Blog - Partners
PoPville founder and editor Dan Silverman | ep_jhu via flickr
Once again, congratulations are in order for PoPville‘s Dan Silverman. For the third year in a row, Washington City Paper named PoPville.com the Best Community Blog in Washington, D.C.
As happy as we are for Dan, this comes as no surprise to us. PoPville has been a key member of our publisher network, bringing peerless coverage of local events to the D.C. area. Since 2006, Dan, a Rockville Centre native, has been covering such topics as quality of life, real estate, restaurants, bars, retail, architecture, gardening, pets, transit, and crime. The Washington Post once wrote that Silverman “probably knows more about the District than some beat cops.”
Neither will the people of D.C. be surprised by this honor. PoPville is often quoted as a source in The Washington Post, and this commitment to local reporting results in ever-growing traffic to the site: 1.75 million page views and over 480,000 unique visitors in March 2014 alone. It’s no wonder that Washingtonian magazine called PoPville the “King of Neighborhood Blogs.”
So raise a glass (or two) to PoPville! Long live the king! We look forward to you winning again in 2015.
We’ve been excited about this for months. Now it’s everyone else’s turn.
Ever since the Daily News broke the story about the upcoming launch of ExploreBK.com (“Booming Brooklyn is about to get its own tourism website,” April 2, 2014), the story has been picked up all over the place, including the New York Observer, Crain’s, Brownstoner, Technical.ly, and Brooklyn Magazine.
From the Daily News piece:
The “it borough” is about to get a tourism website of its own, courtesy of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and Brooklyn tech company BlankSlate, officials told the Daily News.
Set to launch on May 9, ExploreBK.com will seek to amp up Brooklyn’s reputation as a tourist must-see for travelers locally and around the world.
“ExploreBK.com is going to take all of the great things in the coolest place in America, from shopping to dining to events, and put it into a one-stop shop website for all things Brooklyn,” Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce president Carlo Scissura told the Daily News.
The Observer added:
The website, ExploreBK, will feature information on major attractions and events in the borough, along with information about restaurants, business and hotels. BlankSlate, which also runs the Brooklyn real estate blog Brownstoner, will create content, sell ads and sponsorships, and take some of the revenue generated by the site.
New York already has an official tourism website, NYCgo.com, and there’s even a Kings-County specific site run by the borough president’s office, which features super-hip graffiti designs. But Brooklyn is just so cool that it needed one more.
If, in a couple months, you find your favorite Brooklyn street swarming with tourists, we hope you won’t be too mad at us.
We are pleased to report that last week we launched a newly designed Untapped Cities. In addition to handling the techy stuff, Untapped is also joining the BlankSlate Network, so we’ll also be handling the ad sales too.
Untapped Cities is a blog that focuses on urban life in cities around the globe. Untapped’s “writers and photographers are in the streets, unearthing quirky places, stories and events. We’re interested in what’s unseen – whether hidden, unnoticed or lost in the past – and how it informs city life now and in the future.” Its similar in a way to sites like Atlantic Cities. Its approach to creating editorial, though, is quite different: content is crowdsourced from a community of over 200 contributors from around the globe. A small dedicated staff manages the contributors and helps foster community among them. There are weekly Google Hangouts, live events/tours, workshops and contributor get-togethers in New York City.
BlankSlate worked with Untapped to fine tune the site’s concept, the site’s design, and then rebuilt the site. We used our new inContext WordPress theme to redesign the site.
The redesigned site offers a number of improvements over Untapped’s previous setup. Untapped used to have three separate WordPress installations. This approach, which made sense as the geographical coverage area of the site grew, created extra management effort for the editors and more clicks for the readers. BlankSlate consolidated the sites into a single site. Now, the editors are more efficient and readers can more easily navigate the site.
Using the inContext theme made building this custom site incredibly simple. Our designer worked independently with the publisher, without the need for a developer to be involved. After installing the theme, you can immediately see a preview of the site. He then customized the theme through the familiar WordPress admin, previewing changes on the fly. Typically these kinds of interfaces sacrifice features for ease of use or vice versa. Not with inContext. Everything can be modified, from the header size to the font to the layout, without complication. It’s an all-in-one package for any level of customization. Since our designer knows how to do some coding, he also used the advanced customization feature to make some custom modifications.
inContext also uses a responsive design, allowing Untapped to adjust dynamically depending on the device accessing it. It looks equally great on desktops, tablets, and mobile phones, all without the editors having to create more than one layout. That goes for any site using the inContext theme.
For more information about BlankSlate, the BlankSlate Network or the inContext theme, you can contact us here.
We are really thrilled that PrinceofPetworth (PoP) was just named the #1 Local Blog by Washington City Paper. Our partnership with PoP began at the end of December 2012 and we are so pleased to have played a small part in helping the site achieve such well-deserved recognition.
BlankSlate has added Brokelyn to its partner portfolio. Brokelyn, one of the largest sites in Brooklyn, is a much loved site that focuses on how to “live big on small change” in Brooklyn. The site now carries the BlankSlate events calendar, classifieds, and business directory. The business directory offers listing advertisers the ability to offer readers of the site a “Brokelyn Bucks” discount when readers mention the site. Brooklyn rental listings and other tools will be added in the coming weeks. With the addition of Brokelyn, BlankSlate now has an an advertising reach in Brooklyn of over 600,000 unique visitors and two million page views a month.
BlankSlate is partnering with ARLnow, to bring our real estate listings solution to the site. ARLnow, is led by Scott Brodbeck, who has won accolades for his local coverage and local business model. The addition of ARLnow enables BlankSlate to offer real estate advertisers a very large readership and a coverage area that includes Arlington, DC, and Baltimore.
BlankSlate has relaunched the Baltimore Fishbowl, adding solutions and sales management to the site. The site currently has BlankSlate’s real estate listings and events calendar, and other solutions will be added in the coming weeks. The Fishbowl was founded by Susan Dunn, who is the former founder of a Baltimore city magazine called Paper Doll. Susan was a Fellow at the Knight Foundation’s News Entrepreneur Boot Camp in 2011. The Fishbowl is the second property BlankSlate has partnered with in the DC area.