comical. In the late 1800s, a general store was being moved across Brant Lake’s frozen surface to a new location when it dropped through. There’s the occasional account of ice fishermen adrift in Lake Champlain on a huge sheet of ice that the wind and waves have broken off, floating slowly toward the Richelieu River and Canada before being rescued. Cars, log trucks and bulldozers have all failed to make shortcuts over big lakes.

Sound familiar? Regular readers know how obsessed we are here at the Almanack about falling through.

We’d also like to welcome Mr. Crane to our long list of movers and shakers in our region who read the Almanack regularly. Remember this story covered by NCPR’s Brian Mann?


Suggested Reading

Adirondack Life Magazine’s 2007 Calendar


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

New Feature: Adirondack Hacks

Today the Adirondack Almanack will begin a new occasional feature. Adirondack Hacks will offer randomly organized links to make life in the Adirondacks easier – technology tools and tips, do-it-yourself (DIY) projects, and anything else that offers a better, more convenient, or healthier way of life in our region.

DIY Jerky Machine
A simple jerky maker for dried fish, fruit, meat, or whatever

Become a del.icio.us Power User
Making the most of the popular social bookmarking program

Build Your Own Tiki Bar
Perfect for a South Pacific theme party

See Your Web Pages in 30+ Browsers
Find out how your site looks on various web browsers

Get Democracy Player
The future of Internet TV has arrived

Save Money on Your Wedding
Cutting the costs for the big day

The BBC’s Shopping List Generator
Be prepared for that next trip into town


Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Adirondack Almanack: Recent Editorial Changes

Regular readers have probably noticed a few changes here at the Almanack (thanks in part to Beta Blogger), but I thought I’d review them and seek your input on how to make the only regional Adirondack blog even better.

  • An Adirondack news feed has been added at top right. So far, it hasn’t been as nice as we would have liked, but having the latest google news about the Adirondacks does offer a little something extra. Verdict: not sure if we’ll keep it; we may move to a topix feed instead.
  • We’ve added a section at right called “support the almanack” where you can:
    • Visit our Amazon store (make your purchases through the link and we’ll get a portion of the proceeds).
    • Submit one of our stories to Digg or make us one of your Technorati favorites; by doing so you help bring more readers – more readers, more support, support we could certainly use.
    • Subscribe to one of our RSS Feeds – we recently started using Bloglines as our newsreader – and we love it! No more dozens of open tabs or windows, easy reading, saving stories, and searching. If you don’t do RSS – we highly suggest you do.
  • We’ve made reading some of our more popular stories easier by adding some sections at right. Thanks to our new tags at the bottom of each story we’ll be able to occasionally highlight stories on particular topics. Some of the offerings we have as present are:
    • A selection from our collection of stories of danger and disaster.
    • A selection of some of our favorite posts from the past year and a half.
    • An opportunity to sample some more of our stories by type/category/tag.
    • An opportunity to read stories by county.
    • A revised Archive of all our past Adirondack Almanack stories.
  • A new blogroll of Adirondack blogs – these are all local blogs and local blogs only. Adirondack bloggers have come a long way in the past two years and we’re happy the community of Adirondack Blogs is growing steadily. When is the first Adk Blogger Picnic?
  • A newsfeed of recent stories we’ve dug on Digg. These are stories that are probably not directly related to the Adirondacks but are somehow relevant to our mission or Adirondack news and information.

There are some new features as well in the works including link dumps on specific topics. We hope you like the changes and look forward to your comments and suggestions. feel free to e-mail us at adkalmanack[at]gmail[dot com].


Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Adirondack Almanack Update

Over the next few weeks as we approach our first year anniversary we’ll be making some improvements here at Adirondack Almanack. The first is the addition of occasional photos. Today we have the now long defunct Mohawk F-227 loading passengers at Warren County’s Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport in Queensbury.
While you’re here, check out our recent post on regional airline service and the mysterious crash into Old Fort Mountain in Ticonderoga.


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