Election Day – A Few Blogs to Follow for Pittsburgh & PA Politics

Señalización de lugar de votación en Californi...

Señalización de lugar de votación en California. 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 is election day.  Here are some blogs and Twitter accounts you can keep an eye on t  if you are looking to follow election day and results.  If you are looking for your polling place or voter guides for Pittsburgh & Allegheny County click here.

City of Pittsburgh

State of Pennsylvania

What are your go-to sources for Election Day information?  Are there other blogs that should be on this list?

If you are outside of Pittsburgh – what are the best sources for election day information in your city and state?

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Local Photo: This is Fineview

I’ve been building a list of posts that I want to write for the month of November, I was thinking about the different ways that blogs can be local.  Sometimes a picture says it all.

Today I joined the Urban Hike group to take a hike through the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Fineview.  Each month from April through November, the volunteers who organize Urban Hike plan a walk though a different neighborhood or borough around the Pittsburgh area.  Today was a perfect day for a hike and this one started with what seemed like a never ending set of steps.  But, the climb was worth the view.

photo 2

This neighborhood was originally called Nunnery Hill but was eventually renamed Fineview because is offers some of the most expansive views of the city.

You can learn more about Urban Hike and see photos from past hikes at urbanhike.com.

Photo Credit: Benjamin Weaver

Is there a photo that you think best represents your neighborhood or city?  Please share a link in the comments.

Posted in Local Photo | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Let the “Link Twitter Users” Plugin Add Links to Twitter Handles in Your Blog Posts

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

If you are writing a blog post that has lots of references to twitter handles – it can take awhile to go and link each of the twitter names to their twitter accounts.  Let the WordPress plugin Link Twitter Users add the links for you.

For every @TwitterName in your blog post, the Link Twitter Users plugin adds a link. It is simple to install and there are no additional settings.  You can see an example of the plugin in action on this post.

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Blogging Peer Pressure & NaBloPoMo

NaBloPoMo_November_blogroll_largeHere in Pittsburgh there is an active Facebook group of Pittsburgh bloggers.  This Facebook group is a great place to share posts and ask blogging questions.  We have over 200 bloggers as group members with a variety of writing backgrounds.

Earlier this week, Heather Hobson who writes the blog Diary of a First Time Mom, posted a link to the November NaBloPoMo on the Pittsburgh Bloggers Facebook group asking if other Pittsburgh bloggers were going to participate.   Continue reading

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StartUp Weekend Pittsburgh Links – 12 New Companies Formed 56 Hours

BlogLocal participated in the first StartUp Weekend Pittsburgh in the spring of 2012 and had a great response.

swpgh-2013-fallStartUp Weekend Pittsburgh Fall 2013 is happening this weekend! Over a 100 people have gathered and split up into 13 different teams that are working to build a company in just 2 days.

Check out the business ideas that have been created in just one weekend:

Thinkero.us (another Pittsburgh-based startup) is hosting a crowd favorite campaign.  Take a moment to visit the Thinkero.us page and vote for your favorite here.

Posted in Online/Offline, Uniquely Local | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Best Blogs about the Bucs


1968–1986 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We’ve got baseball on the brain here in Pittsburgh.  Which is a good thing because our beloved football team has not had a good start to the season.  The temperatures for the past weeks have stayed unseasonably warm and the baseball season has continued.  The Pittsburgh Pirates, who haven’t made it to the playoffs since 1992 are tied with the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship series.

So for anyone looking to read up on the Pirates baseball team here are three blogs that are dedicated to Pittsburgh Pirates baseball.  Please take a moment to vote for your favorites.

3 items   2 followers   0 votes   173 views

Pirates Baseball Blogs

Oct 07, 2013 - bloglocal.net - 29
Pirates Baseball Blogs | Where Have You Gone Andy Van Slyke

This blog is about Pittsburgh Pirates, MLB, Baseball, Pirates, bucs Description: Blogging about the Pittsburgh Pirates for seven years and counting. Social Networks

Oct 07, 2013 - bloglocal.net - 29
Pirates Baseball Blogs | Raise the Jolly Roger

To inform, entertain, and provide an online home for Pittsburgh Pirates fans Social Networks

Oct 07, 2013 - bloglocal.net - 27
Pirates Baseball Blogs | Pirates Prospects

Pirates Prospects is the best source for news and information on the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league system. Social Networks

If your looking for more blogs about baseball in general – check out this post that my friend Tim, a die hard Pirates fan, wrote for IheartPGH earlier this year.

Are there other Pirates blogs that should be included in this list?  Let us know by leaving a link in the comments below.

Posted in Blogger Spotlight, Lists | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A View of (and a blog about) Mt. Whitney

One of the magazines that I read most is Outside Magazine.  I do most magazine reading at the gym and I judge the magazines by which ones have articles that I become so engrossed in that I forget that I’ve been riding the stationary bike.  The recent features in Outside Magazine have kept me peddling.

I saw a link to this post on the Outside Magazine Facebook page earlier today about Mt. Whitney and the government shutdown.  The post links the the Whitney Portal Store which is located next to the Mt. Whitney trail head.  While the Whitney Portal Store website isn’t anything fancy it does feature a spectacular webcam with a live view of Mt. Whitney.  It is worth a click over to whitneyportalstore.com (but during daylight hours) to see the live views.

You can read all about the webcam and view archived photos from the past 5 years.  Here is a photo from Friday:



Even if you aren’t in California, you can still shop from the Whitney Portal Store, check out their online shop here.

If you are looking to read more about Mt. Whitney check out the blog Mt. Whitney Quest.  The author, Jerry DeCapua is an avid hiker and has lectured on Mt. Whitney for the REI Outdoor School (he is also a voice talent – check out his IMDB page here).

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Meeting Your Online Friends Offline & List of Bloggers Who Attended Podcamp Pgh 8

Photo Credit: amberlysara

Photo Credit: @amberlysara

This morning I attended PodCamp Pittsburgh which was held at Point Park University in Downtown Pittsburgh.  This was the 8th annual Podcamp Pittsburgh and I’ve been lucky enough to attend almost every year.

I attended the first Podcamp Pittsburgh right around the time that I started blogging about Pittsburgh.  And this was back in the days before Twitter and Facebook pages.  It wasn’t as easy to meet and connect with other bloggers.  Podcamp was one of the first times I was able to see the power of how blogging can build relationships.

I wanted to provide a listing of the bloggers and their Twitter handles of who attended Podcamp Pittsburgh today (and I will work to get all of these added to the BlogLocal directory ASAP).  Please let me know if I missed anyone by leaving a note with a link to the blog in the comments.

The Beauty Shoppe @aolivex
BigBig Design @BigBigDesign @CynthiaCloskey
Beg Borrow or Share @BegBorrowShare
Boss Jock  @BossJockApp
DanielleNicol @onedamnthing
Elsie’s Yoga Kula @YoGeek
Emily Levenson @EmilyLevenson
FranklinChen @FranklinChen
Gwenix @gwenix
Jim Dolanch @JimDolanchTeam
KatieVojtko @KatioVojtko
Nonprofit Resource Memo @NonprofResMemo
NormanHuelsman @MrDirby
Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents @PghLesbian24
Red Pen Mama @RedPenMama
Shawn Graham @ShawnGraham
Sorgatron @Sorgatron
ThomasCWaters.com @tcwaters
Try It and You May! @epagelhogan
Wear.Wag.Repeat. @TMistick
Will Reynolds Young @@WReynoldsYoung
Yinz Can’t Park @YinzCantPark


Posted in Events, Lists | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

What things do you do every day for your local blog?

To-do list book.

To-do list book. (Photo credit: koalazymonkey)

I’ve been thinking about how I can do a better job of updating this blog and working to build a community of local bloggers.  A few blog posts have caught my eye recently…Movie A Dog’s Purpose (2017)

I agree with some of the points in each of these posts -but what I want to know is what are the things that local bloggers do every day.  Do you read the local paper?  Do you check other blogs for your city or neighborhood?

My daily (or almost daily) list includes:

  • checking my RSS reader (I’m using TheOldReader) to see what the other blogs and the rss feeds for Google alerts I’ve set up have to say.
  • check my “to read” list of Twitter follower
  • look at the inbox for my blog to see if there are any immediate events that should post about

Even if I don’t end up with a blog post – many of the links I come across end up in Facebook posts or Tweets.

What are your daily to-dos for your local blog?


Posted in Blogging Best Practices, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How Do I Get More People to Read my Blog?

You’ve finally done it. You’ve started that magnificent blog about mac & cheese, bowling, or (insert subject here). You’re halfway to stardom, filling the blog with excellent posts about gourmet cheese and promoting your it on Facebook every other day. So, you ask yourself, why isn’t my blog getting billions of hits? Why is your mother the only one commenting (and in a semi-condescending tone I might add.) Sharing your blog with family and friends is a good start, but it won’t give you major hits.

Blogging is not Field of Dreams. If you build it, they still won’t come. It’s not just enough to create a blog and fill it with content. If you want readers, you have to engage with the online community. It’s not a one-way street, feel free to interact with everyone on the web. There are approximately a bagillion blogs online, and you blog is just a drop in the bucket. Here are some tips to get you more readers.

Write. Often.

Yes, it’s sad but true. If you want people to read your blog, you have to write on your blog. No other strategy will work if you aren’t presenting new content. Update regularly to keep readers coming back. Don’t be afraid of brevity. Shorter, well thought out posts are just as important as your massive monthly tomes concerning the perfect macaroni noodle. For more tips on the writing of your blog, check out CopyBlogger’s “8 Incredibly Simple Ways to Get More People to Read Your Content”.

Be Search-able

This one can be tricky if you’re a pun-lover like me. When you’re heading a blog post, make the title snappy, to the point. If you’re writing about the best cheese to use for homemade macaroni, title the post “Best Cheese for Homemade Macaroni”, not “Say Cheese!” or any other cutesy title. This ensures that readers can find the information they really want. No one Googles “Say Cheese” to find the best macaroni cheese. Check out this Search Engine Watch post for more tips on SEO.

Find Blogs Similar to Yours

I know–you think you’re the only blog cornering the mac & cheese market. But, chances are there are already some blogs out there with subject matter similar to yours. Instead of seeing these guys as the competition, befriend them. Networking with bloggers that have similar interests to you will only increase views. Comment on their posts. Post their blog on your site, chances are they’ll do the same. Readers who enjoy your new blogger friend’s blog will come visit yours too. How do you find these blogs? Blog platforms like Blogger and WordPress have explore features, where you can browse tags and subjects. WordPress makes it easy to follow blogs and comment with the reader tool (Blogger has this too).

Include Guest Content

In a similar vein to networking, invite other writers to feature their content on your blog. Interested in writing about fashion? Have a fellow shopping blogger write a guest post. This means double the promotion power, and the ability to get views from an extended network. My favorite example of this has to be Mugshot Monday. Lisa invites people to contribute content to the blog in the form of “mug shots”. By asking readers to contribute, you get more people to engage with your site.


Contribute Guest Content

While it’s important to have guest contributors on your blog, you should also consider contributing to someone else’s blog. Founder Tips has a couple of pointers to bringing a guest post to life and engaging readers. Don’t forget to include a link to your blog in the post!


Those are just a few tips and tricks to bring those numbers up. Any other sure-fire tips for increasing hits?

Posted in Social, Tools for Local Bloggers | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments