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Monday, December 22, 2008

Suburban Trends: Bloggers Share Local Highlights

As published in the 12/10/08 issue of Suburban Trends, the Living Section, page D10.

Get Connected
Bloggers share local highlights
by Julia Dunn - Correspondent

NORTH JERSEY - Among the small-town life and woods that surround Northern New Jersey live a couple of residents who have exposed their New Jersey towns to the blogosphere.

While Kinnelon may appear charming and small, there is a vast and mostly unexplored history that Charlotte [a.k.a. Christine] Whittemore is working to piece together and post on her blog.

J. Douglas Fisher, a Butler resident, posts about things that interest him like the "PizzaFest" that was thrown by the Riverdale Volunteer Fire Department.

Fisher volunteers at the Butler Museum. Fisher chooses topics to write about in his blog by looking at stories that are not getting a lot of public attention or that he feels he needs to highlight.

"I've lived in North Jersey a long time and there are a lot of really cool things to do, but no one knows about it," Fisher said.

Whittemore maintains three blogs currently, two of which involve her job.  "The Smoke Rise Blog," Whittemore's only blog that is not work-related, is run mainly by Whittemore with two other contributors.

Whittemore has been blogging since June of 2006 professionally and noted many aspects of her life that she wanted to capture in a similar way to her work blogs.

"What got me to actually take action was a combination of events that took place around July Fourth weekend, a hike around Lake Kinnelon along a trail I had heard about but wasn't sure where it was and during the hike we heard more about Lake Kinnelon and the day-t0-day activities in maintaining a lake, it seemed like these were things everyone should know about and has a responsibility knowing; just caring for the environment."

In her research and story writing for the blog, she has developed a focus of finding out the history of the area as well as the town of Kinnelon.

"A lot of this is trying to help me understand where the area fits in terms of history and help my daughter understand and appreciate all that and enjoy all this area has to offer," Whittemore said.

"The Smoke Rise Blog" aims to capture the stories of Kinnelon and its history.  Whittemore plans to keep up the blog in the future and get more contributors who are interested in Kinnelon and the purpose of the blog.  "The blogs are great fun because they lead to conversations," Whittemore said.

For these bloggers, there is a personal and a local aspect to what information they are publishing in the blogosphere.  Many have just started blogging and will catch up to more experienced bloggers further down the road.







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