Monday, April 30, 2007


United Way of Summit County Opens a Blog

Just found this on a Technorati search. So far they have one post -- standard recitation of the organization's mission. No indication what they aim to do with the blog.

Time will tell, but blogging as part of an organization's overall communications strategy is more difficult than it looks. Anyone who has tried it will affirm that the care and feeding of a blog is a significant investment in time. Yesterday Village Green yesterday discussed running across the Akron Public Schools blog. Mostly APS used the Blogger platform as a turnkey community bulletin board, which is a clever use of a freely available tool. Even so, they haven't posted a new open thread since the beginning of March. And if you aim at posting content and moderating comments, look out.

So, time will tell. But UW is an important element in the civic life of the city, so it will be interesting to see what they have to say.



Eric Mansfield: Albrect Won't Buy the Highland

From Eric's blog:

Since the blog is still technically crappy, I have to tell you that it's the Saturday, April 28 post about Bernie Kosar's jersey.

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The Highland Theatre Folks Hold a Fundraiser

Redhorse picked up the story on ANN reviewing the turnout. And of course he has some thoughts of his own. I had noticed an ANN interview with Highland Square Theatre Corp. ED Lisa Bostwick in Saturday's preview story. Given that the event was at the American Legion hall, it's a safe bet that PeppermintLisa was there.

To clarify my reiterate what I said to Lisa and in my comments to the previous post, I would be very happy if HSTC makes a go of it. What they are talking about would be an asset to the neighborhood. I am skeptical it will work, but I'd love to be proven wrong. What I don't love is the insistence that saving the theatre is crucial to maintaining the character of the neighborhood. It does good to neither the effort to preserve the neighborhood nor the effort to save the theatre to exagerate the Highland's importance.

But they continue to make the rhetorical link. When, for example, did it become the Highland Square Theatre?

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Happy News at GWOT

Sergeant White is coming home. It is a happy day for White, his friends and family, and those of us who have been following his service.

Here's hoping he will continue to blog. His is a formidable voice.

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Saturday, April 28, 2007


One Good Thing about Cleveland+

I'm trying hard to find things about the Cleveland+ branding campaign for the Northeast Ohio region, er, make that the Cleveland region. More on my thoughts later on the Pages.

Anyway, scrying Technorati for Akron posts, I found "Selling to Small Business," one of those blogs titles that doesn't need further description. The proprietor of StSB lives in the area. She notes that the Cleveland+ website is full of useful small-business-oriented market research.'

So we've got that going for us. Which is nice.

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BFD on ABJ on Cleveland+

A quick hit from Doug at Brewed Fresh Daily taking the Beacon's Paula Scheis to task for her breathlessly uncritical coverage of the Cleveland+ brand rollout.

For the record, I don't think the Beacon is trolling for ad money. They've been unremittingly boosterish about the the Voices and Choices process since it began, mostly in a apparent hope it will help.

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Friday, April 27, 2007


Branding and Marketing Obsession

Chris Brown at Branding and Marketing got tagged for a meme asking what she is passionate and obsessive about. Well, duh:
Check it out.



Website of the Week: Akron Global Polymer Academy

This is a new feature for GABB. Every week I hope to have at least one post spotlighting an Akron-based website. I'll save until later the broader discussion for how this plays into a broader vision for GABB. For now, the website.

I learned about the Akron Global Polymer Academy site at the Nanotechnology Summit this past week. The University of Akron is not only a global leader in polymer research, they aggressively promote polymer education in the broader community. The Global Polymer Academy is a project of the Akron Polymer Training Center, a division within Polymer Sciences at Akron. The Training Center is about workplace training. The Global Academy posts basic information about polymers and resources for K-12 education about the field, plus other general information. They also have a Resources page which appears to be more specialized, and appears to be a work in progress.

If you check out the slide shows, the narrator is Dr. Carin Helfer who does outreach to K-12 teachers and into schools. She tries to use polymer science to get kids excited about studying science in general.

As Akronites we hear about polymers constantly. If you want to know what it all means. the Global Polymer Academy has the multimedia presentations offering basic information. Even if you know as much as you need about polymers, the website gives you a good window into how seriously the University generally and Polymer Sciences in particular takes its mission to educate beyond the bounds of the campus.



Next Week is Akron Law Week

Events all week to educate normal people about the legal system, the highlight of which will surely be the "Jammin' for Justice" battle of lawyer-populated band at The Barley House.

Schedule on the Leader website. More detail on the Akron Bar calendar.


Thursday, April 26, 2007


Eric Mansfield on New City Trash Cans

He asks a Darn Good Question:

I've been wondering the same thing. Fortunately Eric is more likely to get his Darn Good Questions answered, so keep an eye out.

By the way, the Time Warner people haven't done anything to make his blog more bloglike, so the link is always the same. If you are reading this many months hence, happy scrolling.

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CAK Blogport: Cheap Flights to Vegas

I don't share the enthusiasm for the destination, but some might find it good news:



To Summit County CSB: Advice from TBMD

That's a sample. Click through to the post for the rest.

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Arrest in the Mount Peace Case

Police have arrested a registered sex offender for rape and aggravated murder. Details.

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Village Green on the Closing of Grandmother Video

I wasnt' aware of the business, but VG offers a good rundown:
Click through to her post -- she has some links to some Dave's work online.

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Highland Theatre -- Two Views [Updated]

Though they haven't specifically gone at each other, two of my favorite people in the Akron sphere are approaching the discussion about what should happen to the Highland Theatre from decidedly different angles.

First, Village Green posts the email a lot of us got from the Save the Highland folks, without further further discussion. After a discussion of logistical moves, we get to the guts of the email:
While VG stops at Submitted for Your Approval, Redhorse shares his reservations:
Meanwhile, PeppermintLisa hasn't updated her post expressing ambivalence. I share that ambivalence. The first problem with the Highland is expressed by Redhorse and can be seen in the photo above -- over 1000 seats. And by the way, no parking.

The second problem is the Highland just isn't that nice a building. It has a storefront facade with promise, but past that, it's a big brick blob that glowers over the other storefronts on the south side of market.

But most importantly, a community center Highland would compete with a similarly modest-sized venue -- the auditorium in Main Library. The Highland needs renovations that will easily run into seven figures just to be a pleasant venue. Main Library's auditorium right now is a spanking new, clean space with a better rake, state-of-the-art acoustics and presentation electronics and ample parking. And it's more convenient to Akron generally as opposed to just the few neighborhoods around Highland Square.

All other things being equal, I wouldn't begrudge people their quixotic mission to save a building I don't care that much about. But in a world with finite money and volunteer energy, I wish people would leave the Highland to its fate and concentrate on rescuing the Civic -- truly an Akron jewel -- from its apparent difficulties.

UPDATES: For a blog that gets -- this is true -- an average of three hits a day, this post is already well travelled. I just got of the phone with Lisa Bostwick who is leading the effort. First off, a clarification of sorts. I posted the photo from the opening of the Highland with the big "1700 seats" sign. Apparently some seats have since been eliminated so now the theatre is down to around 1000.

Lisa and I talked at great length about the the issues I raised about the viability of the theatre. I'm not convinced, but understand that the Save the Highland folks have considered those issues and feel they have resolved them. If you are interested, read up on their website.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Akron Has a Law and Order Moment

If you've never seen the show, the first three minutes almost invariably involve someone finding a body. After more than a decade of the show, the bit seems increasingly contrived, but sometimes these things do happen:I got hip to this because we saw a Channel 5 news truck parked at Mount Peace cemetary yesterday, for a reporter stand-up. I've also found out that a relative knows the jogger (who is a he, not a she, by the way.) He is fairly shaken by the incident. Mount Peace is in a fairly safe area of the city, and Akron is not New York and in any event, life isn't supposed to be a TV crime show.

Meanwhile, this case already looks bizarre, even by the standards of Akron's increasinly gothic murders:
There is no way for this to end well. In fact, it seems unlikely the back story will be anything less than high-end creepy. Thoughts and prayers for the (still) anonymous victim and her family.

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