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Metroblogging was an online local media project founded by Jason Defillippo and Sean Bonner, subsequently owned by Sean Bonner, Jason DeFillippo and Richard Ault, collectively Bode Media, Inc. Started in Los Angeles in November 2003, the project included 57 city-specific blogs around the world, with close to 700 contributors. Notable contributors have included Xeni Jardin and Wil Wheaton (Los Angeles), Violet Blue (San Francisco), Johannes Grenzfurthner (Vienna), Aaron Proctor (Philadelphia) and Joi Ito (Tokyo).
The first post on blogging.la was on November 30, 2003. When it started, it was intended as a group blog where a number of bloggers from Los Angeles could talk about the city as they saw it. Following the success of blogging.la, Bonner and DeFillippo considered expanding to Orange County, California, but in the end decided to start an international network, which would be known as Metroblogging.
Bonner and DeFillippo enlisted a team of bloggers for each of the four initial Metroblogging sites (San Francisco, New York, London and Chicago). Over the next year, Metroblogging added another thirty city sites to its network. As weblogs started to become an increasingly popular source of first person accounts for news events circa 2005, Metroblogging was able to provide such content for cities in which it had blogs.
July 2005 London bombings
During both bombings upon the London mass-transit system Metroblogging London became a hub for sharing news and first person accounts of the bombings. The writers for Metroblogging London were able to write about what it was actually like in the city during the bombings and their aftermath.
When Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast of the United States in August 2005 Metroblogging New Orleans sprang to action providing first hand accounts of the destruction. Since some of the Metroblogging New Orleans writers did not leave the city prior to the Hurricane making landfall, they were already there on-scene, able to provide coverage that mainstream media could not.
The writers for Metroblogging New Orleans were able to report on the anarchy that had befallen the city days before any of the major news outlets did. They were able to report on the dire needs and the terrible conditions that people were in the city, and started questioning the lack of reaction to the disaster by city, state and federal officials before others were aware of the extent of the crisis.
In addition, they were able to correct the mainstream media in some of its reporting. While the media was reporting that the French Quarter of New Orleans was under 10 to 12 feet (3.7 m) of water, Metroblogging New Orleans was able to report that the French Quarter was not flooded and had remained mostly dry.
Dawson College Shooting
Shying away from the rumor mill, the writers of Metroblogging Montreal succeeded in blogging about the latest facts as they were made available. The Dawson College Shooting affected the entire city and many people wrote about it. But one of their writers, who happens to work for Dawson College, wrote about his experience of what happened on September 13, 2006 helping make the blog the "go to" place for relatively accurate information, considering the amount of confusion throughout the day.
- "'Insider' info puts city blogs on the map". USA Today. August 8, 2004. Retrieved December 14, 2014.