Metro Opening It’s Own Blog, Looking for Blogger

Apparently the folks at Metro think I have it too easy with the Bottleneck Blog resting in peace and have decided to open their own blog.  Steve Davis at Transportation for America forwarded me the following job posting this morning from the jobs site Media Bistro.  Just for the record, no, I’m not applying.

The
Customer Communications department at the Los Angeles County
Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is seeking the services
of a web savvy, experienced transportation reporter on a project basis
to develop and maintain a Metro blog on our website, metro,net. The
selected candidate will report, research, write, edit and post an
ongoing blog about transportation issues.
Scope of Work:
The
ideal candidate will be an experienced web reporter and/or blogger, and
will have expertise and in-depth knowledge of transportation issues,
particularly as related to Los Angeles County and Measure R. The
selected candidate will produce news-driven, informative and engaging
daily blog entries, stories and commentaries in an engaging,
conversational tone. The intended audience includes Metros customers
and potential customers, LA county taxpayers and stakeholders, and the
online community. Content from the blog may be further developed and
extended to other sections of the website.
Submittal Requirements:
Please provide the following information:
1. Statement of interest and qualifications
2. Web samples and work references
3. Proposed compensation structure
The top candidates will be invited for an interview with the hiring authority.
Evaluation Criteria:
Professional Experience and Qualifications (30%)
Writing/ Editing Samples (30%)
Interview (40%)
Payment:
Metro
will pay against submitted invoices in accordance with purchase order
language. Invoices are to be submitted every two weeks.
Proposal Deadline:
Please submit proposal as outlined above by close of business on Monday, July 20, 2009 online or mail to:
Transportation Blog RFP
Metro
One Gateway Plaza
Mail Stop: 99-19-2
Los Angeles, CA 90012
About Our Company The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is unique among the nation’s transportation agencies. More than 9 million people – one-third of California’s residents – live, work, and play within its 1,433-square mile
service area. Metro designs, builds and operates more than 2,000 buses and 75 miles of Metro Rail service, including the Metro Red Line, Metro Blue Line, Metro Purple Line,
Metro Green Line and Metro Gold Line. In total, the Metro Rail system serves more than 62 rail stations stretching from Long Beach to downtown Los Angeles to Hollywood, Universal City and North Hollywood in the San Fernando Valley, from downtown Los Angeles to Pasadena and from Norwalk to El Segundo and all points in between.

  • How much latitude would one have who took this job? That posting doesn’t give a hint. But given the internal workings of Metro I can’t imagine, for example, they’d continence honest posting about the TAP mess or gating debacle or less than optimal Sheriff’s contract arrangement or…

    Anyone who knew enough about the topic to do it would likely find the restrictions too onerous to make it worth doing. And why would Metro pay for a blogger pushing the company line, anyway? They already post press releases for that. They probably think that is so 2005 and that this blogger stuff is hot and they need to jump on a band wagon. If they want to improve their image, they should hold some public workshops for the Long Range Plan and solicit real input. Their problems are not about the lack of a blog flack.

  • DJB

    I hope they hire someone who is fluent in a bunch of different languages. It would be a shame to exclude a huge chunk of Metro’s riders from the conversation through posts only en Inglés.

    It’d be nice if this blog had translators too.

  • Spokker

    I just heard they hired Browne Molyneux.

  • Sarcasm, Spokker?

  • “The intended audience includes Metros customers and potential customers, LA county taxpayers and stakeholders, and the online community.” and, probably the biggest chunk of the audience: naysayers, haters, trolls, and flat out CRAZY people.

  • Ha! A friend forwarded me the media bistro posting as well and I couldn’t help but wonder why they just didn’t enlist a current metro employee? I don’t imagine someone who has “expertise and in-depth knowledge of transportation issues, particularly as related to Los Angeles County and Measure R” is really going to be an advocate for Metro. Because, clearly, that’s what they’re looking for. They’re certainly not going to want someone to point out TAP’s shortcomings, this ridiculous no bikes business, etc. I’m all for increasing ridership but I agree with Dana that putting all their eggs in a blog basket might not be the best approach.

  • Spokker

    “and, probably the biggest chunk of the audience: naysayers, haters, trolls, and flat out CRAZY people.”

    Come on, Fred. You know you miss the drama. Come back!

  • Erik G.

    I second the nomination of Browne. That would be a hoot.

    Anyone know what the position would pay?

  • David Galvan

    I’d nominate Fred Camino or Damien Newton or Sarah Goodyear or Kymberleigh Richards.

    Spokker, I lol’d.

  • It’s RFP style, meaning that they act as independent contractors and pay is negotiated. They are not LACMTA/PTSC employees.

    Here’s what a transit agency blog – and the comments – might look like – Houston Metro’s blog: http://blogs.ridemetro.org/blogs/default.aspx They hired a former newspaper reporter to post to the site.

  • Honestly, they should just have a blog roll that continuously link to new posts from StreetsblogLA, MetroriderLA, Bus Bench, and CurbedLA with transit related tags. The content will be more updated and a lot more informative.

    The Metro blog will be useless if it just end up being a place for them to post news releases.

  • This actually sounds like it’d be a fun gig to me — fun meaning creatively challenging. However I’m guessing the troll level would be seriously high on this blog and I’m not sure I’d deal well with that.

  • Ed Greenberg

    I nominate BusTard.

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