the blog-ists are showing a new side of the city

Gothamist, phillyist, shanghaist-the list of -ist is addictive. For virgins to the plethora of undiscovered yet highly interesting and informative websites that dot the Internet landscape, the -ist city websites are some of the best around. Often called “city blogs”, the ist-network is a growing group of websites with the best information.

Starting with Gothamist, the chic and sleek website for all things New York, the site provides visitors with news stories, interviews, sports information, arts & events, food and even the weather. Covering all aspects of the life of the city, the website has bits of information that most people would never see on the evening news or even a big network counterpart like Digging for stories and providing readers with information hidden from the average news site, Gothamist goes beyond who died, what sports team lost and why the food was good at such and such restaurant. In addition, Gothamist seems to have a synergic relationship with other publications produced throughout the city, using information from respected titles like The New Yorker, The New York Times and The New York Post. In addition to just referencing publications in articles or blurbs about this fact or the other, Gothamist provides links to the major publications and media services available, including links to blogs, which often provide other bits of common knowledge.

However, the essence of the -ist website does not stop there, with websites for cities such as Seattle, L.A., D.C., Philly and San Francisco, to name a few. In fact, the sites have even reached the international levels with London, Paris, Toronto and Shanghai. These sites, national and international, follow the same formula-a sleek design, interesting information and stories about all aspects of the city life. Some cities have more outlets, like the option to find out information on tech stuff, media, music and movies on the shanghaist website. Travel, transportation and an option of “Activism” are also popular categories.

With an average of 65,000 visitors per day, the Gothamist website alone is getting more and more visitors with a 20 percent increase in the last six months. The other sites have been growing as well, with the Londonist actually the first of the international cities to join the network, changing from its previous name, “The Big Smoker.” Although its readership is much smaller, the Londonist is the most read blog in the city.

Run by advertising and a well-rounded staff, each -ist website is full of spunk, a trait that can be seen throughout all the work that appears on the websites.

In addition, art director by day-designer by night Sam Chung has managed to make the perfect logos for the ist-sites. A combination of recognizable local buildings and its name, the logos are unmistakable and undeniably eye-catching. Had it not been for co-founders Jen Chung and Jake Dobin, who, not surprisingly, have day jobs of their own (like most of the other staffers), the world of -ist would have never been created. Thanks to them, the populace has been cultured and informed.

Joanna Davila can be contacted at