Along the lines of East 20s Eats, Zagat’s is reportedly soon to launch a New York City restaurant deal site. As best I can surmise, members who join the site would get discounts to Zagat-rated eateries. Sounds familiar ….

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I had a few thoughts about features to incorporate in the site that I wanted to put in writing. One idea that I think we should consider for the East 20s food site is the whole phenomenon of “coffee-house journalists ” — reporters who set up shop in a coffee house and look to other patrons for story ideas and sources. The Washington Post carried out an experiment like this over the summer and the results were interesting. Here’s a story that includes some other examples. It seems to me that given our desire to reach out to the community, we might want to experiment with this ourselves.

And on a quick note, I am interested in this open-source technology that offers streamlined log-ins for websites. It has modules that work with WordPress so it may be something we want to look at. Here is the link.

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As part of our summer work, we are beginning to think about what we’ll need to have in place once the site is active. Obviously, a Twitter account is key. We’ve created an account that for the time being we’re using to follow other sites. You can go to our page to see who we’re following already. Please send me suggestions for other places to add to our list.

If you want to access the account and follow the updates, let me know and I’ll give you the information you need.

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We’re not the only ones looking to cover the food sector. CNN today unveiled its new “Eatocracy” blog. Here is how the blog’s managing editor, Kat Kinsman, described it:

“Eatocracy is your online home for smart, passionate conversation and information about food news, politics, culture. We’ll highlight regional and family recipes, dive into restaurants and food shopping, chat with celebrity and local chefs, and show you what’s for dinner around the world tonight. Grab a place at the table and read with your mouth full.”

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David Carr of The New York Times had an interesting piece today about sustainability and the Web-only It is worth a read for those of us on this project.

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Our own East 20s Project was the subject of a post on new blog authored by Pam Fine, the Knight Chair in News, Leadership and Community at the University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Her blog, JLocal, explores innovative ways journalism schools are teaching students to cover communities. Here is the link.

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I have been thinking a lot lately about how — exactly — we are going to produce the news stories for our East 20s Project. In my opinion, this question is our most pressing as we move forward with the project. To make the site work, we have to produce a steady stream of stories on a daily basis 12 months a year.

Coincidentally, the Journalism Department at NYU just announced that it will run a hyperlocal news Web site covering the East Village, to be published by The New York Times as part of its “Local” blog series.

Please take the time to read Jay Rosen’s explanation about how the site will work. This is the kind of plan that we have to come up with for our project.  Please add your thoughts to the comments section below.

Click here for Jay Rosen’s post.

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Anu Mohammed serves a customer at his fruit cart on 23rd Street between Park and Third avenues

Prof. Roz Bernstein assigned students in the fall section of her Perspectives on the News course to report on the food cart business in the East 20s. The “a la Carte” project, which Prof. Bernstein conceived, will be developed into a feature for the East 20s food site. Read the students’ stories on the department-sponsored Writing New York blog.

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Here is marketing director Noah Xfir’s report on the advisory board meeting held in December. Read the rest of this entry »

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As promised earlier,  marketing director Noah Xfir has filed his full report on the student focus group we held in December.  Continue reading for his full report: Read the rest of this entry »

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