Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I was an Early & Often subscriber...

Click image for website
When the service was first offered I took advantage. In their subscriber section they frequently linked to my other blog, The Sixth Ward, during the course of not only the run-off campaign but also the municipal elections as well. It was a great idea but unlike Rich Miller at the CapFax I was never under the impression that this was permanent:
I’ll do my best to avoid over-heated rhetoric here, but I never thought their service would work because I never really understood their business model. The subscriptions were based on a single election cycle, not the actual doings of government. Government is how I survive. Campaigns most certainly help, but government is where the subscribers are. Plus, when Rahm Emanuel avoided a runoff, the campaign cycle was radically shortened and their business model was hurt even worse. Also, the Chicago media rarely covers legislative campaigns. They do cover city campaigns, however, including aldermanic races. There was simply no gigantic hole which needed to be filled.

Anyway, I was hoping it would work. Really, I was, mainly because I’ve long thought that a subscriber service was possible for Chicago. I still do. Just not the way they did it. But, nobody asked me.
There are surely some geeks out there who very much want to follow the minutiae of what's going on in Chicago's city government. Believe me right now there are problems that are worth covering throughout all of our city's outlets. This could be a basis for a new business model for this website.

Four years ago there was this site called Aldertrack. It tracked the city elections in 2007 and the creator was a part of the municipal election coverage at E & O. Then he wanted to evolve his site to track zoning issues but that aspect of that site didn't last. There is some potential in that.

Right now we'll just have to depend on the coverage by either the Chicago News Coop, Chicago Tonight, and other more established Chicago media outlets from newspapers to TV. The CapFax (well Capitol Fax) is a subscription that caters to state government although they do cover the counties and municipalities from time to time. Those of who read this blog already know that. :P

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