Dave Hill is hot on new media. He writes and manages three London themed blogs, including one for the Guardian. But meeting the Twitter and YouTube fanatic, one thing is apparent; his heart is with Hackney.
“Hi, I’m Dave,” Hill, 51, says breezily, as he eats his fried breakfast. He has chosen to meet at his favourite local café, The Amhurst, a traditional establishment overlooking Hackney Central train station.
The journalist-turned-blogger is not the techie most would expect him to be. There is no laptop in front of him, no camera or even a Blackberry on the table. He is dressed casually in jeans, drinking tea and chatting away to the café manager about gardening.
But looks can be deceiving, as second to Hackney, blogging is where he has found his home. Clapton Pond Blog, Hill’s favourite of his three sites, documents his life in his beloved borough. “I just wanted to write about bits and pieces going on in the area. Hackney is extraordinary – there is always something happening to write about.”
Hill’s pictures, videos and musings from the area draw in thousand of readers from the borough, and beyond. Refusing to be part of the “media crowd” in Crouch End, he has lived in Clapton with his wife and six children since 1992.
He speaks enthusiastically about his London Blog on the Guardian’s website, where he tracks developments in the city, with special reference to Boris and Co. He gave unique coverage of the mayoral elections last year, by filming and posting live press conferences online. “Blogging is a great environment for me, it really suits me. I get enjoyment in it. It’s so liberating to hear feedback from readers too.”
Hill claims to have a balanced view on the Olympics. “I completely understand why it appeals but I really want there to be long term benefits in Hackney.” But he seems as worried as any other Hackney enthusiast. He calls the manager over who begins to complain about his adored allotment being uprooted and moved to a smaller plot due to the 2012 site. Sounds like he’s got some local inspiration for his next blog post.