Wherein we talk about the future of Metblogs

In mid-2003 Jason DeFillippo and I met up in person for the first time at a Starbucks on Melrose Avenue to talk about an idea we both had for a cool new blog about Los Angeles. The concept of a group blog didn’t really exist and when people thought “local news”, newspapers or alt weekly’s were the first thing that came to mind. In November of 2003 we launched Blogging.la – the first blog to try and cover all that is Los Angeles and thought that would be the end of it.

Skip ahead to early 2010 and that one site turned into a network that now spans almost 60 cities around the world. The team of 10 or so bloggers we hand picked has grown into the thousands. We’ve seen some of our blogs become the focal point for their communities after major disasters and have seen some of our bloggers move on to some amazing careers because of doors these sites opened for them. We’ve won awards and been served cease and desist letters. We’ve traveled the world and met more amazing people than we had ever hoped to. It’s been a fantastic journey.

We’ve also seen the landscape change considerably. People no longer look to newspapers as the premier source of local news and most cities are filled with passionate bloggers covering their own aspects of the city in ways no one else ever could. It truly has been a local revolution and we’re incredibly proud to have played even the smallest part in that. That said we know this is only the beginning. National publications are taking a renewed interest in local and every news site is waving their local flags around, and trying to get people from those communities to help them do it. If you think things have been interesting thus far, and we do, just wait and see what the next 24-48 months will bring.

We know this is just the beginning but for the past 7 years we’ve busted our asses trying to fuel this revolution. We’ve tried things that have worked out perfectly and things that have blown up in our faces. We’ve stuck to our guns and if given those opportunities again would do the same thing. We believe in the power of local, and that is why we’re now looking for someone to help keep Metblogs moving and take it to the next levels that we have yet been able to.

Our collective talents span a broad range of expertise but business development has never been our focus. On many levels we’ve built a kick-ass global network but our ability to grow into what we really want Metblogs to become and what we deeply believe it has the potential to be has reached our personal limits, and we are aware of that. We’re looking for the right people or organizations to keep Metblogs alive and to take it where we were unable to so we are putting out this call.

If you know a thing or two about blogs and local media and think this sounds interesting, we want to talk to you. If your company is already doing something similar or complimentary and could benefit from a closer relationship with Metblogs, we want to talk to you. There are many shapes this might take, from something as simple as a new CEO or GM, to a full acquisition by the right company. Our deepest concern is for the future of the network and all the content our amazing bloggers have spent years creating, and finding a relationship that is respectful of that is extremely important to us. What that means is if you are interested in turning the sites into an SEO linkfest we are likely not interested in talking to you. However if you are interested in making some real headway and think local is the future, we definitely want to talk.

We know this is an unorthodox approach but we’ve never been the kind of guys to follow the well beaten path. Are you the person or company we’re looking for? Let us know. (we can be reached at sean or jason @metblogs.com of course)

* Posted by Sean Bonner on January 28th, 2010
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