July 06, 2005
New Milwaukee Blog -- Play in the City
Posted by Christine Hurt

This morning I sat in on my very first web conference.  I was invited by the marketing firm behind VISIT Milwaukee.  Anyway, it was really a teleconference with live powerpoint slides on a website.  The topic of the web conference was a new blog called Play in the City, authored by Erin Leffelman.  The Milwaukee tourism people wanted to harness the power of blogs, which the PR guy called "consumer-generated journalism," to communicate someone's personal experiences with Milwaukee's outdoor recreation amenities.  (Did you know that Milwaukee is rated #1 in the country by Rand McNally in terms of green space?  Did you know that Milwaukee has 15,000 acres of recreational space?)  The overarching goal is to achieve a huge perception change in how non-Wisconsonians view Milwaukee.

I think the blog is great, and I wish that it had existed two years ago, when I thought we were moving to Laverne & Shirley-land.  I never would have guessed that Milwaukee was such a gorgeous place to live, with many more recreational opportunities than the Western frontier in which I lived.

The speaker acknowledged that one of the problems with using blogs for basically marketing purposes is that the blogosphere can sniff out corporate-sponsored blogs and attack them as fake.  So, this blog is to be not fake.

To this end, Miss Leffelman is not paid and can write whatever she wants.  She is supposed to participate in outdoor activities and blog about them, but she has freedom in choosing her activities and "honestly posting" about those.  The speaker stressed that there would be no content editing, except for offensive comments.  Another feature of the blog is open comments, which allow others familiar with Milwaukee outdoor activities to give their two cents.  Miss Leffelman gets free Internet, a laptop, and a digital camera.  I also got the sense that she gets her costs associated with participating in these activities comped.  As you might expect, Ms. Leffelman seems very personable, energetic, and enthusiastic about Milwaukee.  She graduated from UW-Milwaukee and is a convert to the city.

In the next few months, the speaker announced that they would be setting up other blogs with different focuses, like arts and culture.  If you need someone to give the family-friendly pitch, look no further, VISIT Milwaukee!

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"Jeune diplômée en journalisme, Erin Lefelman, a ouvert Play in the city un blog qui décrit les charm ..." [more] (Tracked on July 22, 2005 @ 5:38)
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