IWantMyRocky.com keeps spirit of Rocky Mountain News alive

The Rocky Mountain News website is currently frozen in time. It continues to function, but the latest content involves the paper's closure last week. Flipping through its cyber-pages is akin to peeking through the windows of a restaurant shuttered by the feds: Everything remains as it was during the good times, but it's beginning to collect dust.

Not so IWantMyRocky.com, a website created by Rocky loyalists as a side project last December. In a blog from that month, ex-Rocky scribe John Ensslin described IWantMyRocky.com as a "thirty-day project" intended to rally support for the paper among community members. But in the wake of the Rocky's demise, it's become a small-scale substitute for the fallen tabloid.

A number of Rocky regulars are continuing to cover their old beats for the site. Today, for instance, restaurant expert Lori Midson offers a review of Indochine -- it rates a B+ -- and arts writer Lisa Bornstein reports about a casting call for an MTV program called True Life. Also on board is movie critic Robert Denerstein, who took a buyout from the Rocky in 2007 -- his item about the upcoming Watchmen movie teases a full review on Friday -- as well as cartoonists Drew Litton and Ed Stein, and art and architecture critic Mary Chandler, who's the subject of an e-mail campaign by art-community members directed at Denver Post editor Greg Moore.

It'll be tough for these journalists to turn the site into a successful commercial enterprise, especially in this economy. But stranger things have happened -- and in the meantime, it allows writers to showcase their talents for potential employers even as it lets them keep in touch with their audience. As a note on the home page points out, "Colorado's oldest newspaper stopped publishing Feb. 27, 2009, but it didn't die."

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