|Defunct Dev Corp Storefront On Howard 2013.|
Now its known as Rogers Park Business Alliance.
The internet is a great place for discussion. However some people persist on posting on sites that will quickly disappear or already dead. Its nice to have some continuity. This is filed under general neighborhood discussion. (This is the final wrap up of Everyblock. Its posted here so that the conversation can continue if anyone wants to and so that it won't disappear (because this one will too, its being held on that final E.B. blog post, which at press time had 1141 comments. Also this was near the bottom of those comments so likely not a lot people have read this. Also looking through that "final blog post" the comment section is a complete mess. People are using various comments as though they were posts as before & you have to keep loading the page for 20-30 more comments. The discussion contains most of the chronic infamous posters.)
Kathy L's discussion begins (posted 2/10/13).....
OK, read the curt explanation of why NBC shut down Everyblock, especially.... "Within the world of neighborhood news there’s an exciting pace of innovation yet increasing challenges to building a profitable business....." They don't explicitly say it wasn't (or couldn't be) profitable!!! They surely had the daily hit couts plus the most likely exponential growth the site was undergoing. There is a deeper story here.
Please continue reading for the entire discussion
There was a very large and active user base here in Rogers Park (Chicago). If anything happened here, if neighbors observed a crime, were the victim of a crime, or interrupted a crime, they posted it, usually immediately, often with descriptions of the perps. This was A TREMEMDOUBLY IMPORTANT web site in Rogers Park, one that will be sorely missed until another (or other) sites take it's place.
There was an active blog going on in the 60626 zip code, questioning police crime statistics. Chicago Police Dept. stats (and, consequently, the Chicago Tribune) published stats showing a 12 year decrease in crime, yet we were reading of alarming crimes on nearly a daily basis. A thread by neibhgors of over 10 years confirmed it was overall a better neibhgorhood, anectodectly, but that there could be hot spots or maybe a recent uptick based on recent housing decisions, including entire section 8 subsidized buildings in many areas. Another neighbor suggested the conbining West Rogers Park with East Rogers Park made the numbers seem lower than those of us in East Rogers Park saw on a daily basis.
Anyway, I got some pushback from some questionable "neighbors" who might have been associated with CAPS (the community policing folks), one of whom might have either been or claimed to be a police officer. He made me quite uncomfortable, being immediately confrontational when I questioned the stats. I suggested neibhgors could keep a daily log of what they were reading (confirmed by other neighbors) or crimes near them, and then look to make sure each incident appeared on official stats.
I also suggested that the Everyblock data could be a treasure trove of data for use by criminologists, sociologist, journalist, statisticians, etc. from Loyola University (located in Rogers Park) or Northwestern University, for example, just over the line in Evanston. Incidents of crime could be confirmed, then compared with official stats. I felt this would be an impotant way to make sure that the official reports were correct, so that resources were most effectively deployed to combat crime.
I was accused online of "venting" instead of doing something worthwhile, and challenged to "reveal myself to authorities', for example. Everyblock was watched by our Alderman in the 49th Ward, Joe Moore, as well as Rep. Kelly Cassidy. In fact, the very last posting,n the 60626 zip, before the plug was pulled, was by Alderman Moore, to announce his Friday night out at a local restaurant.I attended this event, on 2/8/12, and spoke with Mr. Moore and two of his staffers, Michael and Betsy. I had read a newspaper article, perhaps the Trib, quoting Joe MOore as saying members of his office didn't care so much for Everyblock, but he liked reading how his constituents felt about things.I have Mr. Moore and his staffers certainly did not seem heartbroken over the demise of Everyblock. Betsy actually said that things were often incorrectly posted on EB, and I asked like what, and she couldn't cite anything for sure, then said that reported potholes were often no where callers said they were. (I've not seen potholes reported on EB, they are normally called into 311 or the Alderman's office.
An attendee at this event told me an interesting story, as we were lamenting the demise of EB. She said she once went to a CPD station to report her purse stolen. The officer taking the report kept insisting she simply misplaced it. He kept trying to record it as "misplaced" when she insisted it was stolen.Also, one of the many recent crimes reported in East Rogers Park involved a woman walking at 3 AM, coming home from an event, and a man walked up to her, started groping her. A car drove up, a man pushed her into the car, and before he could get into the front seat, she jumped out before the car sped away. She reported this on EB, and that the police had classified it as "simple" assault and she updated the next day to say she was still waiting for a detective. There was a followup article in a local online newspaper, about how, after the light was shone on the crime via Everyblock, it was upgraded and the police was working harder to find the two men.
When I was talking with Betsy at the Alderman's event, she stated the police's version of the story, that the woman was walking with, smoking with the men, who then turned on her. I find that hard to believe. Not that it would happen, but that if it did, that she would report it and EB, follow it up on EB, then go to the online news blog with her story, when whe was unhappy with the police investigation.OK, my gut feeling is that Everyblock was NOT shut down because it was a bad business model. I never even knew they sold ads, they were so lacidasical about it. Joe Moore denied to me that there were complaints from his office about Everyblock, or that there was any ourpouring of upset neighbors.I'm sure the CPD didn't care to have anyone (tens and hundreds) of bloggers affecting their deployment and policing decisions. Or having to deal with, for example, if they apprehended a suspect who did not match a description of like several EB eyewitnesses or who might report police brutality. (Hyphthetical, I didn't read any of that but I was only on EB a few months).
There were so many eyes, it was hard for anything to happen in this area wihtout it being posted on EB, which made me feel so much safer. There was a very high concentration of EB bloggers in Rogers Park.There is a story here... I hope it gets followed up. A very good thing was killed, if for no other reason than buying up and killing the competition. But there could be more.As I was leaving the Alderman's event on Friday night, I said "Joe, let us know if you find out anything about what happened to Everyblock". He said he would, but that his Facebook page was always available for Rogers Park residents to use to communicate with each other. My mouth just dropped as I tried to process this suggestion, not only becuase Facebook is not designed for what Everyblock did, but also because he or his staff would have the ability to delete postings (I'm not saying they would, but they could.) And postings could not be (optionally) anynomus....I had previously written a long posting on this final blog, maybe removed for length (doesn't state an allowed word count) and suggested we contact Joe Moore's office, thinking he would be as dismayed as we were about the shutting of EB, and feel the loss as keenly as we did. I don't belive that any more after talking in person with him and his staffers on Friday night, so I therefore remove my suggestion that we Rogers Parkers trying to regroup work through his office.