Forgotten Fort Collins is part of a bigger blog network that covers a variety of topics – restaurant reviews, raising kids in FoCo, locally farmed food, events, beers, etc. Each blogger zeroes in on a specific piece of living locally here in Northern Colorado.
We’re hoping to redo our websites so that they’ll reflect this network aspect of our blogs. We’ll have a home page that links to the latest articles from each “department” (much like the front page of an online newspaper). Then you can click through to read all the articles from that “department” (like local history) or perhaps discover articles from another blogger that hit other topics you’re interested in.
But we can’t do this without the money to pay the website designer. So we’ve come up with a fundraising idea. Starting today, you can by a “Shirt with Perks.” If you then wear that shirt to any Scoop Blog Network event, you’ll get VIP treatment at the event. (That might mean a free drink, or early access, or what have you. … I haven’t hosted any history related events yet. But even if you’re wearing a history shirt to a Feasting Fort Collins food truck event, you’ll still get the VIP treatment… while showing your love for FoCo history.)
A Little History on the Scoop Blog Network
I wouldn’t be a proper history blogger if I didn’t step back and give you a quick history of how the Scoop Blog Network came to be. I wasn’t around in the beginning, but I have been a spectator to the growth of the network, so I’ll be giving this spectator’s point of view.
On May 7th, 2009, Kristin Mastre started a local food blog. When settling upon a place to go out to eat, she wanted to know more about each restaurant in advance. But she saw a lack of local restaurant reviews. So she started a Blogger account dedicated to critiquing the restaurants in and around Fort Collins.
By September 1st of that year, there was so much interest in what she was doing that some local businesses decided to start advertising on her blog. Kristin upgraded from a Blogspot account to a dot com account – as in FeastingFortCollins.com – and got an “official” logo.
I first met Kristin online. Though I joined Twitter in 2007, I only really used it for one year – 2009. (Long-ish story. So I’ll just leave it at that.) So I really got into Twitter right around the same time that Kristin was starting her blogging gig.
(Just as a total aside – I also met both my nextdoor neighbor and my across-the-street neighbor first on Twitter. Kinda weird, that.)
In April of 2012, inspired by a rash of angry comments on her site about how one person’s thoughts on the local food scene were being heard more than any others, Kristin realized that just as she was “the word” on restaurants and food events in town, there were probably many other people who were also experts in other areas and that perhaps a network of “experts” on various local topics could come together and create something bigger and better than just the one blog she was writing at the time. Thus began The Scoop Blog Network – a collection of local blogs on various topics with similar branding and formatting but each carrying the distinctive voice and opinions of the respective bloggers.
Enough of the history lesson. Now let’s talk Blog.
Since the beginning of this year, Kristin and the network have been talking about a website upgrade. The Scoop Blog Network website is, I’m just gonna come right out and say it, absolutely pathetic. Go ahead. Click on that link and take a gander for yourself. I can wait till you get back.
See what I mean? There’s not really any there there.
So the plan is to hire a website developer and get a whole network makeover. The finished product would be like an online newspaper site, where the front page includes links to current posts on all sorts of topics. (For a newspaper that means national news, local news, sports, business, etc. For the blog network that means food, farms, outdoor activities, cooking, the entertainment scene, and of course, local history.) From there you could click through to specific posts or you could select the blog category and get all the most recent posts under that category. (In other words, you can use the front page just to see the latest posts, including my latest history post. Or you can go to the front page, click on the Forgotten Fort Collins link, and see the whole history related site. You’ll still be able to go directly to ForgottenFortCollin.com. But if you find you like more than one blog, the Scoop Network homepage would give you a handy list of all the latest posts.
Here’s a mashup of what Kristin has in mind for the blog. (This is her “super ghetto” photoshopped version (those are her words) of what she’s thinking of.)
So, what’s this with a T-Shirt?
That’s where this t-shirt idea comes in. A couple of the bloggers have held special events that you have to pay to get into. Kristin recently held a food truck night that required purchasing a ticket, but it included local food, beer, and music. It was a smashing success and she’s hoping to have several more events like it. The idea is that if you buy one of the network t-shirts, you not only get a t-shirt that shouts out your love for local history (or whatever blog you buy a t-shirt from) but you’ll also get some perks when you wear that shirt to a Scoop Blog Network event. That might mean your first beer is free, or you get to go back stage to meet a musician, or you get a full sized cupcake instead of a little bitty “fun sized” cupcake at an event. It’ll vary depending on the event. But you can wear your Forgotten Fort Collins t-shirt to a Feasting Fort Collins event and still get all the perks (while representing your love of FoCo past).
So click through to the t-shirt reservation page and check out the options. In addition to t-shirts there are long sleeved shirts, v-necks, and hoodies. Yes, they’re a bit on the pricey side, but that’s because this is a fundraiser. So think of the extra cost as paying for the first few perks you receive.
And thanks for all your support!