Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

ArborUpdate First Birthday Party, Tonight!

2. June 2005 • Murph
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Arbor Update was officially launched on 2 June 2004, meaning that it’s just about time for a birthday party. All are invited:

ArborUpdate First Birthday Party

2 June 2005

7pm, Leopold Bros.

It won’t be anything fancy; we just plan to take over a nice long table and converse face-to-face for a change. You can RSVP over at, or just show up. Masks and cloaks are welcome, if you enjoy anonymity and want to keep it that way.

Update: Fixed rsvp link to the current upcoming posting (as opposed to the historic one).

ANN ARBOR – A group of leading local bloggers will soon launch what could become the area’s premiere news website.

The site, located at, will be launched June 2 with a party at the Arbor Brewing Company.

“Most local news organizations have poorly designed websites with little, infrequently updated content,” said Rob Goodspeed, co-founder of ArborUpdate. “We hope to use the web to connect people with the information they need to be better citizens.”

The site’s team includes a variety of Ann Arbor residents, University of Michigan employees, graduate and undergraduate students. The website will be operated by a core group, however community members are encouraged to contribute.

“Given the ineptitude and elitism of the local media, this website will be the first real outlet for Ann Arbor’s progressive and social minded citizens,” said co-founder Ari Paul.

Here are brief profiles of some of the people involved, and links to their personal sites:

+ Ari Paul is a 2004 graduate of the University and former columnist for the Michigan Daily. He has written for High Times, Atlanta’s Creative Loafing, and the now-defunct Baghdad Bulletin, and is now a political columnist for Citizen Culture.

+ Brian Kerr is an analyst at the University of Michigan, and a co-founder of the Ann Arbor Worker Center, a group dedicated to “growing communities among workers and their supporters in Ann Arbor, Michigan.” The Ann Arbor Worker Center operated a blog in support of Borders employees during their strike Fall 2003.

+ Jenny Nathan is the vice president of the Michigan Student Assembly and former chair of the U-M chapter of the College Democrats.

+ Kyle Murphy is a U-M sophomore concentrating in Anthropology and Political science interested in progressive politics.

+ Mark Dilley is a labor activist who has used innovative technology to empower local workers. He is also a co-founder of the Ann Arbor Workers Center.

+ Matthew Hollerbach is a U-M junior, and an elected member of the Michigan Student Assembly. He has appeared in over a dozen student-produced plays, organized anti-war activities, managed the website for three student groups, and written for the Michigan Daily’s editorial board.

+ R. L’Heureux Lewis, also known as Dumi Eyi di yiye, is enrolled in the University’s doctoral program in Sociology and Public Policy. Historically involved with Michigan’s Black community, he hopes to be one black voice among many.

+ Rob Goodspeed is a 2004 graduate of the University. He created and edited, this year voted “Best Blog” by the Michigan Daily and runner-up “Best Blog in Washtenaw County” by Current magazine. As an undergraduate, he was involved in a variety of campus activities.

+ Samantha Woll is a U-M senior interested in political organizing, Israel, and New Urbanism, and a current elected representative on the Michigan Student Assembly.

+ Scott Trudeau is a University employee, technologist, 2000 U-M graduate, and Ann Arbor resident.

Contact the group: arborupdate at

  1. Masks and cloaks?

    You think we’re Darth frickin Vader? :D

    May the Arb be with you.
       —David Boyle    May. 18 '05 - 10:22PM    #
  2. Can’t wait to try a Red Wing gin & tonic with a splash of tart michigan cherry liqueur.
       —Scott    May. 18 '05 - 10:29PM    #
  3. Sorry Murph. Can’t come—I’ll be north of the border. Is this an appropriate post?
       —Jason    May. 19 '05 - 03:46AM    #
  4. Yikes – is Google coming to the birthday celebration? It seems they’re now below the post instead of hidden on the side of the page. But I suppose it will be nice to meet this mysterious ‘Google’ poster (hopefully without a mask), as I see him/her on many sites I visit.
       —Lisa    May. 19 '05 - 02:22PM    #
  5. I moved the google ads around as we slowly fiddle witht he site design. Sorry if you find them intrusive; we’re trying to come up with a way to pay the (relatively low) monthly bill on this thing (so far we’ve made about $5 with the Google Ads, so we might want to look at an alternate model). :)
       —Scott    May. 19 '05 - 02:44PM    #
  6. Scott, would it be possible / desirable / within the terms of the google ads to put them above the (still sexy!) Arbor Update banner, instead of breaking the flow of the post/comments?

    Not that you’re surrounded by picky people or anything.
       —Murph    May. 19 '05 - 03:13PM    #
  7. happy birthday!

    shameless self-promotion:

    brand new blog, (no www or it sends you to some other page)...

    get behind the struggle,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    May. 19 '05 - 03:56PM    #
  8. Ari. I’d love to read your blog, but I won’t. It doesn’t appear to have an rss or atom feed. Why GNN doesn’t have RSS feeds for their blogs, I don’t know, but it’s a recipe for obscurity in this blog-world, IMO.
       —Scott    May. 19 '05 - 04:34PM    #
  9. Scott (and everyone)... how many people actually use RSS feeds? It seems like the only people who even know what the hell they are are techies (?). I still have never bothered to understand how they work, but bloggie types kept whining about my blog not having one, so I made one.

    As for the ads, I agree with Murph that they’re pretty awful as they stand… I also wonder how many of our readers are gullible enough to click on any of those ads.
       —Brandon    May. 19 '05 - 07:43PM    #
  10. I think anybody who frequents more than about a dozen or so blogs relies heavily on RSS. It’s so much faster to reload Bloglines every couple hours than to revisit the 20-some pages that I track in bloglines.

    (“20-some” – I am, of course, a rank amateur compared to Scott.)
       —Murph    May. 20 '05 - 01:37AM    #
  11. I should probably look into that thing, I suppose, instead of just clicking around on my blogroll.
       —Brandon    May. 20 '05 - 02:06AM    #
  12. I’m at 95 right now. I’ve trimmed a few out. IIRC, the average bloglines user subscribes to b/w 70 and 100 sites. Many of mine rarely update more than weekly and some only once or twice a month. And some every day. :)
       —Scott T.    May. 20 '05 - 03:00AM    #
  13. I am outa control with, yikes! 257. ich, I read a bunch regularly and weekly go through a bunch more.

    Brandon, it took a while for me to get syndication… and for that matter delicious…
       —Mark    May. 20 '05 - 11:11PM    #
  14. p.s. my 2 cents on the google ads: I think between the banner and the top post, there needs to be some space there anyway.
       —Mark    May. 20 '05 - 11:13PM    #
  15. So Murph, how will people know which table is the ArborUpdate Birthday table tomorrow?
       —Juliew    Jun. 1 '05 - 09:59PM    #
  16. Julie, an excellent question! I suspect they can just look for the geekiest table in the place. Find the table that has exactly one hipster (you’re coming, right, Brandon?) and a bunch of nerdboys and nerdgirls, and that’ll be us.


    Okay, Plan B. I will fashion some sort of hopefully highly visible signage (that’s planner-speak for “sign”) saying “ArborUpdate” or the like for the end of the table.

    But, really. If you walk into Leopold’s and notice a scrawny, shaggy nerdboy, come say hi to me even if you don’t see an AU sign.
       —Murph    Jun. 2 '05 - 02:16AM    #
  17. Unfortunately, I have to make a run to the airport, and I will miss this b-day.

    Yeah, I know. Lame.
       —todd    Jun. 2 '05 - 02:12PM    #
  18. Speak for yourself. *I* am not shaggy-looking.

    (no claims about not being nerdy-looking planner-type, though…)
       —KGS    Jun. 2 '05 - 03:35PM    #
  19. Todd- But we can tell the ‘tenders that you said we could drink for free all night, right?
    (Oh, and do yourself a favor and get the Dirtbombs singles comp “If You Don’t Already Have A Look” for your jukebox. I promise you that I will personally make up the cost of the purchase alone. It’s fucking sweet, and better than any of their albums proper.)
       —js    Jun. 2 '05 - 06:14PM    #
  20. JS,

    Dirtbombs. No problem.

    I am about to put in the new Steve Malkmus, Camera Obscura, Stereolab, MIA, Common, and Mercury Rev.

    Lots of good new releases this year….Spoon, M83, and the Decemberists are really good

    And yeah, if there aren’t a ton of people, we can do a round of either gin (splash of cherry liqueur is recommended) or vodka and tonic…or a pint for free for the ArborUpdate posters…..just tip the servers, please. My bartenders will hate me if you don’t.

    We’ll limit it to 20 free drinks. Fair?
       —todd    Jun. 2 '05 - 06:37PM    #
  21. Todd,

    Sounds more than fair to me! I am known to tip generously when I am comped food and drink (which, for some reason, happens frequently), so you can count on me. Should we keep count, or will your ‘tenders keep count, or should we come up with some kind of ticket/token system or what?
       —Scott Trudeau    Jun. 2 '05 - 07:49PM    #
  22. The bartenders know all about it, you don’t have to do a thing except play fair (and have only have one drink per person)....they have been instructed to max. out at 20.

    Cheers, and my apologies for missing this again…...
       —todd    Jun. 2 '05 - 08:17PM    #
  23. Todd- The MIA and Spoon records are worth it. I’ve never really dug the Decemberists or M83, and I haven’t needed to hear new Stereolab in a long time (I kept trying for a while after Emporer Tomato Ketchup, but since none of their newer albums were as good as that one, I kinda feel like they should just close up shop…)

    Hey, if I can finish it, I’ll drop off a mix of a bunch of vintage funk and R&B stuff that I’ve been digging on. That’s a mothafuckin’ jukebox burner, I tell you what.
       —js    Jun. 2 '05 - 09:16PM    #
  24. I wish my schoolaged kids enjoyed bars more—then I’d come. I love this site.

    (I’m kidding about the kids—yes I have ‘em, no I don’t plan on bringing a 10 and 13 old out drinking tonight.)
       —JennyD    Jun. 2 '05 - 09:19PM    #
  25. Thanks everyone for coming, and thanks Todd for the refreshments. I agree that “Red Wing” is a dumb name for a gin and tonic with a splash of tart Michigan cherry liquer. But it’s a hell of a lot fewer syllables. Maybe we should rename it the Todd. :)
       —Scott Trudeau    Jun. 3 '05 - 03:37AM    #
  26. All, The birthday party was much fun and I sure enjoyed meeting all you wonderful people that post here on the blog. So, for the next get together how about Half Christmas. It’s coming up very soon. HO HO HO.
       —Bob Dascola    Jun. 3 '05 - 12:37PM    #
  27. Yes, thanks to Murph for coming up with the idea and thanks to Todd for the drinks. Sorry you couldn’t make it Todd. It was fun to meet everyone!
       —Juliew    Jun. 3 '05 - 01:00PM    #
  28. It was fun. Thanks, Todd!
    But man, whatta buncha dorks came…
       —js    Jun. 3 '05 - 01:22PM    #
  29. Glad everyone had a good time.

    JS…the stereolab is a 3 disc box set w/old singles and b-sides. Good stuff.
       —todd    Jun. 3 '05 - 01:29PM    #