Posted by Elly Blue (Columnist) on October 29th, 2009 at 10:47 am
A question we get a lot here at BikePortland is “Where do you get all your story ideas?”.
Most of our sources are top secret and will stay that way (just kidding, sort of), but here’s a rundown of a few of the places I go to gather tips for our weekly Monday Roundup post and to generally stay in the loop on transportation news and culture.
- Streetsblog is a tremendous resource for in-depth, original reporting on national livable streets news, as well as issues in NY, LA, and SF; their newly opened Washington, DC bureau has some of the best information out there on federal transportation and livability issues.
- Last year, the same folks launched The Livable Streets Network, a clearinghouse for blogging about livable streets. They read all the stories out there and choose the best, most interesting examples every day. (We did a write-up about them last winter.)
- For the past year we’ve used a helpful service of Seattle think tank The Sightline Institute — their editors read 40 newspapers every morning and compile all the news about sustainability, social, and economic issues in the Pacific Northwest (including a fair amount of transportation/land use news) into a daily email digest.
- We also get a lot of news and ideas from Worldchanging, a nonprofit media outlet focused on environmental issues of all stripes.
- Another daily source of inspiration and links is How We Drive, the daily blog of Tom Vanderbilt, the author of Traffic.
- For local news, we learn a lot following Chris Smith’s blog at PortlandTransport, Sarah Mirk’s reporting and blogging at the Mercury, Joe Rose’s Hard Drive blog at the Oregonian, and checking out what people post to the Shift email listserv.
- Blogs we like to read for international news and ideas include the always astute Copenhagenize (whose author will be in Portland tonight!); the soothing, smart pictures and commentary from Holland on A View From the Cycle Path; and the mixed bag from all over the planet at the World Carfree Network’s new blog.
- To sort through all these many daily blog posts we use Google Reader to subscribe to the RSS feeds of these and other blogs we read regularly.
- And then of course there’s Twitter. Twitter has fundamentally changed how we learn and consume information. any stories via emails from readers and Twitter.
We have stories containing certain keywords, like “bicycle” delivered by Google News to our inboxes daily.
- We haven’t yet been fooled into thinking that print is dead. Our favorite hard copy reads these days include Momentum, Bicycle Times, and pretty much whatever books, zines, magazines, and newspapers people drop by the office.
And of course some of the most interesting stories we come across are ones we would never see if not for picking up a newspaper in a coffeshop once in a while. It generally makes us better at bringing you bike news when we’re aware of all the other things going on in the world as well.
What sources do you turn to to stay informed about the world of bicycles and transportation news? Feel free to share links in the comments below.