By Josh Hertzog   Published Jul 13, 2005 at 5:27 AM

{image1}In an effort to eliminate the phrase "couch potato" from Milwaukeeans' vocabulary, VISIT Milwaukee (formerly known as the Greater Milwaukee Convention & Visitors Bureau), and recent UWM grad Erin Leffelman teamed up to create a new blog.

The blog, "Play in the City" -- at -- follows Leffelman's outdoor adventures and experiences in the Milwaukee area in hopes of motivating Brew City to get up and get active.

"I'm hopefully going to inspire people -- in Milwaukee and elsewhere -- to get out there, be active, try new things and ultimately enjoy their lives a bit more," Leffelman says.

Although Leffelman isn't being paid a salary for her blog, she does receive perks, according to Stir Marketing's Corinne Streit, a spokesperson for VISIT Milwaukee.

"VISIT Milwaukee provided the necessities for Erin to start her blog," says Streit. "They provided one year of high-speed Internet access, a technology stipend for a laptop, and a digital camera."

In addition, Leffelman apparently receives free admission to activities.

"VISIT Milwaukee sets up the activities," Streit confirms. "They work with their membership to secure opportunities."

Leffelman says she has complete freedom to do whatever she enjoys and to post honestly, with no content editing by VISIT Milwaukee. Comments posted by visitors, even negative comments, will not be edited unless irrelevant or offensive.

"VISIT Milwaukee is strictly playing the role of facilitator and promoter," says Mary Denis, vice president of marketing at VISIT Milwaukee. "The blog is a real, honest chronicle of Erin's life and her experiences."

Leffelman hopes to draw many visitors to her blog this year as she embarks on outdoor experiences covering Milwaukee County's 15,000 acres of recreational space. She plans on golfing, fishing, kayaking, sailing and even surfing on Lake Michigan.

"Leisure travelers and convention-goers alike research a destination before making a decision to visit, and the Internet is becoming their first tool of choice," Denis. "The blog is a way to showcase much of what Milwaukee has to offer through the firsthand experiences of a subjective author."

Streit says she wants to see Milwaukee regarded as a recreational hotspot.

"Many don't consider Milwaukee a 'to-do' place," Streit says. "We hope to change that with this blog and Erin's passion for the outdoors."

"We also want to encourage participation and create talk value," Streit adds. "We believe the consumer perception of the city of Milwaukee is very important, and this blog will provide an interesting and incredible resource to the world."