A Couple of Things

Live and learn. We launched Brooklyn Record almost exactly a year ago with the idea that there was a whole lot of stuff going on in Brooklyn that had little to do with real estate and that wasn’t being adequately covered in any one blog. We still think it’s a valid concept but we’ve decided to leave it to someone with deeper pockets to try and to stick to our knitting here at Brownstoner. It’s been hard trying to support two brands and creating artificial boundaries editorially; frankly, it’s also proven a lot harder to support a general interest blog with advertising. Going forward, some of the things we’ve been putting in the Brooklyn Record basket in recent months—like storefront openings and closings and the more human-interest side of real estate, for example—will find a home under the Brownstoner umbrella. Other topics, like kick-boxing classes and indie rock concerts aren’t going to make the cut.

In other news, we’re in the process of upgrading the site to a new system that will dramatically improve the user experience and strengthen the sense of community. Within the next few weeks, readers will be able to have their own profile pages which they can use to track comment threads, upload photos of their house or apartment and connect directly with other readers. The new system will also make the Forum much more flexible and user-friendly. We can’t wait.

Onward and upward.

Mr. B

72 Comment

  • Ill be happy to see this blog expand its topics. Real estate valuation is cool and all but I think we could all use a little variety. Cheers.

    Personal motivation question: What platform are you switching to? Im hoping it won’t be blocked by my office b/c Im a b’stoner addict!

  • It’s still going to be Movable Type. Just Movable Type on steroids.

  • I really enjoyed Brooklyn Record. I’m sure I’ll enjoy the new format as well. Thanks for so much great BK coverage, Brownstoner.

  • Thanks, renogirl. In the end probably our biggest disappointment with it was that there was never the same sense of community on BR that there is on Brownstoner. Without all the comments, a blog is much less interesting and vital, we think.

  • I thought that my computer was malfuntioning when it kept going to Brownstoner.

    I will miss Brooklyn Record, which I only recently discovered, and which I liked for its Brooklyn-wide focus. I hope this doesn’t become just another Seventh Avenue/Smith St/Bedford Avenue oriented site. There’s a whole lot more to Brooklyn than that.

    I’m a little sad, but Good luck with this.

  • It’s unfortunate for the recent businesses and events that were recently featured on Brooklyn Record ….

  • As the person who wrote the majority of the Brooklyn Record posts in the past year, I just wanted to extend my gratitude to all of those who helped make it happen. Many thanks to the writers who shared their stories, Katy, Lisa, Clay, Jonny Leather, and Chris, and to Christy Harrison, who took the reigns when other commitments made it difficult for me to handle the daily workload. And thanks to all the Brooklynites who supported the Brooklyn Record by letting us interview them, by sending us news tips, and just for reading. Writing a blog is a low-pay and often thankless job, but I’m glad that I got to do it with all of these people – in between writing or editing 7 or 8 posts every morning, I made some lifelong friends. I’ll miss you, Brooklyn Record crew!

  • That’s a shame. But hey, as long as all the anti-stroller-mom tirades migrate back over to Brownstoner too, I’ll be happy. :) And I really like the idea of movable type on steroids. Onwards and upwards indeed.

  • What I like about Brownstoner is that it’s this bridge between something really personal (homes) and something really public (community/real estate etc). The tension between these two extremes makes for a lot of interesting chemistry — and natural chemistry.

    Brooklyn Record, however, felt artificial. It felt like y’all were promoting the hipness and vitality of brooklyn — which, honestly, is the most unhip and unvital thing to do, because it feels contrived and phoney. Who gives a poop what concert is going on this weekend or what new restaurant just opened up? Time Out does that job fine, in a very bland listings kind of way. Why would anyone even WANT to comment on stuff that’s impersonal, insignificant or simply trendy? It’s all just trivial leisure time stuff, and we can find that stuff and enjoy that stuff on our own. I certainly don’t need a blog to hold my hand through every new cafe discovery.

    I welcome your new approach, which hopefully can bring a side-arm to Brownstoner that does contain some of the content that Brooklyn Record had. But jesus, don’t bring us any of that Willyburg.com crap. It’s just not inspiring, not authentic, and quite frankly, not worth a second thought.

    I mean — the dandies at the Montauk Club? Come on!!!!

  • Thanks so much Kara! And Jonathan and Christy–big fat thanks for being so awesome to work with…I will forever have a soft spot in my heart for all those who commented on how much they hate Mikey’s Hook Up! Good times. They will be sadly missed.

  • 9:40 you are a sadsack. you needed brooklyn record to just get a life

  • YES definitely bring the stroller mom bashing to Brownstoner.

    ALSO: I loved that sidebar you once had on Brownstoner featuring your favorite businesses “Salvage, Furniture” etc . . . What happened to that? Can you do one like that which is frequently updated and has your fav restaurants, cafes etc? it’s just so nice to be able to go to the main page, look to the left, and immediately get your qualified opinion on a good neighborhood juice bar, or locksmith.

  • Yes, I am a sad sack. And perhaps bitterly resentful that, despite the promise of giving me a life, Brooklyn Record failed — and I am still the same lifeless sack of sad I was a year ago.

    So disregard all I said. I will try to keep my seething self-hatred to myself.

    But I still LOVE Brownstoner way way better.

  • Is there any way you can cover restaurant openings on Brownstoner?

  • woe is me. I checked Brooklyn Record every day and almost never read Brownstoner. I liked the local neighborhood interest stories. well, that will give me back 20 min/day when I should have been working.

  • Thanks for your sweet posts, Kara and Lisa. You and the rest of the crew have been awesome to work with, and whatever struggles Brooklyn Record had in finding its voice and audience, it was great to share the experience with you. Thanks to all the site’s fans and the nice commenters above, too–you made all those caffeine-addled mornings worthwhile!

  • Bum-mer! I never read Brownstoner, but Brooklyn Record has been my first stop every morning and the best way to learn about openings, closings, new stuff, new people, etc.

    I think it’s a mistake to think that every blog needs to build community. For the most part, I don’t have the time or interest in that and often find that the comments section can become a juvenile free-for-all.

    But thank you for a great year and good luck.

  • Mr. B: I am envious of your success and know you will do well. As a marketing person (as much as I hate to admit it)Brownstoner is more a brand that encompasses everything that includes everything that makes people love “Brownstone Brooklyn” — no matter your personal architectural taste, where you live, what you can afford. There are a lot of neighborhood blogs that can be linked in as necessary. It will be great!

  • im psyched for the new features at brownstoner!

  • Good luck, Brownstoner. I look forward to the enhancements.

  • It surprises me that you find there to be a greater sense of community on Brownstoner vs. Brooklyn Record. Granted, there do seem to be more posts on Brownstoner, but people seemed to much friendlier and well-behaved on Brooklyn Record. I’m occasonally driven away from Bstoner by all the bile and vitriol.

    In any case, I’ll miss the B. Record but I wish you tons of success in all your endeavors.

  • Hats off to Kara and Christy; it was a pleasure to write for two such wonderful editors…and friends.

  • Bummer–BR was much more my speed than Brownstoner (not so into all the house sale notifications, etc). I read for the information and human interest stuff, not for the community.

    I understand/respect your choice, though.

  • best of luck, gwon miss the BK Record, agree with many here that BR was more my steez, but time and $ are a precious commodity.

  • I never commented, but enjoyed the BR every single day. Boo hoo. Shoulda commented I guess.

  • Good luck Jon, looking forward to seeing the new and improved Brownstoner!

  • I read Brooklyn Record from DAY ONE and was reading Brownstoner almost from the beginning. I also agree heartily with the following two posts. Are comments a metric for advertising dollars? I’m sure writers like to see lengthy discussions following their pieces, but as a compendium of Brooklyn stories and cool observations and blog wraps, Brooklyn Record was indispensable! I hope you might change your mind….

    “I think it’s a mistake to think that every blog needs to build community. For the most part, I don’t have the time or
    interest in that and often find that the comments section can become a juvenile free-for-all.

    “It surprises me that you find there to be a greater sense of community on Brownstoner vs. Brooklyn Record. Granted, there do seem to be more posts on Brownstoner, but people seemed to much friendlier and well-behaved on Brooklyn Record. I’m occasonally driven away from Bstoner by all the bile and vitriol.”

  • Restaurant and store openings ARE real estate related. If it weren’t for Solomon’s Porch, Bread Stuy, Brook’s Valley, Ibo Landing, and so on, I probably wouldn’t have bought a house in Bed Stuy.

    Make a section for Brooklyn retail!

  • God this makes me sad. I’m going to miss BR, it kinda rapped up brooklyn news and blogs in one handy page. I really don’t have time to riffle through all the trivial junk on other blogs. I trusted BR to link to something if it was worth while and it usually was. So sad too see it go.. sniff sniff… I loved the food reviews too!!! Whaaaa waaaahh sniff sniff

  • “kick-boxing classes and indie rock concerts” as well as new food and people mean more to some of us permanently living here – they actually applied to daily life. And please keep the restaurant reviews!

  • Just adding myself to the long list of BR mourners……
    Another one who read it EVERY day where will I turn to NOW???

  • I agree, cover retail. How about interesting vacant retail spaces as well?

  • Aww, man. I will miss the BR, esp. the blog roundup. Ah well.


  • I’ll miss BR too. The blog roll was the way I navigated to all brooklyn blogs that I read. Brownstoner comments are almost as bad as curbed these days…

  • Sad to see you go, but understand your position. It was Brooklyn Record that inspired me to start my own BK blog. Best of luck.

  • The fact is, Mr. B., you had a great thing in both your endeavors: Brownstoner AND The Brooklyn Record.

    It’s nobody’s fault that there is not enough money to support both. Fact is, The Brooklyn Record surrounded and completed the Brownstoner in regards to the Brooklyn experience. Folks read the Record and that’s what they needed.
    They didn’t need to post, nor did they know that posting would keep their daily influx of neat news stuff alive.
    I would have left a note (post) for my newspaper delivery girl every day if I knew that it would have prevented the possiblity that one morning I would go to the front door and find that my newspaper was no longer coming…AND that I couldn’t even go to a store to pick one up.

    So, my thanks to you and your (ex)dedicated editor/staff for the total surround sound and view of Brooklyn.

  • Brownstoner.com has a problem. Its forum discussions almost as a rule are dragged by petty and rude posters who seem completely oblivious to any sense of Internet etiquette. What is Internet etiquette? Well, it means not posting all in capital letters but it also means not saying anything in your posts that you wouldn’t say in real life communication. Many young people today view their online persona as an extension of themselves but older people who use sites like Brownstoner still view online forums as an opportunity to vent the aggressive and negative feelings that they bottle up in their real life. In almost every forum discussion on Brownstoner, there is some poster (probably some 50-something guy who never posted on an online forum before he started looking for a Brooklyn brownstone) who spouts venom and finds cataclysmic fault with some innocent discussion or Brownstoner article. I think this negativity tends to drag down the site and the Brownstoner brand as a whole. I propose that Brownstoner require all posters to the forum to register before they can leave message. People could still use made-up names, but at least they would feel some kind of ownership for their postings and I believe that a real sense of community could be fostered.

  • my 2 cents, yeah, I think the Record spoke to more people who cant really afford to think soley about real estate, and more just where to eat/drink/bike/listen to music etc.There are more advertisers on brownstoner cause people that interested in real estate are the ones the advertsers are looking to speak to. And i agree, the blog roundup is how i navigated the other blogs, you were the authority…maybe BR could come back in another form…looking forward to seeing how the change develops…cheers

  • I was a huge fan of brooklyn record; never commented by a daily reader. I’ll miss it!
    any other reader want to keep the concept going on another blog?

  • Wow Jack! I’m surprised at your take on nasty posters – I would have thought it would be the other way around, us older folks being a little more concerned with etiquette, real and virtual. i do agree, though, that the snarkiness is a turn-off, and more suited to curbed readers where it seems to be the main attraction. I’ll miss BR too, esp. the blog roundup.

  • As an ex-Brooklyn resident (boo-hoo) I enjoyed keeping up with events via the Record. I commend you for the work you put into the blog, will miss it but look forward to keeping up in touch through the Brownstoner. Shake-outs are inevitable in this new cyber-blog world, and when reading the Record I got the sense that the work load must have been tremendous. I certainly appreciated the effort, and felt the blog was better than any of the local printed rags that claim Brooklyn as a beat. Congratulate yourselves for being ahead of the curve and doing a great job out on a limb…and hang on to the domain address! Ya’ never know!

  • Totally uninterested in Brownstoner–big fan of Brooklyn Record. You’ve made a poor decision, as the “community” at Brownstoner isn’t worth all that much, IMHO.

  • I’ve been reading what appears to be the last post on the Record, about that hero joint in my Bensonhurst. That’s what I loved about the BR – the way you could go through dozens of NY papers and blogs and cull the best snippets about things to do-places to eat-what’s going on in Brooklyn.

    Dear Brooklyn Record: I’ll miss you.

  • i also read the record every day. how sad. any way you could keep the old site up? it’s good reference for restaurants and such.

    i can’t stand brownstoner. it’s all entitlement and hatred. boo.

  • DANG@! I really liked BR! Great ideas / destination spots for weekend bike trips. Sad to see it go.

  • I think it’s a big mistake and a loss to the community. Even if you just consolidated the blog into links posting, it would have still been a valuable resource. Just to pull the plug completely on something that I read every day seems a bit brash. Ultimately it’s your call, sure. But what’s the point of building a fan-base over the past year and then ditching the ship without at least a call for thoughts and comments from the community *you have helped foster* ??

    Isn’t community what we love so much about brooklyn?

    I don’t know guys… I’m dissapointed.

  • Sorry bhill. We sunk $30,000 (which is a TON of money for our little operation and was only possible because we had a paycheck from another job for most of that time) into Brooklyn Record over the past 12 months and couldn’t afford to keep doing that indefinitely with no sign of the site being able to sustain itself. It was also quite hard to find writers willing to work for the kind of peanuts we were able to pay; and when you’re paying people peanuts, it’s hard to be too demanding. It is kind of interesting to hear now from people who really liked the site though. That kind of positive feedback was almost completely absent while it was up and running. We can’t tell you how many times we’d meet people who’d gush on and on about Brownstoner only to find that they never read Brooklyn Record or hadn’t even heard of it. At the very least it’s nice to hear now that there were people out there who liked it. But do not despair too much, much of the service element of the site will reappear on Brownstoner in one way or another over the next two or three months. In the end, it will really only be the most lifestyle-y first-person stories that are going to fall by the wayside.

  • With few exceptions, i believe most readers are underage. I think most replies are by latch key children. There elders don’t seem very informed, including the real estate market. It seems
    the only talk on this site is how much the market will rise, even when all analysts say otherwise.
    As a real estate broker I will tell you the market was not alive and well after
    the tradegy of 9-11. Many nykers left and haven’t come back. With the new terror news, many are thinking of leaving. According to your marketeers, my three thouses must be worth twenty million. To the uncultured, to the less than noble, to the dumbing down of America, I take a long cold drink of bottled water.

  • Sorry to see that you can’t keep the Brooklyn Record afloat. It was a great resource and I’ll miss it. Hopefully you can incorporate some of the content into Brownstoner. I actually preferred the broader range of topics, and there does tend to be a lot of venom from certain readers in your comments. Good luck!

  • I’m a daily Brooklyn Record reader and sometime poster, I don’t get the point of Brownstoner, unless you are in the Real Estate biz. Too bad. I will miss the Record, I hope you can really change Brownstoner to incorporate both audiences. – good luck.

  • Interesting you say that, Brooklyn Bum. We don’t think Brownstoner is aimed at people in the real estate biz at all. It’s aimed at anyone who cares about the community they live in. Obviously there’s extra incentive to read it if you already own property or plan to be buying soon but probably only about half of all posts deal exclusively with analyzing current listings and sales. Hopefully adding in coverage of retail openings and closing will widen the scope for people like you.

  • Brownstoner and Brooklyn Record have strengthened the sense of community in Brooklyn. The lack of comments on BR don’t fully reflect the site’s usefulness for the Brooklyn community. I read BR daily and appreciate the links to my blog DumboNYC and other Brooklyn blogs. We will miss you BR and look forward to the improved Brownstoner!

  • “It is kind of interesting to hear now from people who really liked the site though. That kind of positive feedback was almost completely absent while it was up and running.”

    Things that are good don’t always get “appreciated” in obvious ways. Brownstoner is, in my opinion, mainly a boring real-estate blog for the obsessed, and not nearly as good as anything on Brooklyn Record, which was actually useful.

  • i’m going to miss it!!!

    i felt it was a genuine finger on the brooklyn pulse

  • I’d look into the idea of having channels, only some of which feed the main page content.

    For example, many clearly do *not* want to see kids items or various and sundry events posted in the main Brownstoner.com content stream as this gets away from the core mission many perceive Brownstoner to have: discussion of brownstone renos, housing marketplace and neighborhood historical pieces.

    However, if you kept separate kids and events etc. content channels, *away* from the main content stream (as content channels themselves…wasn’t “Kids” menu item sort of like this before?), then you might accomplish the following:

    1) not piss off folks who absolutely do not want to see Kids and Events (etc..) content spoiling their Brownstoner experience

    2) still enable those separate channels to thrive

    3) open up better targeted marketing channels to pay your bills (RE services etc in main Brownstoner.com, kids-related targeted adverts in Kids channel, other local companies in other Events or other channels)

    That’s my (perhaps obvious, granted…) two cents here.

    By the way, why not Drupal instead of WP for a community site?

    Seems far better suited for the new proposed functionality compared to retro-fits of WP.

    Okay, that makes 4 cents.

    /me out

  • Eek. In one eye and out the other.

    Regarding the above, s/WP/MT/

  • I will definitely miss the BR, I was excited when it started last year. I read BR daily and probably checked Brownstoner bi-weekly. I certainly appreciated both blogs, but if I had to choose one to stay it would have been BR with some of the content of Brownstoner (house/condo of the day, recent sales, etc) instead of the other way around.

  • I too read BR regularly for the “local” news ann interest items. As someone who can’t aford to buy anything in Brooklyn…Brownstoner was always too real estate focused for me. It will be sad to see BR go but will try and give the “new” Brownstoner a shot.

  • Brownstoner, trust me when I say that BR was highly appreciated and loved. I hope you keep the archives up somewhere. I feel bad I never posted. But you’d be amazed at how many times I printed out an event or restaurant article to show friends. I really did feel that you hit on something no one else was doing. What a great resource! As someone said, you really had your finger on the pulse of Brooklyn!

  • Add me to the long line of Brooklyn Record lovers who rarely clicks on the Brownstoner. It was a handy compendium and a daily stop for me. Sad to see you go!

  • Golly Mr. B, we’re sorry things didn’t work out for ya! People in Brooklyn don’t really care about anything but real estate anymore anyway so better to consolidate and focus on a website that let’s people get all worked up about the next glass highrise or brownstone foreclosure in an up and coming former crack house.

  • Thanks for all the great work.
    I was a dailiy reader.
    BR will surely be missed.

    I will remember reading the Stoller Mom thread and bursting out laughing at work
    and also how the Bubby’s thread actually resulted in some action.

    I dont read brownstoner ever, but i will try.

  • agreed with all those above who said they read Brooklyn Record everyday and used it as a way to navigate to other brooklyn blogs. it was my favorite blog, i’ll really miss it. if you keep the blog roll feature on the new brownstoner, perhaps i’ll start reading it. i don’t read it now as i really don’t care about what building is on the market for $3m, and etc. this is a real bummer. but thanks for the hard work.

  • I’m obviously not a daily reader of the Brooklyn Record since I’m just reading all this now, but I was definitely a weekly reader and I did Dearly Love it. I and am so sorry to hear it wasn’t profitable.

    RIP, Brooklyn Record!

    I have to be the millionth reader who says she can’t afford to buy anything in New York and couldn’t care less about Brownstoner.com, but I too will try to make the switch. Especially if you could incorporate that Brooklyn blog update feature you had on the BR; that was a great feature :)

    You all did an amazing job with the Brooklyn Record! I’m sorry to see it go.

  • So sad to see BR go – just loved, loved the news/reviews/info aspect of the site. As a reader of both sites, BR did sometimes feel less “loved” as judged by comments, links, etc. But as some mentioned above, probably not an accurate reflection of how appreciated it really was (i.e. – people buy Time Out NY, but love the New Yorker)

    Well thanks for making such a go of it – its a real loss, but seems like the new Brownstoner will better for the experience. Onward indeed!

    And thanks for the explanation – I was going crazy trying to figure out what was up!

  • Aww crap. BR was my fav Brooklyn blog. I keep coming back here just to see if you guys changed your mind, but I guess BR is gone for good… It will be missed!!

  • Brownstoner, can you install on this page a link back to Brooklyn Record? Even without new posts, there are tons of great things archived there that people might want to access.

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  • Bummer. I liked Brooklyn Record, though this makes http://www.bergencarroll.com all the more exciting.

  • I’m sad to see Brooklyn Record go. Kara wrote such a great article on my business, Tres Belle. I am also a 17 year resident and read Brooklyn Record every single morning, to keep up with my peeps!

  • That shitty. Keep gentrification alive! Every little bit helps, right?

  • maybe they’re giving up because it’s harder to skew Ft. Greene/Clinton Hill and alienate slope/terrace in a general interest blog?