Sunday, July 6, 2008

Even good girls get it sometimes

Six good girls and two good boys, that is. What did we get? Tickets with court summons for having an "open container" (read: one bottle of wine) at a birthday party/picnic in Prospect Park last Sunday.

But that's not really the most interesting part of the story. What is amazing is how two message board posts about our incident managed to make it all the way to Gothamist. It was an amazing illustration in how the blogosphere works.

One of the members of our party wrote an in-depth summary of the occurrence and posted on The It's such a popular post that it has had over 3,144 views, and 70 responses, now one week later.

A friend of mine posted to the Park Slope Parents message board about the same issue, asking on our behalf if this has been occurring more frequently in the park, and whether it's worth going to fight the ticket.

Park Slope Parents is a members-only message board with 5000+ readers. One of the members took my friend's post and posted it to other blogs, without seeking permission, so it wound up on Gowanus Lounge.

And then turned up on Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn. (You'll have to scroll down to the post "Group Summoned for Open Bottle of Wine in Prospect Park" to find it.)

Who knows which one came first? (Altho it appears that SmartMom on "Only the Blog..." was the first to leak the story from PSP.)

AND THEN Gowanus Lounge found the post on and pieced two-and-two together.

Finally, our story wound up on the Angry New Yorker.

Apparently, all four outlets of information are sufficiently read by enough of the blogging New York cognescenti that we made it to the Holy Grail of local blogs: Gothamist, with their article: "Should Public Drinking be Allowed?" (Altho, had we scored in Gawker as well, it would have been even more triumphant, but alas, no one gets it all).

What I find most noteworthy is that our story is truly not all that engaging. A group of us unwittingly broke the rules (no excuse, I know!), were approached by four cops, one of whom was mildly confrontational, and left us disappointed that we were singled out when clearly there were others around us more flagrantly flouting the law. It sucked, but it is what it is. It was shocking to find that SO MANY people seemed to have commentary on this topic, and that it shot to the top of the charts (if you will).

It proved a few things: that many people can be quite mean and presumptuous under the guise of anonymous blog posts; conversely, many people can be quite humane and came to our defense. But more than anything, it proved that so many bloggers really don't have much to say and, in fact, have so little to say that they simply rip off content from local message boards rather than contributing new thoughts or ideas or original topics of discussion into general circulation. We need more blogs with original content! Ideas matter!

All that said, it has been quite fun to watch the wave unexpectedly rise and catch so many people in the current. It was definitely worth the 25 bucks and the now permanent "petty offense" on my record to see how news travels through the community, and just how it makes its way to the top of the heap.


Anonymous said...

Great post.

amc said...

We expect you to keep your nose clean now!