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GRDadof3

Urban Planet - Metro Grand Rapids

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A couple of questions to start off the new year:

How much do you think Urban Planet influences West Michigan?

What will be its influence in the coming year?

Do you think our discussions eminate beyond our little group of 80 or so registered members?

Why do you think UP - Metro GR is so popular?

Your insight just might appear in a special project :whistling: I also hope to get updated visitor stats from the admins for you all this coming week. :thumbsup:

Thanks

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A couple of questions to start off the new year:

How much do you think Urban Planet influences West Michigan?

As a network to find out or post information about new & current Development projects in the area: Good

As an opportunity to present ideas & insights to others with similar interests: Good

As a "talking point" with friends/co-workers/family, usually starting with "You are not going to believe what this person wrote.....": Not So Good

Do you think our discussions emanate beyond our little group of 80 or so registered members?

When they have wrong info or are very blunt: YES

If you learn something new: Yes

If you disagree with a post/thread: Yes

If you are "Jenny on the block": Yes

Why do you think UP - Metro GR is so popular?

....Multiple members have day jobs that allow flex time to post

Passion for this City's past, present, & future

Some members work in the "thick of things"

Google & our ability to multi-task

Some posts are so "juicy" how could you stay away???

The majority of us are mobile

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I'd say a big reason for the popularity of UP-GR is due to the fact that there are no real forum sites dedicated to Grand Rapids itself, although UP-GR runs circles around the Detroit forum, if there weren't sites like Detroityes, (which in itself has as many, if not more forumers than UP), then more people from those cities would come to UP to share their feelings. If GR had it's own forum, it would not be nearly as popular as it is on here. Not that i'd know where to begin with it, I'm kind of fond of UP even though I haven't made it around in a while.

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Don't mistake number of forumers against influence that a subforum may have. Many sites are littered with irrelevant material that most people don't pay attention to. In the last 3 months, the GR forum on UrbanPlanet has had 105,000 page views.

There have been several attempts by people to start a GR forum. We know this because they attempted to spam members here to go to it. They all failed for lack of interest. For many people there are advantages to being a part of a multi-city website as it provides more variety than single city sites.

In addition, UrbanPlanet is devoted to urban issues and the built environment in general and not just the issues of one city. We attract a different crowd.

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I don't personallly think a GR forum on its own would do nearly as well. I like being part of a bigger "family" of sub-forums of people with similar interests. I also like to see what's working and not working in other cities, and especially the photo tours of other cities. They tend to be a little more "real" than a glossy marketing brochure. I think our influence locally is larger than many might think. Keep the feedback coming :D

105,000 views :shok: Thanks monsoon.

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Take for instance Union Square. Many people joined into the discussion on that development to find out how others felt about it, and I think fleshing those issues out helped to make the project more successful. Plus, contributions from forumers such as yourself have drawn more focus toward neighborhood projects. Revival of a cities neighborhoods I feel goes a lot further than a new 500' skyscraper (as much as I hate to admit it :P ). Plus, getting a more in-depth and "juicy" background story on particular projects actually may influence local business decisions and developers' willingness to take "risks".

Here's a test question for you though: Has this forum changed your opinion of Grand Rapids (especially downtown and surrounding areas) from what it was before?

I don't want to hog the thread, though. I'd like to hear others' impressions (good or bad). :)

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GaryP's reply pretty much sums up my response also. Unless more developers start to drop in, or we get linked by sites such as Mlive, we are never going to be a viable news source. But I like it the way it is now, reading and responding with downtown Grand Rapids enthusiasts/fanatics like myself.

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We aren't going to be a viable news source because forums such as UP-GR are very anonymous. Take for instance, all of us forumers were jaded when the alleged Mr. Jack Buchanan, (JackBBV) joined. Without any info to verify we just took his word. How are we to verify this was him? We would have to do some digging to verify every personality on this forum is as who they say they are. For myself and the average Grand Rapidian, this maybe a viable news source, but for now it seems to be a second hand new source. ie: when someone posts paraphrased articles that appeared in the Press, GRBJ, etc. I really could care less if I hear UP-GR on channel 8 or elsewhere, I love being able to converse between you guys and gals. But, until more developers call this home and a place to post their information and upcoming projects UP will fail to be a player. If you want UP-GR to be a news source or a place that becomes the local place to hear who said what, the Admins need to deregulate some rules. I hear that some developer around here really wanted to post some information to us UPr's but decided not to because they thought it would violate forum rules.

There have been several attempts by people to start a GR forum. We know this because they attempted to spam members here to go to it. They all failed for lack of interest. For many people there are advantages to being a part of a multi-city website as it provides more variety than single city sites.

I think the reason why other forums fail is the fact UP is all encompasing of urbanity in general. The reason why the other forums 'failed,' is because they are usually hosted on remote hosts that don't allow PHP Forums that are capable of search engine optimization techniques. Usually when the forum admins can directly "tinker" with the forum on the webserve they can make it where the forums are more search engine friendly. The fact that the other forums failed dosent degrade their purpose or intention. Although, I do remember seeing some really lousy forums espeically the one site with tons of local advertising and nota damn thing of interest. No offence to the person running the site, but content is king.

Just my .02 cents

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Unless more developers start to drop in, or we get linked by sites such as Mlive, we are never going to be a viable news source. But I like it the way it is now, reading and responding with downtown Grand Rapids enthusiasts/fanatics like myself.

I don't think there will ever be a day when mlive links to Urban Planet or any other message board site. They have their own system and wouldn't promote any competitors. Which is probably too bad for them, because UP's are much easier to use and have a bunch of great features. Plus it seems UP gets upgrade pretty often and mlive's have been the same about as long as I can remember.

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A couple of questions to start off the new year:

How much do you think Urban Planet influences West Michigan?

I think the influence is probably minimal at this point, as it's still under the radar for the most part. However, it may be a resource for other people in the media who use it to get ideas for news stories. Any influence is probably indirect.

What will be its influence in the coming year?

The influence will probably be greater in 2006 as it keeps growing in popularity. It is a great alternative resource for development around town; it basically corners the market on insider building information.

Do you think our discussions eminate beyond our little group of 80 or so registered members?

Absolutely. I've had many conversations with people about things brought up or posted on UP and have mentioned it as a great resource. I think some of those people now check it out pretty regularly.

Why do you think UP - Metro GR is so popular?

Many insiders in the know are willing to take time to write in-depth posts and there seems to be many area residents interested in this information. This type of information is mostly overlooked by other media outlets. I think posting so many photos helps, plus there is a sense of community as illustrated by the meet up back in October.

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Like dbrok, I don't think UP's purpose is to serve as a "viable news source". Blogs and forums are for people looking for a more in-depth analysis of current news and events. BTW: the "project" is not by me, and it is being put together by someone who feels that UP - GR does have a growing influence on West Michigan. :thumbsup:

And like Pranster, I like it the way it is (with subtle improvements here and there).

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Woops, didn't realise that I wrote viable news source... But I guess you could say it has been a news soruce for the news people in recent. ;-)

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I like it like this: under the radar, backroom, flamey, fun. If it becomes a "news" source, then I fear it will be taken over by the "media" and will not be the community building place it is now...

my $0.02

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You guys will be amazed to hear that for the month of December, UrbanPlanet had 3963 unique visitors from Grand Rapids alone. That does not include surrounding suburban areas. Kzoo was 930. Detroit was 790. Total for MI was a little over 14,000.

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You guys will be amazed to hear that for the month of December, UrbanPlanet had 3963 unique visitors from Grand Rapids alone. That does not include surrounding suburban areas. Kzoo was 930. Detroit was 790. Total for MI was a little over 14,000.

Unbelievable :blink:

That is incredible. How do we only have, like, 65 posters? Come one people say something!

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I was wondering the same thing Gary. What's that they say about "All the world's a stage". That's how I feel right now. :blink:

There are more too, Caledonia 228, Allendale 96, Rockford 78 (sorry about what I said about Rockford), Cedar Springs 72, Grand Haven 62, Byron Center 28, Ada 14, etc..

It explains why it always seems lately that there are 20+ users browsing throughout much of the day.

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I think it is obvious that we have influence. Eric (Terra Firma) said himself he added muntins on the window to his building on Pearl and Monroe, we've been quoted multiple times in the GRBJ and some of our members pushed an alternative concept to the mayor for the corner of Fulton and Division (it was an awesome design).

I think *MOST* developers do a little bit of "vanity searching" on their projects and I can guarantee UP shows up first. So they know what we're saying and I'm sure that while all of them don't post, a lot of them read and maybe even tweak their projects due to our comments. At least I hope they do. :)

Forums are very powerful when people are involved, and it is crazy how many posts I have to read when I come back from a business trip. Whew.

Joe

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I compiled the data for West Michigan, and it equals 6445 unique visitors for DECEMBER. That stretches from Battle Creek and St. Joe to the South and Petoskey/Walloon Lake at the North end. However, I know that I view this forum from two IP addresses, one at home and one at work. I assume I'm not the only one.

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However, I know that I view this forum from two IP addresses, one at home and one at work. I assume I'm not the only one.

Me too. Less time at work now than ever before (new position, same company.) Plus, the laptop when I'm on the road. That's 3 IP addresses, but one log-in name.

I've told a number of people I know about the forum and they've begun to watch it or assigned someone on their staff to watch it. That's RGDC, Rockford, and others.

I also know a few media people who use this forum to keep up with what's going on. Plus, media sales people I know use it to stay ahead of what's happening re: development, real estate, trends, etc.

I've often thought that a few of you ;) may even be inside the city or county planning departments.

Frankly, this forum wouldn't be half of what it is without GRDadof3. That summary of recent projects was as good as or better than anything I've seen in any of the local media.

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Me too. Less time at work now than ever before (new position, same company.) Plus, the laptop when I'm on the road. That's 3 IP addresses, but one log-in name.

I've told a number of people I know about the forum and they've begun to watch it or assigned someone on their staff to watch it. That's RGDC, Rockford, and others.

I also know a few media people who use this forum to keep up with what's going on. Plus, media sales people I know use it to stay ahead of what's happening re: development, real estate, trends, etc.

I've often thought that a few of you ;) may even be inside the city or county planning departments.

Frankly, this forum wouldn't be half of what it is without GRDadof3. That summary of recent projects was as good as or better than anything I've seen in any of the local media.

Wow, thanks allbusiness! That's interesting to know about all those lurkers :ph34r:

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Me too. Less time at work now than ever before (new position, same company.) Plus, the laptop when I'm on the road. That's 3 IP addresses, but one log-in name.

I've told a number of people I know about the forum and they've begun to watch it or assigned someone on their staff to watch it. That's RGDC, Rockford, and others.

I also know a few media people who use this forum to keep up with what's going on. Plus, media sales people I know use it to stay ahead of what's happening re: development, real estate, trends, etc.

I've often thought that a few of you ;) may even be inside the city or county planning departments.

Frankly, this forum wouldn't be half of what it is without GRDadof3. That summary of recent projects was as good as or better than anything I've seen in any of the local media.

I think a big part of our apparent popularity is that there are lots of members who are deeply involved in these projects in some level or another: real estate sales, marketing, planning, design, re-habs, and so on. It seems like no matter what the project is, someone here can shed some light on it. I can take most people's word seriously, which is probably rare in forums and other online communications.

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