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Illinois to Disabled: Quality of Life Is Elsewhere

This month, the Chicago Community Trust’s Persons with Disabilities Forum announced surprising findings regarding the quality of life the disabled can expect to enjoy in Illinois. In short: not much.

2010 Knight News Challenge Deadline December 1st

This year’s Knight News Challenge deadline is December 1st. If you have an innovative idea about disseminating community news online, now is the time to apply for this Chicago Community Trust-managed grant competition.

Chicago Blogosphere, Heal Thyself…Not

Chicago bloggers frequently express interest in creating a local ad network. But until we all get over the rampant tendency to consider each other mortal enemies in the futile quest for the next-big-multimillion-dollar online idea, none of us is getting off the blogger bread line anytime soon.

Blogging Beyond the Bread Line

Another year, another potentially generic Chicago community news conference. But at this year’s convening, Community Media Workshop and Growth Spur CEO Mark Potts put forward a couple of cogent calls to action for Windy City funders and bloggers alike, to stop talking and start getting things done. Let’s do.

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.

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.

On Chicagosphere: OS Wars, Nonprofit Hijinks, Meatball Sundaes, Trailblazing Bloggers

While I settle down from the throttling I got from my fellow Mac users over my recently announced decision to migrate to Windows 7, here’s a look at the no-less debate-worthy topics I’ve covered lately on Chicagosphere, my byline about the local blogosphere on the Chicago Tribune’s ChicagoNow network.

Vivian Vahlberg Vs. The Usual Suspects: Why the “Community News Matters” Grantee List Is No Surprise

Yesterday, I asked why the Chicago Community Trust’s recently announced ‘Community News Matters’ grant awards seem to ignore the future sustainability of online local news. It turns out there may be a reason for that.

Is OS Choice Important to Bloggers?

Today, the Chicago Community Trust announced the recipients of its Community News Matters grant awards, aimed at spurring innovation in Chicago’s online local news sector. The recipients list reads like a who’s who of the Chicago community news scene. But it takes a lot of reading between the lines to find any evidence of long-term sustainability for the winning projects.

Last Word (for Now) on C-BOM Blog Sustainability Meetup

On the last Saturday in August, I and two dozen other bloggers from across Chicago got together for the C-BOM: Community Blogging & Online Media meetup at the Tribune Tower in downtown Chicago. We arrived to discuss ways to make local blogging financially sustainable.