January 2, 2006 was my first day at WKRN News 2 in Nashville. And while I sat in the morning news meeting for the first time, I felt like I knew half the people in the room. Not because I grew up watching them on tv or because I had been watching the newscasts after accepting the job. I knew faces and something about the people from a blog.
After being introduced to the rest of the newsroom and sitting in on that day’s production meeting, I walked over to meet someone. It wasn’t someone I had grown up watching on tv, or a manager who I’d be trying to impress. It was Brittney Gilbert, the girl who headed up the Nashville is Talking weblog.
I had been visiting the site for the three months after being contacted about a reporter’s opening at the station. I wanted to know about the city, the people, issues that were important. And I wanted to learn those things, not from a real estate company or Chamber of Commerce “So You’re Moving to Nashville” brochures.
NiT gave me one place to go to find most everything I wanted to know about Nashville. It introduced me to blogs written by other WKRN folks. When something happened in the news, I first went to NiT which led me to links with video, etc. I started commenting on NiT and some of the other blogs that were posted there. I sort of felt that, even before I moved to Nashville, I was part of the community. And the reason for that is, I was.
NiT was the community. Nashvillians had a place to go, not just to learn what was going on, but to talk about what was going on. It was a place to share opinions. I guess Twitter does that now, but it isn’t the same.
Through NiT, I met WonderDawg, Aunt B, Phil Wilson, BusyMom, Cup of Joe Powell, Pith in the Wind, Ginger Snaps, Sista Smiff and a bunch more. My Faith and Ethics blog was part of the NiT community. It wasn’t popular with most of the other bloggers but caused some good arguments/discussions.
I miss NiT. I thought it was a great venture for a tv station but probably 3 years ahead of its time. I wonder what it would be today had Christian been able to put as much into it as Brittney did.