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Your Next Awesome Community Manager

For hundreds of friendships and acquaintances, readers near and far, the blessings of my skill set, a loving partner, and free WiFi at Metropolis, I’m thankful. It is, indeed, a very, very good life.

ChicagoNow You See It, Now You Don’t

Last week, ChicagoNow pulled a controversial post from popular blogger “Joe the Cop” after a day of protest personally led by Time Out Chicago editor-in-chief Frank Sennett. Sennett called Joe a racist on Twitter in a day-long stream of 100 tweets. I think the real question is whether that makes Sennett an Internet bully.

Pork Bun Dressing with a Hungary Chaser

Wow Bao may be the most responsive local eatery on Twitter. But would you dress like a life-size steamed bun for them? Wow them with your fannishness in a new contest to win free food. Think: “What would you do for a Klondike bar?” Only meatier.

PR Firms: You’re Never “Anonymous” on the Internet

I’d like to know how an anonymous, scathing comment about my recent criticism of the Visit Milwaukee tourism campaign got on my blog from…the IP address of a PR firm employed by Visit Milwaukee. How about you?

The Status Quo Vs. The Local Blogger

In Chicago, how people feel privately about the status quo and what they say about it in public are rarely the same. That applies to Chicago’s blogosphere, too. In a new-media space where dissent makes people run for cover, how can local bloggers hope to make change happen?

Are Unpaid Social Media Internships Legal?

Chicago nonprofits and businesses often use unpaid social media interns as a cheap way to gain institutional knowledge about building online community. But according to the U.S. Department of Labor, federal law requires that unpaid internships be for the benefit of the intern–not the company. And now the fed is investigating.

Exploring Chicago with Foursquare: An Unexpectedly Amazing Experience

For months I dismissed Foursquare, the popular GPS check-in game, as a marketing gimmick. But a whirlwind day chasing down Chicago’s official tourism badges showed a friend and me how addictive it can be–and taught us a lot about our own city that we never knew before.

Windy Citizen Widens Discussion with New “Essential Chicago” Facebook Page

The Windy Citizen, Chicago’s leading community-news forum, is bringing the discussion to Facebook. Debuting this month as a home for conversations about all things local: WC’s ‘Essential Chicago’ Facebook page.

Browse Me in the Bathroom: New Chicago Carless Mobile Site

Today debuts the mobile version of Chicago Carless. Now browsing my blog on an iPhone, Android, or other web-enabled smart phone will bring up a speedy, pared down mobile version that’s a lot easier to read on a smaller screen. From wherever you may be reading.

The Economic Damage of Social Media “Internships”

An improving economy is bringing new job openings for graduating collegians. Unfortunately, opportunities in the social media industry remain monopolized by a highly disingenuous job title: social media intern. It’s a title manufactured by the nonprofit sector to squeeze critically needed expertise from college students–without paying them what they’re worth.