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  #1  
Old Posted Oct 16, 2020, 8:47 PM
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Michigan Development Threads Organization

Does anyone else who lives in Michigan (or is interested in it) wish that the Michigan development threads were a bit more organized? I sure do. I know it comes up every once in a while on here. Maybe there's not enough justification or interest, but hear me out. I've been doing a little thought experiment. Just curious what others may think of this. With a little bit of reorganizing and rebranding, I think we could have much more cohesive coverage of the state and maybe a platform that makes it easier for more consistent updates and more robust discussion (a guy can dream).

Assessing the Existing Situation

Currently, most of the major population areas (and hence, development areas) are covered by the following threads. This is pretty much the lower half of the Lower Peninsula. There's not a lot of rhyme or reason to it, apart from the fact that they were created over time, by interested members. Some, namely Detroit, still get lots of coverage, which is to be expected. Others, like Grand Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Flint, used to have pretty consistent updates, but now they have become quite sporadic. I and a few others are the only ones that bother to post anything at all. Still others, like Kalamazoo, West Michigan, Metro Detroit, and Tri-Cities, get somewhat frequent updates, but there's just not a lot of interest.



Some of these threads are currently located in the "City Compilations" category (Detroit, Metro Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo). The rest are under the Regional "Midwest" page. Wouldn't it make sense for them all to be in the same place? We could have a sub-forum under the Midwest page, titled "Michigan Developments". Much like Chicago (just with fewer threads). Sure, the subscriptions option allows one to organize things however one chooses, but I don't think most causal users understand this tool, and I think the scattered locations reduces the number of page visits. No data to back this up, mind you. I just wish it was more organized. I don't know how hard that is to do. A mod. will probably have to explain how it could be done (or why it cannot be done).

Second thought. With just a little work, the remaining "gaps" in the coverage of our state could be covered. At least, covered in the sense that there is a thread clearly dedicated to the region... getting people interested in keeping them updated is another discussion...)

This diagram shows one way to do it. Three new threads would be created -
  • Jackson / South Central Region
  • Northern Michigan
  • Upper Peninsula

I'd be happy to start these. Most of the remaining threads would then be "rebranded" as more of a regional thread.
  • "Flint" would encompass all of Genesee & Shiawassee Counties
  • "Tri-Cities / Great Lakes Bay Region" would become "Central Michigan / Saginaw Bay" - encompassing 9 counties
  • "Lansing" would expand to encompass all of "Clinton, Eaton, & Ingham Counties" - could be named something like "Mid-Michigan"
  • West Michigan would expand to include everything else on the west half of the state up to Mason, Lake, and Osceola Counties.
  • Ann Arbor City, Detroit City, & Grand Rapids City could all remain more-or-less "as-is".

We could probably come up with better, more consistent names for them all. This is just a starting point for discussion.



From time to time, I want to post something that's going on in these "gap" areas. But there is nowhere to do it. My fear is that potential new members and visitors will see this lack of organization, and be attracted to different forum sites. Yes, some threads will always be less frequented, at least initially. But there's still stuff going on around the state that gets zero coverage here. Marquette. MI and Traverse City, for example.

Call me crazy, and I'll shut up about it. I just think the Michigan Threads could benefit so much from being just slightly more organized.
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Old Posted Oct 17, 2020, 12:54 AM
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Years ago I tried to start a thread for the UP and Northern Michigan areas. It didn't get much interest and I pretty quickly gave up on it. That being said, I don't think there would be enough content for 3 individual threads for the UP, Northern Michigan and Jackson areas. Jackson area stuff could be added into the Ann Arbor thread. Have a mod rename the thread Ann Arbor/Jackson or something. And then someone could make one thread on the UP and Northern Michigan regions. If a new one was made I would contribute, but I don't suspect it'd get much interest this time around either. I'd be all for having all regions of Michigan covered, though.

The only other thing I disagree with would be moving the Detroit, Metro Detroit and Grand Rapids threads from City Compilations where they get home page attention.
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Old Posted Oct 22, 2020, 12:53 PM
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I guess I'd be fine with combining the upper portion of the LP with all of the UP. Probably true that there would be very light interest.

And I see your point about keeping Detroit, Detroit Metro, & Grand Rapids in the City Compilations page for better exposure. Kalamazoo-Portage-Battle Creek could probably move to the regional section. When I started it, I ambitiously included it in the cities compilations to try and get more interest.

No arguments here, about expanding A2 to include Jackson area - that would make the current A2 thread much more of a regional thread. I really wish we had some folks local to A2 that could keep the page more consistently updated. It seems like there is so much going on, but lots of gaps on that thread's coverage and I don't have time to track it all.
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Old Posted Oct 25, 2020, 5:08 AM
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There just aren't many Michiganders on here and this forum is dying/near dead so I don't know if it would help much.
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  #5  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2020, 2:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The North One View Post
There just aren't many Michiganders on here and this forum is dying/near dead so I don't know if it would help much.
You're right of course. This is probably all just wishful thinking.
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  #6  
Old Posted Oct 27, 2020, 5:39 AM
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Remembering the days back in the mid 2000’s and Michigan threads were busy. It was difficult to keep up. A lot of the people who anchored the discussion or posted development photos moved out of state.
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Old Posted Oct 27, 2020, 11:40 PM
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The Michigan sub is one of the most active state subs on reddit. It's this archaic site that's the issue. Nobody new joins and Chicago is only still barely running on members who have been here for well over ten years.

I think you'd have better luck trying something like this on Skyscrapercity.
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Old Posted Nov 1, 2020, 5:30 PM
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It seems so silly to me that there are so many online outlets for the exact same topics of discussion. I mean, I get it... different forums evolving over time at different places... user options... competition... etc. It would make so much more sense (to me) to just have everyone who is passionate about things talking about them in the same place. Let's just shut this one down and all migrate over to SSC, with its more current user interface...or to the MI sub-reddit, with all of its activity... anyone...?

Lately, I am in the habit of triple-posting everything (at least for Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, & West Michigan developments) - on here, on Skyscrapercity, and on Urban Planet. This won't keep up forever. It is just a bit of an experiment I've been trying, in order to evaluate platforms and response / interest. The truth is, the inactivity on all three is equally pervasive, with the exception of the GR forumers on UP, who are quite active. SSC & UP are both far-more user friendly. I think I like SSC's interface the most. This forum's growth will forever be stunted unless it updates its interface too, in my opinion.

But it turns out that despite this, I'm still interested in sharing updates here, even it it feels I'm like shouting into a vacuum 99.9% of the time. That's my choice. This is where I started 12 years ago (when I was just out of High School, btw). I'm actually much more interested in updates in smaller cities like Kalamazoo, or Benton Harbor, or Holland, Muskegon, the list goes on... primarily because these are the places I live in and around, and particularly because no else DOES provide updates on them. Big cities have plenty of coverage and enthusiasts, and it's fun to check-in on the mega-projects from time-to-time. But it is usually far too overwhelming for me, because I like to dive deeper into lesser-known places and projects.

Anyway, I am verging off topic. I know that the name of this Forum is "Skyscraperpage." It's kind of a dumb name, really, when you think about it. But I am not surprised when non-skyscraper discussion is weak at best here. And since skyscraper news in Michigan, especially the west side, is practically nil, I may just need to remain content in my low-rise bubble, until I fade away, like so many other forumers before me.
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