IKEA_Muni Courts_blogging_Open/Closed_nextSTL evolution_contributors_CORTEX

What else… this is something of an editor’s notes column I plan to run whenever I think of it. It’s an add-on, brain dump, non-linked or illustrated post intended to expand on issues with nextSTL and perhaps reveal a little more of the who-where-what-when-why of the site itself. We’ll see how it goes.
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IKEA – I decided to post the IKEA piece after discussing sources and information about the prospective project with co-author Geoff Whittington. Geoff has deep ties in St. Louis and many good sources that have proven credible on issues large and small over years. I spent time looking into the information independently and was able to confirm what Geoff had drafted. We were also able to confirm that what we were being told wasn’t simply a rumor loop, or feedback from a single source. Anyway, in the end it was my judgment to post the piece.
 
Why? Well, as was shown, it’s big news. One can question the value of it, or the judgment in posting, but this seems rather simple. I mean, innumerable tech websites like MacRumors, Engadget, etc. endlessly speculate on the latest iPhone specs. So does the NY Times, WSJ, etc. And of course terabytes of space are used to speculate on professional sports, contracts, trades, injuries, lineups and more, and all in advance of the event or much information. It’s unclear to me how this is materially different. Somehow the things that actually affect our city and our daily lives as residents should be left unspoken?
 
I understand that nextSTL floats somewhere between a traditional publication such as the Post-Dispatch and a simple speculative blog, it’s a good place to be, but we’re not all of the above. This is something new. What we consider "media" is changing. Why would anyone read a blog that covered press releases and events after the fact? Maybe the next post will have more expansive thoughts on the how, why and who cares on that issue.
 
Anyway, we’re sticking with the IKEA story (of course). We do know that the Forest Park Avenue site is the focus of the city, Pace and IKEA for their St. Louis store. Now we wait like everyone else and see if it actually happens. We’ll have more on Laclede Gas and their interest, or non-interest in the site soon as well. In the end it’s flattering that others would seek to examine what we report. It’s welcomed. For what it's worth, we published the same rote corporate denial the Post-Dispatch posted the following day. For whatever reason, some latched onto the P-D web posting as a definitive denial of the nextSTL piece. That's difficult to understand. The St. Louis Business Journal did confirm a couple days later, what nextSTL reported first, that Pace Properties is representing IKEA in their location search in St. Louis.
 
nextSTL evolution – So nextSTL isn’t what it was and won’t be what it is. What it is ain’t exactly clear…there’s a man with a gun over there… Or something. Actually, there is a man with a conceal-carry permit over there, but that’s for another blog post. Anyway, nextSTL is evolving and I look forward to having its mission(s) be more clear. In short, there’s news, commentary and advocacy. These are conflated often on the current site and need to be sorted. In addition, there are events, co-sponsored and otherwise. There are new opportunities all the time. I’m constantly sorting through them and trying to understand how we can have the greatest impact. The site’s limits are currently my limits – whatever time I have. What gets covered, and what doesn’t, is largely my choice and often dictated by my limits. This too is changing as a more regular cast of contributors get on board. This group will continue to grow and I welcome a wide range of interests. In some respects the site will cover what contributors wish to cover. It would be great to see more writing focused on education, for example. Interested in a book club? We can promote, find a location, sometimes moderate, etc., but need individuals willing to lead. The more ideas the better. In the end, nextSTL should help you learn about St. Louis. There are many ways of getting there.
 
What else… the Open/Closed conference on vacant land will likely happen, though much later on the calendar than April, as it has occurred the past two years. I assisted with the conference before and will likely do so again, but more people are always needed. Get if touch in you’re interested. For those who noticed, the interview with Hasan Adelani was posted and then removed. The interview predated an agreement to not disclose particular aspects or ideas surrounding the development. The posting of the interview postdated that agreement. In time, it will be reposted. Other looming issues? CORTEX is taking off, BJC is ready to go with their north end of the medical campus redevelopment, Shriners should have steel work up soon…always a lot happening. If we’re missing something, feel free to pass it along, and I’m happy to discuss issues presented here, or just about anything in general, in the comments below.

Alex