Pittsburgh Quarterly and IntoPittsburgh

The newest issue of Pittsburgh Quarterly magazine is out and online, and with it editor/publisher Doug Heuck is making PQ the communications and media home of the IntoPittsburgh initiative.

A little over a year ago, on a frigid Saturday in January, I had what you might call a date with destiny. I'd agreed to meet three men in a bar in East Liberty. I'd never been there, but I'd read about the place. As I looked for the street and then the number, I considered what I really knew about these men. Very little. All three, however, had developed a reputation in certain circles for their “activities.”

I got out of the car and walked quickly to the door. I hesitated, then took a deep breath and walked in. I quickly glanced around the place. The front room was empty with a faint smell of old cigarettes. Around the corner, I heard laugher, and there they were — all three of them just sitting there — bloggers.

Yes, bloggers — those flouters of journalistic tradition. Well, we had a great talk, and an idea began to emerge. And as the months rolled by, the group grewand the idea did too. The idea is simple: build a bridge between Pittsburgh and Pittsburghers everywhere. Connect Pittsburghers far and wide with this city and region. Welcome their input and effort in the ever evolving quest to build the greatest city in the world. That's my version of it at least.

The effort now has a name — Into Pittsburgh — and you can see an early version of the logo on this page. You'll hear more about Into Pittsburgh as time goes by. For now, you can start to get involved in the dialogue by going to ittsburghquarterly.com. We have a growing community of bloggers represented, many of them writers whose work you've seen in the magazine.

Pittsburghquarterly.com is undergoing its own renaissance, changing from a sleepy little site to one that we hope you agree has a lot to offer. We have a weekly report from web editor and veteran Pittsburgh journalist Jeffery Fraser. If you want an excellent writer's report on the most interesting and pertinent events of the week, try Jeff's blog.

I was one of those three people having lunch with Doug a little over a year ago, along with Jim Morris and Jim Russell. Since that meeting, we've moved slowly but deliberately, simultaneously figuring out what the message is and what the group can do. We assembled the document still known as the Manifesto for a New Pittsburgh (still online here), enlisted the growing band of like-minded souls now collected under the IntoPittsburgh umbrella, and identified some more concrete but still related projects -- among them Jim Russell's Diaspora initiative, and what I've been writing about here as Pittsburgh 2.0. The Tech Council is part of the loop, and IW, and alumni organizations at local universities, and community organizers. It's a big pool of energy, and it's getting bigger all the time.

What is IntoPittsburgh? My version of the message is this: It's a group of people around the world who want to leverage Pittsburgh's distributed social and financial capital to improve the Pittsburgh region itself -- economically, culturally, and socially. How can you be a part of it? One -- self-identify. Tag your blog posts. Ask me to put your name on my "Pittsburgh 2.0" list to the left. Two -- reach out. Go to LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com), sign up, and search for and join the IntoPittsburgh group. Three -- get involved. IntoPittsburgh is a message, not one specific program. Figure out how your organization (network, family, friends) can participate -- socially, culturally, economically. Click on some of the Pittsburgh 2.0 profiles to the left for examples.

PQ gives all of this a great platform, with one foot squarely in the world of traditional media and another exploring the blogosphere and related new media. One of PQ's commitments in this area is "PQ Blog Central," which includes posts by PQ staff (as Doug notes above) as well as by Jim Russell and Chris Allison. Watch that space as IntoPittsburgh evolves.


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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at]gmail.com. Mike also blogs at Madisonian.net, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

All opinions expressed at Pittsblog 2.0 are those of their respective authors and of no one (and no thing) else, least of all the University of Pittsburgh.

Pittsblog 2.0 has a motto: "It's steel good in Pittsburgh." Say it aloud, with a Pittsburgh accent.

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