14B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend M aazile - Thursday, April 15, 2004
GoodspeedUpdate a useful tool for 'U' community
The Michigan Daily - Weekend Mi
By Ruby Robinson
Daily Arts Writer
Lurking just beneath the surface
of topical news websites like
CNN.com and Yahoo! News is a
world of news bulletins and gossip
that relatively few Internet surfers
know about - blogs. Short for
weblogs, blogs refer to "any website
with the newest content at the top,"
says Rob Goodspeed, webmaster of
GoodspeedUpdate.com, winner of
The Michigan Daily's best blog cat-
The site began after Sept. 11, when
Goodspeed wanted to find out more
information regarding the tragedy.
For more than a year, his blog con-
sisted of links to news stories sur-
rounding the events, especially its
effects on the campus. In February
2003, Goodspeed changed the format
of his site to a more narrative style. It
now primarily focuses on issues con-
cerning the local community rather
than external links.
With several updates and posts per
day, Goodspeed carved a niche
between the local newspapers, cam-
pus resources and national media.
Visitors to the site are encouraged to
respond to the posts constructive ly to
facilitate open dialogue.
In addition to timely posts,
Goodspeed maintains a vast archive
of every update since September
2001, upcoming campus events and
links to local bloggers, University
resources, news websites, concert
venues and even politicians.
Salaries for all University employ-
ees, timely MSA election results and
regular updates concerning secret-soci-
ety membership are just a few more
features that GoodspeedUpdate.com
Goodspeed also strives to report
important campus information as
quickly as possible. For example,
GoodspeedUpdate revealed the
names of members of Michigamua,
one of the University's secret soci-
eties, just as the group started to
make headlines in the news. The site
highlights special local events as
well, such as the upcoming Ann
Arbor Book Festival. Goodspeed
posts consistently and keeps the com-
munity up-to-date with recent events.
On average, GoodspeedUpdate.com
receives about 500 hits per day. On
more popular blogs, such as
DrudgeReport.com, hits can amount to
several million per day. In fact,
DrudgeReport.com was partially
responsible for originally leaking the
Monica Lewinsky scandal. Most blogs
are contributory in style, meaning that
they rely and thrive on the comments,
suggestions and tips from visitors.
Goodspeed helped to establish
ArborBlogs.com to serve as a consor-
tium for local bloggers.
Goodspeed encourages students
to start their own blogs with free
services such as LiveJournal.com
and Blogger.com. "Blogging is easy
to start but can be difficult to mas-
ter," Goodspeed said. Several pro-
fessors maintain both a personal
blog and one designed for their
The blog community refers to itself
as the "blogosphere" and has been
enlarging over the past few months,
especially among politicians and
celebrities; even President Bush has
his own blog.
"As popular as blogs already are,
most people don't know much about
them. I think in the next few years
blogs will continue to grow in popu-
larity," Goodspeed predicted.
Furthermore, Goodspeed believes
that the blog will "fill an important
role in the lives of most people."
The future looks bright for blog-
ging to become common practice,
especially as bloggers don't have to
follow the rules of newspaper gram-
mar and citing sources and can post
articles, opinions and random
thoughts with ease and comfort.
Seva caters to a wide variety of food restrictions with its delicacies.
Seva accommlodate s
various diets, vegetarians
Voted Ann Arbor's
Best ewl y Store
weW a tc he
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Merchants offered home-town feel
in midst of big-time competitors
By Ellen McGarrity
Daily Arts Writer
Bes Depar!ted usiness
By Niamh Slovin
Daily Weekend Editor
As rent prices creep ever upwards,
local Ann Arbor businesses often strug-
gle to stay afloat. Unfortunately, market
pressures force some to close shop.
Famiglia's pizza parlor, a local
staple for several years, succumbed
to the pressure of State Street rent
woes last summer. While its corner
location attracted a large student
crowd, especially those en route to a
weekly football game, its popularity
could not save it. That particular
location has seen its fair share of
changes in the last 10 years from
Domino's to Famiglia's to the
newest branch of the sandwich giant
Famiglia's signature pizzas com-
bined a cheap, greasy base with
peculiar toppings to create a culi-
nary treat that only New York Pizza
Depot could rival. The walls were
covered with letters from celebrities
and everyday folk alike, praising
Famiglia's famous flavor and friend-
Decker Drugs, which also closed
in the spring of 2003, was the place
to go for students needing simple
everyday items like shampoo, con-
tact solution and cigarettes.
Unlike most commercial general
merchandise stores, Decker seemed
to tailor its goods to the fast-paced
demands of students' lives.
Products were strategically placed
to facilitate quick grabs and emer-
gency needs. A wide array of greet-
ing cards, nearly all of which cost
no more than $1, welcome cus-
tomers as they enter the unique
world of Decker. Makeup racks
mingled with shampoo displays,
condoms and earplugs. Popular
magazines, small outdoor supplies
and various bags of enticing candy
lined the shelves of the discombob-
ulated, but loveable local favorite.
While franchises such as
Starbucks and Einstein's Bagels
offer quality products to many
grateful consumers, shops such as
Famiglia's and Decker Drugs con-
tributed their unusual flair to Ann
Arbor's characteristic environment.
- Daily Arts Writer Brandon Harig
also contributed to this article.
In the midst of a campus crazed
by the Atkins and South Beach
diets, students sometimes have a
hard time finding a restaurant that
will fit their food restrictions and
satisfy their appetites.
Just off campus - nearly at the
corner of East Liberty and South
Fifth Streets -- lies the perfect
answer. Seva (rhymes with Outkast's
catchy song "Hey Ya") is a vegetari-
an restaurant that has been a favorite
of Ann Arbor residents for 30 years.
The great thing about this restau-
rant is that you won't just find vege-
tarians dining there.
"All sorts of people (come here),"
diner manager Jill Broughton said.
"We get people who come for the
comedy club downstairs, lots of
vegetarians, people on special diets,
people with religious restrictions -
we have many regulars. People also
come because of the non-smoking
(policy), which we've had for the
last 20 years."
=Co-ownerMaren Jackson (her
husband Jeff is also her business
partner) says the idea is that anyone
walking in the restaurant should feel
And who wouldn't be at ease after
setting foot inside this Earth-
inspired place. High ceilings painted
dark green along with hanging
plants create an airy sensation.
Wooden tables and gorgeous stain-
glass windows complete the forest-
But besides Seva's immediately
pleasing interior appearance, is its
extensive menu. Jackson said she is
aware that many people coming to
her restaurant might be expecting
just "twigs and berries." However,
the huge selection of tasty-sounding
items - such as the baked brie with
apple-pear puree or goat cheese
ravioli with mushroom-walnut sauce
- usually silences anyone who may
have been hesitant walking in.
Seva prides itself on being able to
accommodate many types of diets.
See SEVA, Page 12B
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